As fixers, we pride ourselves on teaching consumers how to make their tech last as long as possible. But recently, we had the chance to do something a little different. Two of us teardown engineers headed to MD&M West in Anaheim, the “World’s Largest Annual Medtech Event,” to talk about manufacturing with real-life manufacturers.
iFixit is known for fixing electronics, but we want to help people fix everything—whether or not it has a motherboard. After all, everything breaks eventually. Recently, we challenged folks to fix their camping and outdoor gear at a pop-up repair clinic we hosted with our good friends from The Mountain Air and Patagonia. Check out the pictures on our blog.
Drones lined with rainbow LED lights zoom pass. Children on steel, mechanical crustaceans charge through packed crowds. A giant metal octopus, named El Pulpo Mecanico, shoots bursts of fire into the sky. We’re on the grounds of the San Mateo Event Center—and it’s Bay Area Maker Faire 2014. Check out some of our favorite Maker Faire moments on the blog.
It was Black Friday. A day of crowds. A day of clearances. A day of consumerism. But I was not in a line. And I would not be fighting through crowds for a big screen television. I didn’t spend a dime. Instead, I spent my day at a Patagonia store—not to buy, but to fix clothing. But stitching up a torn library bag isn’t the part that matters—it’s the story worn into that item from years of use and love that matters. Each one of these items has a story: Repair means they can have even more.
This November, iFixit will be heading down to New Orleans for the annual International Computer Refurbisher Summit. We’re making it easier for enterprising fixers to start their own businesses with the Repair Business Toolkit. Turn your garage workstation into a storefront—we’ll show you how. iFixit empowers repair technicians to grow their business with free repair guides, business development wikis, design/marketing resources, and a vibrant community of repair businesses—all online.
“I’ve heard of these!” There’s something hilarious about watching an eight-year-old encounter a typewriter for the first time. I explained, “It’s like Microsoft Word, but without the screen.” “How do you backspace?” iFixit team members tagged along with the Fixers Collective at the 2013 World Maker Faire in New York, and—thanks to the antics of curious onlookers—the amusement was endless.
“Who here has ever taken something apart?” I stood in front of 20 sixth- and seventh-grade students at the Engineering Possibilities in College (EPIC). Asking this question always makes me a little bit wary. After all, this is a generation of instant gratification. Kids get their first iPads before they can walk now. So, I thought, how many junior high students would actually spend their time learning about the inner workings of electronic devices? How many even care? A dozen hands shot up.
People are quick to point out the shortcomings of a beleaguered public education system. But after spending a week at the National SkillsUSA Competition in Kansas City, I am hard-pressed to come up with criticism. Amidst slashing budgets and the ever-changing demands of the 21st century, there is still a beacon of hope for our students: SkillsUSA, a program that teaches career, technical, and life skills to students—everything from commercial baking to automotive repair to computer maintenance.
MJ spoke with iFixit users at Macworld last week about how they found iFixit and the repairs they’ve done with the help of our guides: they’ve changed iPhone batteries, replaced broken screens, and fixed all kinds of miscellaneous Mac problems. iFixit guides, one user says, “allow me to open up things that are not openable.” Video inside.