Happy holidays, fixers! This Christmas was an especially nice one for iFixit. We were featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on Christmas Day!
Laura Nelson, our new favorite reporter, spent the day with us back in November, just as we were tearing apart Google’s Nexus 4. Here’s a sneak peek of the article she authored about the experience:
“To iFixit staff, every high-resolution photograph of naked phone bits splayed across a table is a small act of rebellion against big technology companies like Apple, Google and Samsung. Tear-downs, they say, are a rallying cry for the common man to grab a screwdriver and take back the right to do it yourself.”
Check out the full profile of iFixit on the LA Times web site.
And to every member of our community who has, even once, contributed to iFixit by answering a repair question, writing a repair manual, or sharing a repair story, thanks for helping us make the world a more repairable place—one broken device at a time.
Anyone who still doubts that people care about sustainable electronics has not been paying attention this year. We are officially dubbing 2012 as “the year of the fixer”: More and more people are breaking out their screwdrivers, and the headlines have been full of repair stories. The iPhone 5 is the most repairable iPhone ever. There are fewer toxic chemicals in new cell phones than ever before. A draft of a new green cell phone standard, UL 110, requires that manufacturers secure cases with screws rather than glues. And Sprint announced that all of their phones will meet this standard—they will be openable, modular, and repairable.
There was so much going on this year that we missed some exciting repair news. So, here are five more important repair stories that fell through our cracks:
If you haven’t heard of Sugru, you’ve been missing out—it’s a self-setting moldable rubber, great for repairing plastics and making small parts. Inspired by the iFixit Manifesto, Platform 21, Holstee, and the Cult of Done, our friends at Sugru have created their own Fixer’s Manifesto, promoting repair as an artform.
Repair was pretty important to medieval knights—the legendary Bavarian knight Ulrich von Lichtenstein claimed to break 300 lances in a month of jousting. So what luck that a repair-savvy knight showed up just in time to help the Denver Academy IT department change a hard drive in one of their iMacs.
Denver Academy is a 370-student K-12 private school in Colorado designed to “meet the needs of students with learning differences.” Their three IT technicians—Anne Gurley, Anthony Slaughter, and Doug Pratt—keep busy: they maintain 51 iMacs, 50 Mac Minis, 70 MacBooks, 20 PCs, 5 MacBook Pros, and 90 iPads.
“We used a time machine and revisited the medieval period to perform this repair,” they explained in a recent repair story. “We had some unfinished business, and after all, Camelot is known for its Knight life.”
If you’ve ever heard of iFixit, you probably know that we’re always calling for more repairable electronics. Repair is good for the planet—fixing something old instead of buying new means less toxic mining and manufacturing and less e-waste piling up in landfills and contaminating our soil and water. It’s also usually cheaper to fix something than buy a new one. But ultimately, electronics need to be repairable because eventually they all break. People are clumsy and concrete is unforgiving. 54 percent of young adult smartphone users have damaged their phones.
That is why we are unsettled by the latest wave of unfixable electronics. It’s a crisis with global consequences. And it will be solved not in the halls of government, but in the cramped offices of young designers.
The next generation of designers can’t just strive to kick off the latest consumer trend. They have to understand the need for conscientious and sustainable design. So we recently partnered with Core77 and Autodesk to hold a design for repair contest. More than 200 students submitted ideas for more modular, repairable household items. We selected two first-place winners: Marshall Jamshidi’s repairable microwave with all components accessible via a slide-out drawer, and Gabriel Nicasio, Praneeth Pulusani and John Zakrzewski’s Easy Access Computer Monitor with a hinged front.
iFixit recently partnered with Core77 and Autodesk to sponsor the second Design for (Your) Product Lifetime contest. And the winners are in!
The design content challenged student participants to throw their mental muscle behind a topic that is near and dear to our heart. iFixit’s mission is to help build a society that has a sustainable relationship with the things we make. Repairing products is part of that equation, but repair is only possible if the products we buy are conscientiously designed.
So iFixit, Core77, and Autodesk reached out to the next generation of hardware designers and asked them what a brighter future of product design might hold. Their challenge: Design a smart product that is durable, repairable, and sustainable. Read the rest of this article »