Seize your right to repair by learning a few basic skills

I've been repairing my phones and computers for years—I don't like being at the mercy of hardware vendors, especially when there's a sea of original and gray market replacement parts out there to be had. Upgrades? Same thing. While companies like Microsoft and Apple are making it almost impossible to tinker with the toys they make, it feels good to know that I can still at least install a fresh battery or increase the size of an old laptop's on board storage for hundreds less than it would cost me were I to take it into one of their repair centers. As I plopped a replacement battery into my 2012 11" MacBook Air earlier this week. I found my self feeling a lot of gratitude for the folks who talk me the fundamentals of puttering about with electronics. However, I know that not everyone has access to folks that can help them learn the skills they need in order to diagnose or correct a problem with their laptop, game console or other devices. This can make getting started with repairing you gear feel pretty intimidating.

You can get around this intimidation in a couple of ways. You can, if you're lucky enough to have one where you live visit a repair cafe or other similar business. They have the tools and instructions you'll need in order to learn how to do it yourself. And of course, there's the Interwebz. You'll find no end of videos that suggest how to tinker out a technical problem. Read the rest

PSA: Take Your Borked Apple Gear to Best Buy

While I travel, one of the biggest pains in the ass that I fret over is the possibility of having to get my hardware repaired. This past winter, the closest Apple-certified repair depot to where my wife and I set up camp (the work laptop supplied to me is a MacBook Pro,) was three hours away. Just taking my laptop in to drop it off is a six-hour round trip. I could have it shipped off, but that takes an ass load of time as well. According to The Verge, this pain-in-the-ass could very well be demoted to a simple pain-in-the-neck: Moving forward, 1,000 Best Buy stores across the United States will be able to fix all of the Apple-branded shit that I can't.

From The Verge:

Best Buy has offered Apple repairs at many locations for some time now, but the completed expansion brings that number up to nearly 1,000 stores. “Best Buy’s Geek Squad has nearly 7,600 newly Apple-certified technicians ready to make same-day iPhone repairs or to service other Apple products,” Apple said in a press release. There are Best Buy stores in neighborhoods that might not have an Apple presence, so this is a nice option to have at the ready. Most Best Buy locations have Apple showcase sections with the company’s iOS devices, MacBooks, HomePod, and other products.

At its own stores, Apple has recently been pushing to speed up keyboard repairs for its MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro laptops, promising a next-day turnaround in many cases.

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Don't bake your MacBook

Alistair Wooldrige's MacBook Air died after a drop. So he popped it in the oven. Read the rest

iPhone 8 users may be entitled to a free logicboard repair

Do you own an iPhone 8? Is it borked? Like REALLY, unusably borked? Good news: There might be a free fix in the cards for you!

From The Verge:

Apple quietly announced the launch of a free repair program for the iPhone 8 this afternoon, revealing that a “very small percentage” of units need replacement logic boards due to a manufacturing defect. The logic board is essentially the main printed circuit board of a computing device, containing the CPU, device memory, and other integral components. Apple says its faulty logic boards may have been causing random restarts, screen freezes, and defective startup initiations that prevent the iPhone 8 from turning on properly.

Apparently, the only phone from Apple’s 2017 iteration of their handsets that are screwed is the iPhone 8. If you own a wonky iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus, you’ll have to see if your handset’s woes can be cured under warranty or on your own dime.

So, if you bought your handset in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan or Macau, head on over to Apple’s repair page. By entering your iPhone’s serial number (look for it in the About section, under Settings/General Settings) you’ll be able to quickly discover if your pocket computer can be repaired on Apple’s dim or not.

If you're not covered by AppleCare or Apple's repair program, maybe hold off on buying a new handset for a few weeks. With Apple set to announce their new iPhones in a couple of weeks, you'll likely be able to get a screaming deal on a new iPhone 8 from your carrier before the end of the month. Read the rest

Internal Apple iPhone repair videos apparently leaked

A set of 11 videos describing repair procedures, tools and reference material for iPhones, apparently produced by Apple for internal use, are in the wild. Motherboard:

Arman Haji, who uploaded the videos to his YouTube channel, told Motherboard he initially saw them posted to Twitter. "When I saw these videos I downloaded them out of curiosity, and when his account got suspended, I wanted people to still see them, so I uploaded them to YouTube," Haji told Motherboard in an email.

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Watch how Willie Nelson's half-century-old guitar gets repaired

Master luthier Mark Erlewine takes us through the fascinating process of repairing Trigger, the same guitar Willie Nelson has played for nearly 50 years. Read the rest

Restoring a 50 year-old Hot Wheels model car

baremetalHW collects, revives and customizes Hot Wheels toys. Above, a 1968 Deora is restored to its original glory; he shows the paints and techniques required to get it right. Below, a contemporary model is turned into a Mad Max monster.

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Five methods to remove a stripped screw

I probably strip 50-65% of screws that I install. (I know, I'm doing it wrong. For starters, I should step away from my power drill until I learn to be more delicate.) Until I break my bad habits, Mikesaurus's Instructables post "5 Ways to Remove a Stripped Screw" will come in handy. (I've long ago mastered the bonus sixth step: "Leave it.")

This rubber band method is surprisingly effective and doesn't require anything you may not have at home:

"If the screw isn't totally stripped the rubber band will help fill in the areas where the screw has been stripped and provide friction where it's needed, allowing the screw to be removed."

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How to repair a huge $30,000 tire

This looks like more fun than giving an elephant a shave with a blowtorch.

[via] Read the rest

Timelapse of giant sinkhole repair in Japan

It took just days for a construction crew to repair a road that collapsed into a sinkhole in the business district of Fukuoka, Japan.

From CNN:

After the sinkhole appeared on November 8, subcontractors worked around the clock to fill in the 30 meter (98 ft) wide, 15 meter (50 ft) deep hole by the 12th with a mixture of sand and cement. The job was complicated by the water which had seeped in from sewage pipes destroyed by collapsing sections of road.

After that it only took another 48 hours to reinstall all utilities -- electricity, water, sewage, gas and telecommunication lines -- and to resurface the road. There were no reports of injuries.

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I used this cool liquid plastic welding material to repair a broken butter tray door

Our refrigerator has a bad butter tray design. If you forget to lower the butter tray door and then close the refrigerator door, the butter tray door will get pinched between the refrigerator door and the refrigerator. If you close the refrigerator door too quickly, the butter tray door will crack.

This happened a few months ago, and I couldn't find the piece that broke off. But it still had enough of the hinge left on it to function. Today, I forgot to lower the tray door again and the whole corner snapped off, rendering it non-functional. This time, I was able to find the broken piece. I reattached it with Bondic, a liquid plastic welding material that cures in 4 seconds when exposed to the UV LED. It creates a strong bond, especially if you roughen the surfaces of the broken pieces with coarse sandpaper. The resulting blob of plastic doesn't look good, but it beats paying $(removed) to buy a new "dairy bin assembly."

This video shows you how to use Bondic and gives examples of what you can repair with it:

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