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Thoughts on Repair

Seji the veggie -

Mijn probleem

I have things that I see everyday, and I see other things every day that irk me, and I want to share those.

Mijn oplossing

This isn't from a repair, but I do have some thoughts on repair and I'd like to share those.

iFixit is a thriving community of repair people, but a majority of the general public don't really know about iFixit, and that really irks me. One of my standby tools is my Pro Tech Toolkit, and it's come in handy in so many different circumstances, and it gives me power (or at least I feel that way). But so many people cannot leverage that power that something like a toolkit gives them because they're scared, nervous or anxious to do something that involves a circuit board.

I run into a lot of people who would fix their stuff, but instead overpay someone to fix it for them, or even worse, throw it away and buy something new. I understand that there are people who throw away because it's not useful anymore, but there are people who can take advantage of that old stuff. For example, I like to take old, green PCBs and carve them into 3D media (wearing the proper safety equipment of course. Remember kids, grinding and sanding PCBs can release all sorts of nasty stuff) before clear coating the finished piece. If it's a larger PCB or one that catches my eye, I'll use it as a subject for my photography.

But back to the topic at hand. Repair is for anybody, and we need to make it accessible for anyone to do. Being in high school, I'm trying to open up a new club for people to repair their stuff (and there's plenty of people who could take advantage of it) for free/extremely cheap, and get education on what e-waste does. This knowledge needs to be spread everywhere. In Atlanta, I haven't run across a single repair "café" for people to rent tools to repair their stuff. All I see is "get your phone screen repaired for $99.99!" It's time for us to start allowing people to repair their stuff. If you work at a business or enterprise, make your Pro Tech Toolkit available for others to use to repair their stuff (maybe use some sort of collateral system to make sure your stuff ends up back in your hands). If you are a student at a school (primary or secondary education), see if you can create a club, or open up your Pro Tech Toolkit for others to use or rent. Make repair accessible for anyone and everyone, even if they don't have $80 for their own Pro Tech Toolkit and other tools. If you have things that you can do with e-waste, whether it is turn it into art or do something else, make yourself open to collect old computers. Can you shred plastic? Use old laptop cases to get the ABS plastic and make molds for cute party favors.

Bottom line: make repair a thing of the present, make throwing away a thing of the past, not just for you but the people around you.

Mijn advies

Get out there, repair things, share the joy of repair with people.

DON'T DO IT FOR PROFIT; DO IT TO TEACH PEOPLE. Like the old adage says: you can give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he'll eat for his life.

Pro Tech Toolkit Afbeelding
Pro Tech Toolkit


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