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!
You’ve probably heard the stories: a garment factory collapses, killing over 800 people. Before that, a factory fire kills 112. Elsewhere, garment workers report physical and verbal abuse when they fail to meet impossible quotas for the day.
The stories come from countries like Bangladesh and India—places that seem a world away. They come to us in sound bites and horrific images. They seem removed from our daily life. But in reality, these stories are closer than you think—maybe as close as the shirt on your back.
A quick look at the tags on our clothing tells us that much of our clothing is made in places like Bangladesh, China, or the Dominican Republic. Workers in garment factories around the world are tasked with creating inexpensive, mass-produced garments known as fast fashion—think the brands found in blink-and-you’ll-miss-the-trend stores like Zara, H&M, and Forever 21.
As it turns out, fashion is a dirty industry. The excessive damage done in the name of a cheap blouse is revealed in Elizabeth Cline’s book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, where she investigates the incredibly vast, complicated problems that stem from our fast fashion consumption. Read the rest of this article »
My grandfather was a man of action.
When he was just a teenager he manned an aircraft carrier in the Pacific theater of World War II, then he served as a flight engineer during the Korean conflict. Decades later, when time and exertion had weathered his body, he showed us his favorite photo from the war: A plane that crashed on landing, but just managed to avoid sliding off the deck of the ship. He helped put out the fire.
After Korea, he was chief facilities engineer during the height of the cold war at Los Alamos National Labs maintaining buildings for classified nuclear research. He left the employ of the government and went to work for IBM, overseeing the construction of their big plant in South San Jose. A while back, the entire compound was razed. They replaced it with a Lowe’s and a parking lot.
Such is the world of things.
Grandpa spent his life making and maintaining things, so he knew a lot about entropy: The second law of thermodynamics that guarantees everything will eventually wear out. Every day he built things; every evening, the sun set and entropy gnawed away at what he built. Not much, just a little.
But Grandpa was more efficient than entropy: He never stopped fixing, improving, and building. He built more in his lifetime than anyone else I know.
The epic week of disassembly continues: Today, the MacBook Air 11″ found its way onto our teardown table and was soon just another Apple in our bushel o’ teardowns.
We’ve already taken apart this year’s MacBook Air 13″ and we know last year’s 11″ Air inside and out, so we didn’t expect many surprises when we popped the hood on this edition. But the new 11″ did have a few oddities tucked away in its aluminium sleeves. For starters, the AirPort card received an upgrade from the 2012 model, with the addition of 802.11ac Wi-Fi as found in the AirPort Extreme. The new 11″ Air also features an SSD that resembles the one used in the 13″, save one key difference: the chips on the 11″ Air are from Marvell, Sandisk, and Samsung, rather than Samsung alone.
The 11″ MacBook Air did equal its broader sibling in terms of repairability, scoring a 4 out of 10 on our repairability scale. Read the rest of this article »
I went to town on an AirPort Time Capsule — by myself — as a means of not making the other tech writers suffer any more than they have to. They’ve been working hard on yet another teardown; in the meantime, check out my AirPort Time Capsule (mini!) teardown.
Here’s the details:
* Hey, it has a standard 3.5″ Seagate Barracuda SATA drive!
* Time Capsule repairability score: 8 out of 10, same as the Extreme. Nothing new here, since it’s basically the same device from a repairability standpoint.
* This is the port that the Time Capsule has, that the Extreme doesn’t:
This port allows the Time Capsule to have a hard drive plugged into it. Folks asked us if it’s feasible to make an Extreme into a Time Capsule. Theoretically the answer is “Yes,” but we’re not sure why you’d go through the trouble — the Seagate Barracuda drive is essentially the price difference between the Time Capsule and the Extreme.
Check out the full (mini) teardown for more info.
Quick update: The Time Capsule will easily accept a 4TB 3.5″ hard drive in place of its lowly 2TB original drive. The Seagate was used to take this screenshot, but the HGST drive should work fine as well.
The teardown marathon continues! Now available in full HD exhaustion. (Seriously, the wallpaper is starting to dance. WE DON’T EVEN HAVE WALLPAPER.)
During E3, Microsoft briefly announced a redesigned version of the Xbox 360. The brand new(ish) Xbox 360 E is designed to resemble the much-anticipated Xbox One. As the Xbox 360 line is nearing its end, we figured that this new release probably wouldn’t presage any dramatic hardware transformations. But we were curious if the Xbox’s new looks would affect its repairability. So, we handed the device over to our teardown monkeys for disassembly.
They found a couple of notable changes: The Xbox 360 E got a whole-new button board, freeing the RF module from housing the glowing power switch. Also new with this revision, one fewer USB port! The rest of the modifications to the Xbox 360 are predominantly cosmetic. Good news for DIY repairers and upgraders, though—the new case is a bit easier to open than previous 360 models (a change that we hope carries over to the Xbox One).
Over all, the Xbox 360 E fared very well under our industrious spudgers, earning an 8 out of 10 on our repairability scale. Read the rest of this article »