You’ve played old arcade games. Maybe you’ve even played old arcade games on your tablet. But have you ever played old arcade games with all the components of your tablet?
Martin Spengler and his friends from LAB BINÆR (Benjamin, Daniel, and the other Benjamin) disassembled two tablets—the iPad Mini and the Nexus 7—and made a fantastic stop-motion animation with all the components. They emailed us to say that they used our iPad Mini guide to help them take it apart.
Martin confirms what we discovered in making our Tablet Repairability Guide: the iPad Mini is held together with gobs of glue—we gave it a 2/10 repairability score, and Martin called the disassembly a “painful job.” Compared to the iPad, Martin says taking apart the Nexus 7 “was a joke.” The Nexus 7, for comparison, earned a 7/10 repairability score.
Check out the awesome video below:
Update: That went fast! We blew threw 1,776 liberation kits as fast as a gaggle of kids with a box of sparklers. But there are a lot more people that need liberating! So we’ve dropped the price on our remaining stock of Liberation Kits to $0 + shipping.
Scenario: You’re rushing to work. Hurriedly you park and step out of the car. In that instant—pulling bags out and pushing doors closed—you drop your iPhone. Despite months (or years) of diligently protecting it, your iPhone slams onto the pavement. The display instantly shatters.
Although you may want to open your damaged iPhone—maybe to replace the display, dry out water-damage, or replace a battery—you realize you can’t. Your tools won’t open up the odd five-pointed screws holding the device together. You are locked out of your own phone.
iFixit doesn’t like this. In fact, we’re completely against it. Since you’ve bought your phone, you should be able to fix it easily, quickly, and affordably. But unless you have the proper tools, these five-pointed screws—better known as pentalobe screws—won’t allow you access to your own device. Instead, you’ll likely go back to Apple, putting down even more money, because they are the only ones who have the ability to open your iPhone. And although we are big fans of Apple’s consistently beautiful product designs, we’re not fans of iPhone imprisonment.
We are combating the problem in the best way we know how—through tools and knowledge. We are fighting for freedom. We are giving away tools. We are having Liberation Week from July 1st-5th!
Around here, we’re big fans of William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s 2002 book Cradle to Cradle. McDonough (an architect) and Braungart (a chemist) completely re-imagine the manufacturing process—from design to end-of-life.
The book espouses smart design, without the use of materials that are harmful to environment or to living creatures. After that, re-manufacturing, recycling, and re-using continually reintroduce materials back into the resource stream.
Here’s the best part: when you read it, you get the feeling that McDonough and Braungart are onto something. That this crazy idea could actually work.
And we’re not the only ones who think so; Cradle to Cradle is up there with Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in terms of influence. Concepts from Cradle to Cradle have found their way into think tanks, like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and into EU government policy.
Naturally, when Braungart and McDonough published a follow-up to Cradle to Cradle, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it. The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainbility—Designing for Abundance expands on ideas introduced in the first book. Braungart and McDonough even address electronics manufacturing—something we are particularly interested in.
Here’s a much-abridged version of what they had to say on the topic: Read the rest of this article »
When is the last time you saw a teardown of a Zenith CH 650 aircraft? Unfortunately, the iFixit teardown room isn’t large enough to accommodate a small plane (yet…), but that’s where Todd McLellan’s book Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual For Modern Living comes in handy.
Don’t be fooled by the title—the book isn’t a step-by-step manual on how to disassemble objects. Instead, it’s literally an inside look at what McLellan calls “fifty design classics,” ranging from the everyday (mechanical pencil) to the forgotten (push lawnmower).
McLellan painstakingly photographs an orderly mess of internal components—each piece arranged and displayed like some new form of object archeology. Add five essays on repair and disassembly from various voices in the repair world, and you have a book that finds a unique way to advocate for the importance of disassembly, investigation, and reuse. Read the rest of this article »
Picture it: you need to buy a new remote control. You cruise to the store to pick up a new remote and some extra AA batteries—they run out, after all. Best be prepared. You take the remote home, open the package, and—wait a minute! This isn’t your mom’s remote control. It’s a super slick gadget that appears to be glued together for an über modern look. Great!
But there’s a downside to seamlessness. You can’t replace the battery yourself. There are no instructions provided on how to get into the remote, and it’s nearly impossible to tear apart. That means once those encased AA batteries run out, you’ll probably have to buy a new remote control. And the cycle repeats. Forever.
Sound appealing? It runs counter to commonsense to own a battery-run device that doesn’t allow you to replace the batteries quickly and easily. There’s a reason that people own gadgets like alarm clocks, remotes, and watches for years and years: they can switch out the batteries themselves.
There’s no such thing as a sealed remote control yet, but it’s closer to reality than you might think. Every day, we settle for expensive electronics—cell phones, tablets, computers—with batteries that can’t be removed and replaced. These products might look great, but when it comes to batteries, recycling, and reuse, there are some big problems. Read the rest of this article »
We’ve said it before: repair teaches engineering. During a recent trip to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., I was reminded just how much when I saw the Wright Flyer III: one of the greatest innovations ever born out of repair.
Considered the first airplane, the Wright Flyer III—built by Orville and Wilbur Wright—was a huge step towards modern flight (which seemed especially relevant as I was cruising back from D.C. at 36,000 feet). Of course, the Wright brothers were not the only ones to tackle early aeronautics, but their innovative techniques in engineering—including the Flyer III and first wind tunnel—came from their hands-on experience in repair.
Before becoming famous, the Wright brothers made their livings by manufacturing and repairing bicycles—pretty good business during the bicycle boom at the turn of the century. The revenue from their handiwork funded their experiments and the building of the Flyer. Read the rest of this article »