Apple sent a clear message with the updated iPod Shuffle: “We were wrong.” They changed course, admitted that people actually like buttons, and brought them back for this generation. Having confessed that their lack of buttons was a problem, we wanted to see if Apple improved the repairability of the device.
Our goal for iFixit Answers is to create a knowledge base of troubleshooting information for every device. Now that’s a lofty goal, but we’re already making tremendous progress towards it. We just hit 2500 questions, and over 95% of them have received at least one answer! But we need your help to make Answers the definitive hardware troubleshooting reference.
Using a top secret algorithm originally devised to pick recipients of the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes, we’ve finally selected the lucky winners of our lightly tested Wacom Bamboo Touch and Zune HD. Congratulations iFixit users spikey2 and natalia47!
After a solid month of testing, tons of feedback, hundreds of little tweaks (and a few big ones), we’re making iFixit Answers public! Everyone in the beta has gotten a tremendous amount of help with problems on a wide variety of hardware. Now it’s your turn! Go ask a question.
At the moment I’m writing this, people have asked 502 questions yielding over 1,000 answers. Out of all of those questions, just 7 haven’t gotten answers yet.
Here are three of the most popular questions from the beta:
The answers to this contain lots of interesting information about the thousands of volts that CRTs build up and the tools that technicians have to use to work with them.
Apple’s latest MacBooks have a screw that looks different than we’re used to. It turns out that it’s actually a new kind of security bit, a ‘Torx Plus 6’ with five points instead of the standard six. Fortunately, a 1.5mm flat head screwdriver works just fine to remove it!
It turns out this person was worried for no reason! The blinking light on a Wii (rather unintuitively) means that there is a new message waiting on the Wii message board.
Three users already reached 1,000 rep, and several others are well on their way.
I thought it would be fun to have a little drawing to celebrate the Answers launch. So we’re going to give away some hardware. What are the goodies? A Bamboo Touch and Zune HD!
I have the Zune HD from our teardown (no, we don’t destroy things when we take them apart) and one of those fancy new Wacom Bamboo Touch tablets. They’re both awesome devices. I know, because I’ve personally been testing them out to make sure they worked! (Yes, I love my job.)
We’re going to randomly select two winners from people who have at least 100 reputation on December 24th. What’s your rep? Start helping people with their problems!
We are proud to announce iFixit Answers, a collaborative repair community of people helping people make devices work longer. We are launching the private beta today, but we will be inviting more people throughout the testing period. To get an invite, add your name to our list (we’ll be sending out invites to people on the list as we have room) or, if you want to be bumped to the front of the list, write a teardown!
The world has a problem with rapidly consuming devices and tossing them aside, ignoring long-term environmental impact. With your help, we are going to change that. We’re confident that we can change our culture of ephemeral ownership.
iFixit has helped hundreds of thousands of people fix Apple hardware. Just last month we shared our repair knowledge with over a million people in 175 different countries. Our internet-scale troubleshooting and repair documentation has made electronics repair accessible to people all over the world. In this new and exciting time, you can leverage your knowledge about hardware to make a difference not just to people next door, but to communities halfway around the world.
Answers is a natural progression from our successful forums. The community will have complete control over the content on Answers, and the system will be collaboratively managed by you, and other people like you. Every question and answer can be voted on by anyone and edited by members of the community.
As we were designing Answers, we had four guiding imperatives: