Are you the MacGyver of your family, making plant hangers out of old wine bottles and removing stripped screws with the help of a rubber band? Do you feel proudest when you find a new use for a thing someone would have thrown away, like building a lampshade from an old book or a portable Wii from a broken DVD player? If so, you might be a high repair propensity person, research says.
Jason Kingsnorth does a bus-load of repairs. Like, a school bus-load. He’s a Technology Aide/Coordinator at Bradley Schools in Bradley, Illinois—and half of the IT team that manages maintenance of the district’s technology fleet. All told, Jason helps keep 300 MacBook Pros, 250 iMacs, 150 PCs, and over 300 iOS devices running under what you might call … challenging circumstances (school kids, after all, can turn iPads into juice boxes before you can say “recess”). Read his story on our blog!
I squatted down in the dirt and took stock of my inadequate tools. Over my left shoulder a massive John Deere tractor loomed. I came here to fix that tractor. So far, things weren’t going as planned. One hour later, I hopped back out of the cab of the tractor. Defeated. I was unable to breach the wall of proprietary defenses that protected the tECU like a fortress. I couldn’t even connect to the computer. Because John Deere says I can’t.
When Jessa’s kids flushed her iPhone down the toilet, she decided she was going fix it herself. After all, the only thing wrong was a tiny charging coil on the motherboard. Such a little thing. But that process—picking one micro-component off the board and replacing it—requires micro soldering, a skill not widely practiced in the US. So Jessa taught herself to do it. Now, she is now a micro soldering expert, and a proprietress of a thriving board-level repair business: iPad Rehab.
If we could boil iFixit down to one single tenet, it would be this: Repair is noble. To us, repair is more than a transitory act. It has lasting effects. Repair connects us to the stuff we own, it turns consumers into contributors, and it’s the most effective form of recycling there is. Turns out that one of our idols feels exactly the same way.
Last week, we launched a new book in the iFixit Store about one man’s adventures on the road. Dr. Ronald Mullisen’s book tells of harrowing breakdowns and creative repairs. Ronnie’s Roadside Repairs is as much a memoir as it is a celebration of on-the-spot repair—the kind that tests your knowledge, your mettle, and your resourcefulness. We wanted to celebrate that, so we asked our community to tell us their most epic roadside repairs. We picked our favorites; read them on our blog!
Listeners tuned in for his sagely car advice, but they trusted him for his booming laugh. On Monday, Tom Magliozzi—who co-hosted Car Talk on NPR with his brother, Ray Magliozzi—passed away of complications stemming from Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 77. Tom Magliozzi was both an amazing teacher and a captivating entertainer. And that’s because he approached cars the same way he approached life: with curiosity, exuberance, and joy. Certainly, the radio will seem a little less vibrant without him.
Driving through the Baja California desert in 1966 in a $50 Chevy Corvair, Ron Mullisen and a friend started having engine trouble—and dealt with it, on the spot. Ron Mullisen is the author of Ronnie’s Roadside Repairs, a memoir full of stories of road trips and the (inevitable) breakdowns along the way. Ron’s book illustrates something iFixit believes in: the power of resourcefulness, self-reliance, and mechanical know-how. Get the book in iFixit’s Store now, and get out there on the road!
Delia, along with her team—that she lovingly dubbed her “adopted aunts”—repaired thousands of garments every single year. Delia believed in repair. She saw the value in each piece of clothing that she touched, because it was a part of someone’s life. Delia didn’t just see a jacket. She saw a story. An adventure. A person.
If my phone were a person, it would be the Bionic Woman. Its body has been broken and rebuilt more times than I can count. Its brain has been modified, tinkered with, and improved. It is the phone that will not die—at least not if I have anything to say about it.
The thousands of stories our members have told us over the years only confirm, to us, just how powerful repair can be. It’s empowering, explorative, and restorative. In an effort to share more of those stories with you, we’re starting a new series of profiles on fixers on our YouTube channel. Our first profile is on Bonnie Brownstein—owner of Electronics Parts Supermart, a store she’s been operating for the past 35 years. This is her story.
My grandfather was typical of a generation haunted by the shadow of the Great Depression. Out of necessity, people like my grandfather eked every bit of usefulness from what little they had. They drove their cars into the ground, hitched them back together with baling wire, and kept driving for another 100,000 miles. They taught their children how to patch their tires and patch their jeans. So it makes sense that it’s people like my grandfather who are teaching the world how to repair again.