Going to Macworld? We Are

January 23, 2012 Events, Site News — Elizabeth

This weekend, we’ll be in San Francisco at Macworld | iWorld, the annual Apple fan convention held from January 26-28 at the Moscone Center. We’ll be presenting at three events on Thursday and will have an informal meet-up in Oakland on Friday evening. If you’ll be attending, come say hi!

Thursday, Jan. 26, 10-10:45 a.m.
TechTalk: The Doctor is In!
Room 2011

Have a broken iPod lying around? Bring in your broken Apple hardware. Kyle, Luke, and the iFixit team will be joined by folks from the Fixit Clinic to diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair Apple devices. We’ll help diagnose your issues and figure out what needs fixing. We’ll provide a workspace, troubleshooting tools and equipment, expert advice, and even parts for some common repairs. Come pick the brains of our Apple experts, or share your repair victories with like-minded DIYers. We’ll bring a selection of parts to fix many common iPod and iPhone problems on the spot, including failing batteries and cracked screens.

Thursday, Jan. 26, 11-11:45 a.m.
Hardware Repair Showcase
MacWorld.com Stage (in the expo area)

Come learn how to do some cool and easy upgrades on Apple devices! We’ll show you how to replace the back of your iPhone with a transparent rear panel to show off its beautiful insides, how to put a second hard drive in your Mac Mini, and how to replace your laptop’s optical drive with a hard drive.

Thursday, Jan. 26, 5-7:30 p.m.
RapidFire: A Crash Course on Apple Repair—iFixit Shares the Basics of Repairing Your Apple Hardware
Room 2006

RapidFire is a series of five-minute talks, each of which will teach one thing quickly and effectively. In our five-minute RapidFire talk, we’ll show you the best tricks and tips to troubleshoot, get inside, and repair your Apple products. We’ll demonstrate how to handle water damage, bad reception on an iPhone, and ways to get inside devices with the right tools and tricks. Come join us for a quick, visual demonstration to better inform you with the basics of Apple repair knowledge.

If that’s not enough iFixit for your weekend, we also invite you to join us Friday, January 27 at 7 p.m. for shop talk, food, and drinks at the awesome Oakland technology salon Tech Liminal (268 14th St., Oakland, CA 94612). Fixit Clinic people will be there, too. No worries if you don’t have a car—Tech Liminal is pretty close to the 12th St. Oakland City Center BART stop.

Hope to see you there.

Maker Faire 2011

April 14, 2011 Events, Meet iFixit, Site News — aguenther

Maker Faire 2011Maker Faire is once again invading the San Mateo County Event Center May 21-22, and we need your help to run the iFixit Repair Center!

Maker Faire is the epitome of the do-it-yourself mentality. There is no larger concentration of geeky hobbyists and enthusiastic inventors than at Maker Faire. Sharkmobiles, underwater concerts, robotic giraffes, Tesla coil symphonies and a life-size game of mousetrap are just a few of the awesome exhibits staged outside the main hall.

We have been going to Maker Faire every year to spread our knowledge of how to fix things. This year we are hoping to teach more people than ever. This is where you come in.

Enjoy working on your motorcycle? Have you built your own computer? Replaced components of your roadbike? We need you! Volunteer to teach others what you know. We are looking for people who are passionate about repair and reuse. You don’t have to be an expert – but you do need to be enthusiastic about what you do know and eager to share. Volunteers will draw on their collective repair experience to help Maker Faire attendees fix their broken stuff. In addition, volunteers will receive free admission to Maker Faire as well as an iFixit t-shirt.

To volunteer, fill out our Maker Faire volunteer form.

All volunteers will receive an email confirming their volunteer status within a week. Volunteers will be assigned to one or more shifts depending on their preferences and availability.

We are updating our Maker Faire 2011 page with the latest news, so check back periodically for additional information. You can email us at MakerFaire@ifixit.com with any questions. Volunteer space is limited, so sign up now and help contribute to this awesome event!

iFixit @ Macworld

January 24, 2011 Events — Kyle Wiens

We’ve got a lot going on at Macworld Expo this week. You’ve got four pre-scheduled opportunities to catch up with us—but if you happen to see any of us on the show floor, hugs are appreciated. Here’s the rundown:

Birds-of-a-Feather Meetup

Thursday, January 27th 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Repair! Room 3004, West Hall, Moscone

Our Macworld meetup last year was a hit, and we’re doing it again this year. We’re mixing our user meetup with Macworld’s Birds-of-a-Feather session. Come on by to hang out, meet Luke and I, and compete for the most spectacular Mac repair story. I’ll give a 54 piece bit driver kit to the winner, and we’ll have some t-shirts to pass out.

Feature Presentation

Friday, January 28 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

iFixit live! The Teardown Experts Show Off Apple’s Hardware – From the Inside Out

I’m going to talk teardowns on the main stage. Tell your friends and let’s pack the house.

User’s Conference

Friday, January 28 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

Fix It Yourself! iFixit Shows You How to Repair and Upgrade Your Mac, iPhone, and iPad

This is for Users’ Conference attendees only—the cheaper expo badge won’t get you in. (This registration link will get you $25 off a 1-day user pass, but it’s still almost $200.)

Macworld Live Stage

Saturday, January 29th 2:00 PM – 2:55 PM

iFixit Live: “Fix an audience member’s device” challenge

Macworld’s Chris Breen told me he thought it would be funny if he told people to bring their computers to Macworld so I could fix them on stage. He asked me what I thought, and envisioning chaos I sarcastically replied “Yeah, Chris. That would be great.” So he set it up.

Please, please don’t bring in your 27″ iMac. An iPhone would be perfect.

If you haven’t already registered for Macworld, you can still register with this link for $15 ($20 off the current price). Come say hi!


August 19, 2010 Events, Site News — Kyle Wiens

Repair is social. It always has been. I learned how to disassemble electronics from my grandfather, and my best friend’s dad helped me with my first RAM upgrade. We’re always teaching each other useful things. We have a lot of community members that are already members of groups — clubs, companies, university classes — in addition to helping out around here. Our new team feature will empower those groups.

Our master plan for fixing the world is simple:

  1. We make awesome tools to help you teach people how to fix things.
  2. You teach people how to fix things.
  3. Goto 1.

Clearly a critical part of this loop is helping people promote what they’re already doing — whether that’s a bike kitchen, a local repair shop, or teaching an IT class at a high school on the Isle of Man.

We just rolled out team support. Each team gets their own wiki page where they can share their mission, work on repair guides together, and show their general location with our brand-new map widget.

We spent quite a while thinking about what to call this. We originally called it “groups,” but that word is overly vague and doesn’t connote any sense of shared purpose. We chose the word “team” because it implies action toward a goal. Teams collaborate together to win, and every successful repair is a victory.

I learned a long time ago not to predict the variety of creative ways our members contribute to teach repair. I have no idea what sorts of teams people will form, but here are a few slightly-informed guesses: bike kitchens, community repair shops, car clubs, and repair businesses.

Team iFixit Members

Creativity works best under constraints, so here they are:

  • You can only belong to one team. ONE. That’s it, that’s all you get. No, I’m not taking bribes to let you into more than one team. (Unless that bribe is a Ducati 1098. Then we can talk.)
  • Anyone can create a team. We’ve got two varieties, open and invite only.
    • Anyone can join an open team. This might be useful if you want to collaborate with some folks to work on a collection of guides for a device, or if you’re an inclusive organization like a bike kitchen.
    • Invite only teams require a code to join. You can pass out this invite code to as many, or as few, folks as you’d like. This makes sense for companies that want all their employees on a team or for clubs that require local participation to join.
  • The team’s reputation is the sum of all its current members’ reputations. When you join a team, your reputation is added to theirs. Conversely, if you leave a team their reputation will drop — just like it would in the real world.

Each team gets their own wiki “about” page. You can write as much as you want, add images and markup to make it look professional, promote your business, write a manifesto, or write an ode to vacuum tubes. It’s up to you—wield this newfound power with wisdom.

Team iFixit's "About" Page

You can also set a location, enabling a little map widget on the right of the team profile. This has been requested a number of times, and we’re happy to oblige.

In case users are feeling left out by the love we’re devoting to the new team profile pages, we’ve also added user profile support. Everyone with a reputation over 200 can now customize their profile page and add their location. Andrew posted some interesting information about some of his recent projects over on his page.

iFixit does reasonably well in Google rankings, so this could be a useful way for you to take control of what’s visible online about you.

So what now? Well, you can view a (rather meager) list of existing teams, or create one yourself. Now get to it!

Maker Faire 2010

April 26, 2010 Events, Site News — aguenther

Maker Faire will invade the San Mateo County Event Center May 22-23, and we need your help to run the iFixit Repair Center! The festival is the epitome of the do-it-yourself mentality. There is no larger concentration of geeky hobbyists and enthusiastic inventors than at Maker Faire.

The exhibits border on insane: remote-controlled R2D2’s, 15ft twin tesla coils, trebuchet contests, two-story-tall mechanical giraffes; and that is only a sampling of the courtyards outside the main exhibitors’ hall.

For the past few years we have gone to Maker Faire to spread our knowledge of how to fix things. This year our presence is going to be greater than ever. Not only will we be showing people how to fix things, we will be writing repair manuals on the spot. To make all of this happen we are going to need YOUR help!

We’re looking for people with repair experience in:

  • Automobiles
  • Bicycles
  • Motorcycles
  • Macs
  • Appliances
  • Clothing
  • Musical Instruments
  • Electronics
  • Mobile Phones

As a volunteer, you will help people with problems within your area of expertise, but also get a chance to talk to other experts and resolve some problems you might be having!

Volunteers will be provided with free Maker Faire admission, a pass to the invite-only “Maker to Maker” event on Friday, an iFixit t-shirt, and other cool perks!

To volunteer, just fill out our Maker Faire volunteer form.

All volunteers should receive an email confirming their volunteer status within a week. Volunteers will be assigned one or more shifts depending on their preferences and availability.

We are updating our Maker Faire 2010 section with the latest news — check periodically for additional information. Please email us with any questions, and let us know as soon as possible if you can contribute to this awesome event!

Welcome to Repair 2.0

April 22, 2010 Events, Site News — luke

Today iFixit is changing repair forever. Today — Earth Day, 2010 — we are launching a global repair community. Our goal? To teach every person on Earth how to fix every thing they own.

You know us as the folks who take apart new hardware and show people how to fix Apple products. We’re not going to stop doing any of that, but starting today we are going to massively expand our scope: We are relaunching iFixit as the free repair manual that anyone can edit.

Repair is stuck in the 20th century. Service manuals are almost never available online, and the few troubleshooting forums that exist are rife with spam and ad-baiting. Reliable parts suppliers that understand e-commerce are few and far between.

Making repair accessible to everyone is the best shot we’ve got at reducing e-waste and starting to make our high-tech lives sustainable. We can’t keep throwing away cell phones every 18 months! We need to get every last bit of functionality from the things we own before we toss them aside.

What if everyone had free access to a repair manual for everything they owned? How much longer would our things last? Our mission is to give people the information, parts, and tools they need to make their things work as long as possible.

We showed our vision to officials at the Environmental Protection Agency, and they were ecstatic. Andrew Fanara, Product Development Team Leader for the ENERGY STAR Program, commented that “the EPA would like to see more done about the growing e-waste problem, and iFixit has a novel, community-driven approach to make electronics work longer. We are encouraged by their solution, and are looking forward to observing the environmental impact of iFixit’s platform.”

Join us, and together we’ll fix the world!

Rip. Mix. Repair.

December 15, 2009 Events, Site News — Kyle Wiens

My team has invested thousands of hours in documenting how to repair Apple hardware. Starting in 2004 with our very first set of repair guides for the venerable PowerBook G3 series (God bless the Pismo), we have steadily, inexorably, carefully, taken apart every single Mac we could get our hands on.

We now have manuals for 91 Mac models, 34 iPods, and a couple of iPhones. Together, our media servers currently host 154,556 images (including revision history and thumbnails) and over 1,000 step-by-step guides.

Today, we are giving all that content to the world. Effective immediately, we are licensing all iFixit repair manuals under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. To my knowledge, this is the largest free release of repair documentation ever. We are committing to make our repair manuals available to everyone in the world, forever, for free.

When we told Creative Commons what we were planning, they got really excited. “iFixit manuals provide users the information they need to extend the life of and add value to their hardware without involving the manufacturer. Similarly, it’s great to see iFixit offer users the legal right to add value to iFixit manuals — to share and remix in any medium, notably including translation — by publishing under a Creative Commons license,” said Mike Linksvayer, Vice President of Creative Commons.

Lawrence Lessig, co-founder of Creative Commons and a long-time iFixit user, has also given his blessing. “iFixit is one of the most important community driven technology resources on the net. It is wonderful to now see them build their community by giving back to the community what the community helped build. As iFixit extends beyond the world of Mac, that community will only grow, and strengthen the practical knowledge which repair content provides. I am extraordinarily proud that Creative Commons can help make this innovation possible.

What does this mean?

If you meet the conditions of the license, you can reproduce, modify, and redistribute our repair content to your heart’s content—including photos, text, and PDFs.

Why are we doing this?

Because we must. Because the world cannot continue wantonly manufacturing and consuming devices without a plan for their long-term lifecycle. Because individuals need the ability to take control of their devices and their environmental footprint. And because it’s the right thing to do.

All future content posted to iFixit, either by us or by our users, will be open-licensed.

We will be providing a XML data dump of our repair manuals sometime in the middle of next year. We are in the process of finalizing a new repair manual XML schema (if you want input on the process, please contact us). We hope to host the data archive at the Internet Archive as well as seed it via BitTorrent.


What’s Creative Commons?

The Creative Commons organization was created by a team of legal scholars including Lawrence Lessig, a legal genius (and long-time iFixit user!) who solved the need to provide a gradient for content licensing in situations like ours, where we want our content to be as free as possible.

What if I want to improve your guides?

You are welcome to copy them elsewhere and modify them, but the improvements will reach more people if we pool our efforts. We will be allowing anyone to edit and improve our repair manuals on iFixit.com very soon.

Can I translate your manuals into (Spanish, German, Esperanto, etc.)?
You would not believe how often we get offers to translate our repair manuals. There is a huge pent-up demand for localized repair documentation. We plan to make that happen. Our repair manual framework has built-in internationalization support, but it’s not quite done yet. To be honest, it probably won’t be done until at least the end of 2010. In the meantime, there are three things you can do:

  1. Translate our manuals and post them on your site. You can do this right now, and as long as you comply with the attribution and noncommercial aspects of the license, you’re free to do whatever you like.
  2. Sign up to be a translator. We’ll be pulling people from this list to alpha-test our internationalization platform.
  3. Promote iFixit inside your country / region. The more demand we have for a given language, the sooner we will be able to support it.

Why do you restrict commercial use?

We admit it — we have to pay the bills. Selling parts is how we do that. We have parts competitors that would prefer it if we weren’t around. (In fact, one of those competitors rebranded our manuals, publishing them as their own without attribution.) We want to be able to afford to write new manuals, and the noncommercial requirement allows us to do that.

What’s the licensing for journalists?

The Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license does not have specific support for journalists, but we are very willing to freely license our content to journalists. Reporters are free to use up to three attributed photos per story without contacting us. More generous licensing is readily available by contacting us, and we are almost always willing to grant journalists the same rights as noncommercial users.

iPhone Hacks Giveaway

December 9, 2009 Events, Site News — Kyle Wiens

We contributed a couple chapters to iPhone Hacks, the excellent book by our buddies David, Adam, and Damien. In addition to a ton of  clever ideas for modding, maxing out, and jailbreaking the iPhone, the book also includes print copies of our iPhone and iPod Touch repair manuals. I think that’s pretty cool–we love getting our repair information in print so you can use it without a computer.

We got our hands on seven copies of the book, so we’re going to have a little giveaway! We’ll be giving away one copy of iPhone Hacks every day for the next week.

To enter, follow @ifixit on twitter and tweet ‘iPhone Hacks book giveaway! Enter by following @ifixit and retweeting. http://bit.ly/7krwVT“. Easy. You can reenter once per day by retweeting again. We’ll randomly select the winner from each day’s tweets.


Win a PS3 Slim or PSP Go!

October 9, 2009 Events, Hardware, Site News — Kyle Wiens

Last week, Sony clearly indicated that they’re not the biggest fan of our teardowns. That didn’t stop us, of course, and our new PSP Go teardown is currently online, revealing the innards in detail. The process got me wondering what is inside other Sony gadgets. Growing up I took apart just about everything I could get my hands on, and I know I’m not unique. If you’re reading this, you’re probably curious about gadget innards, too.

PSP Go Teardown

PSP Go Teardown

So we’re hosting a contest, judged by five notoriously picky staffers at Wired! We want you to take apart a Sony device — you can disassemble anything you like, as long as it’s got a Sony logo. Take pictures of the process and post them online.

What’s in it for you?

We’ve got a couple extra Sony gizmos around here. We’re giving away a PSP Go and a PS3 Slim! Yes, the PSP Go is the same one we took apart last week, so the warranty probably isn’t good anymore — but we promise, we only took it apart only once! Our teardown artists will even autograph it for you, if you’d like.

What are the rules?

  1. Take apart a Sony product.
  2. Post photos of the process, and your impressions of the device, online using our teardown editor.
  3. The teardowns will be judged by five notoriously picky staffers over at Wired.
  4. Contest ends October 23rd, 11:59 P.M. PDT so don’t delay!

What are the prizes?

  • Most creative teardown: PSP Go (and an iFixit t-shirt in your size!).
  • Best overall teardown: PS3 Slim (and an iFixit t-shirt in your size!).

Why are we doing this?

Sony, like many companies, would prefer that you leave your hardware just the way they sell it to you: assembled.

Clearly, we disagree with that. In fact, we’ve spent the last several years taking apart every gadget that came our way, showing off their innards for the world to see. We’ve written over one thousand repair manuals for Apple products, and made them available to the world for free. Just because Apple isn’t interested in making repair accessible doesn’t mean that we can’t do it for them. And we have. Hundreds of thousands of people have fixed their Macs, iPods, and iPhones using our repair manuals. But we just don’t have the resources to take apart every single device, and we want to involve the repair community as much as possible.

Why is this important? The electronics that we stop using eventually end up in landfills, often in third world countries. This July I traveled to Africa to find out exactly where electronics go after they die. The picture isn’t pretty — they’re crudely melted down by children working in scrapyards, mining copper and gold from electronics.

I was struck by a sense of inevitability when I took the above photo. All three of these devices no longer exist; shortly after I took the photo they were disassembled. Their plastic casings were used as fuel to burn the plastic insulation off the copper internals. The rate at which we abandon technology is shocking. We no longer have any use for this NEC cassette player, Phillips CD reader, or Sony DVCD machine.

We need your help. Let’s send Sony a message that their products are repairable by ordinary people like us, and that we are interested in using our gadgets for longer than the prescribed 18 month product cycle. What can you do? Easy — just take apart something made by Sony.

We want to get as many teardowns of Sony products on our site as possible in the next two weeks. Everyone’s got an old Walkman or Sony DVD player laying around. Take it apart and show us what’s inside!

Super-fine print: Void where prohibited, no purchase necessary, you’ve gotta be 18 or older, prize is not redeemable for cash, iFixit employees aren’t eligible, and we’re going to give the prize to the first velociraptor to write a teardown. So act quickly, or the velociraptors win. (Don’t be too concerned — it’s hard to hold a screwdriver with claws and no thumbs.)

Fixin’ iFixit

August 20, 2009 Events, Site News — Miro

After developing them in secret for the past two months, on Monday night we launched a redesigned main page and parts store. We investigated and optimized every detail of the customer experience, with the knowledge that users all over the world will be accessing our content.

We built our own cart a while ago, and it’s received great reviews from customers and the press. But, we’ve learned a lot about our customers’ needs since then, and we thought we could improve several areas. With this redesign we’ve implemented dozens of suggestions and made some of our own improvements. Our number one customer comment was how awkward the mouse-over category navigation was on the left side of the site. We nixed it in favor of an easier-to-use, model-oriented navigation structure (which also works on the iPhone!). As happy as we are about that, though, it’s only one of a bunch of changes that we’re excited about.

Here are a few of the new features we’ve implemented on the main page:

  • Global search. Searching for a term such as “iPod” will now bring up all matching products, repair manuals, and discussions. You can sort through a specific document type, or you can browse through our entire site at the same time!
  • Navigation hub. The main page now links to the Parts Store, Repair Manuals, Teardowns, and Discussion forums. You can navigate to any of these pages by clicking on the appropriate icon at the top of the site.
  • Streamlined checkout process. It’s a much cleaner and more intuitive process than before. Try it out!
  • Speed. We’ve made hundreds of improvements to our server architecture, improving page load times across the board. Browsing iFixit should be fast.

Here’s our new main page:

We also changed the parts store website completely. In an effort to help our customers find the right parts for their devices, we’ve moved to a model-number-based approach. Once we know your model number, we can guarantee that every part we show you will work in your device. But what if you don’t know your model number? We still have category navigation on the right, as well as a site-wide search that puts products, repair articles, discussions, and parts at your fingertips.

For all of the pictures below, the old version is depicted on the left, while the new version is on the right. You can certainly also visit iFixit to view the new changes. First, the main parts store:

The MacBook parts subsection of the store:

And the revised shipping page:

We spent a lot of time testing our new site across various browsers and platforms. However, there may be an occasional hiccup that we missed. Please let us know if you like it, hate it, or see any bugs!