This Android-powered Ouya console is the first of its kind. It’s specifically designed to be open to professional and amateur game designers alike, with free software development tools included with every console. Sounds like it’s right up our alley.
Full disclosure: The folks at Ouya tout this to be “the first totally open video game console.” They have so much confidence in the Ouya, in fact, that they sent us a retail unit to take apart. Game on, folks.
The small cube (and its controller) came apart with little difficulty. Those with long-haired pets will appreciate that it takes about five minutes to pop open and clean out the heatsink and fan. As a result of its disassembility, the Ouya scored a stellar 9 out of 10 on the repairability scale. Read the rest of this article »
Just thought I’d take a look at the state of electronics recycling around the world to see how we’re doing.
According to the International Environmental Technology Center of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the volume of e-waste is increasing by 40 percent per year worldwide. They estimate that 80 percent of it is still going in to landfills and incinerators. According to UNEP, e-waste is the fastest-growing type of waste, particularly in some developing countries where the volume is expected to grow by up to 500 percent over the next decade.
Unfortunately, electronics recycling is a comparatively low priority in many countries. Most countries of the world (including the U.S.) don’t have a coherent national collection infrastructure. This is true for most of Asia where the problem is becoming critical. According to Park Young-Woo of the United Nations Environment Program, the Asia-Pacific region now produces more than half of global e-waste. He estimates that only 10 percent of it is recycled worldwide. Read the rest of this article »
Yellowed kitchen appliances, dust-streaked radios, unresponsive DVD players: the table was strewn with stuff that even a local thrift store’s discounts couldn’t make enticing. Most of the electronics were broken and all of them had outlived their usefulness. But you wouldn’t have known it by the number of children—screwdrivers in hand—who crowded the table that day just to get a look inside of them.
The demographic at the last USA Science and Engineering Festival was a little different from the one I usually cater to at iFixit—a free online repair manual for everything from cracked iPhones to DIY oil changes. My company’s mission is to teach as many people as possible how to fix the stuff they own—kids included.
And kids were just as eager to learn as we were to teach them. The festival warehouse was crowded and noisy, but once they pried up the hood of a device, the world faded to mute as pint-sized tech magellans explored circuit boards and examined old motors. One middle-schooler spent two hours working on an old VCR. Time well spent, because he got to watch the old relic whir back to life—a mixture of surprise and elation on his face.
Kids are born tinkerers. They have the natural inquisitiveness of engineers. All they need is someone to put an iPod in one hand, a screwdriver in the other, and ask, “Do you want to take this apart?” And when I ask that question, their eyes go wide with astonishment. After all, their parents have been telling them not to take things apart their entire lives. Read the rest of this article »
Click on infographic for full resolution image.
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 »
We do our best to get new hardware the moment it hits the market, and trying to figure out where to get the S4 this week has been a headache — to say the least. We’ve never seen this many flip-flopping announcements (outside of the US Senate, of course).
But good news! The Galaxy S4 is here… and we’re glad the wait is finally over.
The reports are true. Samsung didn’t go to great lengths to reinvent the wheel with regard to the S4’s internal construction. The design is very similar, if not identical, to the Galaxy S III — which is a good thing, since the S III is a pretty fixable device. The Galaxy S4 receives an interstellar 8 out of 10 repairability score for its replaceable battery and straightforward disassembly.