iFixit is the site you might know for tearing apart and offering detailed fix-it guides and parts suppliers for Apple products. On Earth Day, they’ve relaunched the site with a wiki focus, letting everyone read and write about fixing all their electronics.
It’s not just for geek cred, bragging rights and thriftiness that iFixit is asking gadget owners and reclaimers to post their tips. As the site’s founder points out, with video footage he shot in Africa, the stuff we buy and carelessly toss when confronted with malfunctions and general aging doesn’t end up in the back of a warehouse somewhere. It’s burned for copper and other precious metals, exposing people around the world to arsenic, flame retardants and other stuff you wouldn’t want to breathe in.
That’s not to say that you can’t dig in and have fun showing off how you replaced that one little part for way less than the gadget maker wanted you to pay for it. You can search out your own busted stuff, learn how to create and contribute to repair guides, and poke around to see what’s helpful. As one example, the site puts the lie to BlackBerry keyboard repair as being something only your mobile provider can pull off. With a few cheap screwdrivers, you can get the bagel crumbs out from under your space bar, and spend the upgrade money you would’ve paid on something you won’t toss when your two-year contract is up.