Meet Dallas-area teen Adrian Mayberry. Until recently, he was just a regular kid who liked to tinker with robots. Now, he’s the Duncanville Police Department’s personal repair whiz kid—after he successfully fixed the department’s new search and rescue robot.
Recently, one of our personal repair heroes stopped by iFixit’s California office. And we couldn’t resist the urge to talk shop. Janet Gunter is the co-founder of The Restart Project—an amazing UK-based repair organization. Gunter and her fellow Restarters aim to redefine the relationship people have with their stuff—especially their broken stuff. Our co-founder Kyle Wiens sat down with Janet to chat about the group’s mission.
In India, cycling isn’t a pastime; it’s a necessity. On the streets of Mumbai, you’ll see hawkers and farmers alike, peddling modified transport bikes (think pallets, rope, and training wheels)—going to and from the bazaar and customers’ homes. On a recent trip to India, I witnessed a new level of ingenuity: the knife sharpener. And no, I don’t mean a foot-long whetstone.
In New York City, a student at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School stuck his head through the doorframe and gave Jeannie Crowley an inquisitive look. “I heard you guys are fixing phones,” the student said. “No,” Crowley replied. “You’re fixing the phone—but we provide parts and support.” The student’s face lit up. “Really? I’ve always wanted to be able to do that,” he said. “But I’ve been too nervous to do it on my own.” Now students at the campus can learn to fix their phones on their own.
You cringe as you hear it—the horrendous crack as the iPad slips from a pint-sized hand and falls to the floor. The children gasp; the lamentations begin. The iPad is dead! They’ll never get to play Angry Birds again! Holiday road trips will be torture! Then the inevitable question: “Can we get a new one?!” We all hate when our devices break, but instead of instantly replacing a dead product—why not take the opportunity to teach your kid about repair?
This morning, Copyright Office decided which of your own devices are legal to investigate, modify, and hack—bringing a close to our year-long saga of legal gunslinging, negotiation, fact finding, hearings, and deliberation over US copyright law. Along with a coalition of activists, recyclers, and legal clinics, were able to overcome the objections of manufacturers and secure exemptions for repairing tractors, cars, and tablets.
In this week’s episode of “Our Community Is Cool as Hell,” check out the time-lapse video that iFixit member “Bexoro” (aka Ben Orozco) made of his MacBook Pro repair. Ben accidentally bashed up the retina display of his MBP when it tumbled off a chair, turning the screen kaleidoscopic. So Ben broke out his tools and replaced the screen. See that beautiful repair footage on our blog.
Drained batteries are a drag. Drained batteries on an iPhone—especially when it won’t hold a charge for more than a couple of hours—is a super-mucho-grande drag. Dan Delany, a New York City resident and web developer at Spotify, has had his iPhone 4 for about 5 years—a pretty impressive run for a smartphone. Except lately, his aging iPhone hasn’t been performing quite like it used to. Time for a battery replacement.
There are two things we keep telling people about repair. (1) It’s probably easier than you think. (2) If it’s already broken and destined for the trash, you really have nothing to lose by trying. To illustrate those points, we’ve posted a video of a pre-tween trio pulling off a fan repair. The fixer kids take viewers from troubleshooting and cleaning, to repair and testing. The best part is watching their reaction when they flip the switch and the fan actually works again.
How long do you think you could go without buying new clothes? As in, no new pants. No new socks. Not even new underwear. A couple of months, maybe? Well, a group of DIYers is swearing off new clothes for a whole year. Instead, participants of the challenge—which launched on a blog called My Make Do and Mend Life—will repair, repurpose, and “make do” with what they have. Neat, huh?
When artist Lee John Phillip’s grandfather passed away, he left behind a workshop—its shelves buckling with decades of things that might prove useful someday. Phillips estimates that his grandfather collected well over 100,000 different objects—pliers, jars, brackets, and project scraps. As a memorial to his late grandfather, Phillips is going to draw every single thing in the workshop. And he is documenting The Shed Project, as he calls it, on Instagram.
Every once in a while, we like to share the stories of cool fixers with our community: So, meet Angela Henderson. Angela is a California repairwoman and owner of Built By Mom, a residential computer repair and tech service business. Like many fixers, Angela’s path to owning a repair business wasn’t a straight line. She started out as an English major who took apart computers for fun. Eventually, repair grew from a hobby to a passion to a business. Now, Angela runs Built By Mom out of her garage.