The cracked iPhone screen, with its web of glass shards that turn the digitizer into a kaleidoscope, is now practically as iconic as the iPhone itself. Phones slide out of pockets and slip from our butterfingers onto unforgiving concrete and cold, hard tile. The latest rumors predict that the next iPhone’s back panels will be made out of liquidmetal, a zirconium, titanium, nickel, and copper alloy that may make drop damage less of an issue. But for now, with a few good tools and a bit of repair know-how, you can make a tidy business out of replacing people’s shattered glass panels and bent bezels.
Jonathan Edwards (no, not this one or that one) of Shickshinny, Pennsylvania (and yes, that’s a real place), has managed to quit his “day job” and is now self-employed, doing phone hardware repair full time.
Today, we gave our first ever 10 out of 10 repairability score — to HP’s new Z1 all-in-one workstation! It is the most repairable PC we’ve ever had the pleasure to take apart. Opening the machine is as easy as opening a briefcase, and all the major components — RAM, hard drive, optical drive, etc. — snap in and out. There’s even a diagram inside the device that shows the location of the most easily replaceable components. You could probably replace the hard drive in 5 minutes and have time left over to sip a coffee.
A few of the non-major components require a little more effort to pull out, but never so much as to be dangerous or painful. Removing the glass and LCD, for example, requires taking out “a few” T15 Torx screws (18, to be exact). However, there are no crazy glues or breakable tabs hindering your repair process.
Our final determinant for a perfect repairability score was the existence of actual repair manuals for the machine. To our delight, HP has provided these materials directly on their site. They’re not as good as iFixit’s manuals, but they’re definitely solid enough to repair/upgrade the machine.
Bored last summer, hanging around his dad’s East LA auto parts store, Caine Monroy decided to make his own entertainment. He built an elaborate cardboard-and-tape arcade, complete with a crane machine, basketball game, and tickets to win prizes. Caine’s story is evidence that the DIY, entrepreneurial spirit is not dead—cable television and video games have not killed it.
iFixit started in 2003, when my college roommate Luke and I discovered that there were no good online instructions for taking apart an iBook. So, we decided to write our own instructions and began offering those guides online, for free.
Since then, we’ve learned a lot about what it means to write “good” instructions—and what makes instruction manuals bad. Over the course of developing our service documentation software, Dozuki, we’ve come across some truly terrible manuals.
Here are five ways user manuals can make even a root canal look appealing.
Image Credit: NASA, Blue Marble 2012
We say it a lot, but in honor of Earth Day, we’ll say it again: repair is green! Fixing stuff keeps it out of landfills and keeps green in your wallet where it belongs.
British boiler engineer Tal Golesworthy fixed his own heart. Why? He has Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that often leads to a weakened aorta. The typical treatment for a dilated aorta involves a rough and invasive surgery, as well as a lifetime of anticoagulation therapy. Not surprisingly, that sounded unappealing to Tal. And his experience with pipes gave him an idea: when a pipe bulges, plumbers wrap it with tape. Why not wrap the aorta with something to support it?
Tal collaborated with a team of doctors to build a better solution to Marfan syndrome, and he’s lived more than seven healthy years with the device he created. At TEDxKrakow last October, he described the experience. Video below.