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iFixit.org: a Noble Endeavor

Posted by on January 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

iFixit ManifestoI received an e-mail from the folks at iFixit yesterday morning, which got me salivating for the inevitable tech porn of gadgets being disassembled to bare their wonderful innards, but I was surprised to find something very different. Normally, iFixit.com is the place to go to order repair kits for Apple Products, or Game Consoles, or Cell Phone, but today they announced a new site, iFixit.org, which is highlighting something even more special than the latest bling in a gadget – the men and women of the world who repair instead of throw away.

It’s interesting because we live in a society that I like to call a “throw-away” society. A throw-away society is more apt to throw away a broken item rather than have it repaired. iFixit has been against this idealogy, and instead would teach average users how to disassemble, repair, and reassemble their broken electronics. Now I’m guilty of throwing away or recycling something that is still serviceable if something like a blown capacitor needed to be replaced just because I didn’t have the time or the electronics recycle was out of my way. That is laziness, and it adds up. iFixit.org looks like a blog from the iFixit folks on a trip to Africa to see the firsthand impact of a throw-away society and the left overs that end up over seas. Full e-mail below.

Hi there,

Time to break out the cigars — a new site has just joined the iFixit family!

This week, we’re launching iFixit.org to tell the story of repair. We are going to profile repair gurus from around the world, investigate the motivations of people who fix things, and consider the larger ethical and philosophical issues surrounding repair. It’s going to be a blast, and we look forward to bringing you along on the journey.

iFixit.org Homepage
We’ll be sharing new repair stories, like some of our mostpopularposts on theiFixit.com blog. The existing blog will stick around, but will be reserved for teardowns, product announcements, and other site-related news.

What will the posts on iFixit.org be about?

Kyle has been traveling to developing countries in Asia and Africa, visiting small repair shops, meeting “fixers” who breathe new life into devices the western world has tossed away, and photographing the journey. He’s written several pieces about fixers he’s met around the globe for The Atlantic, and he is continuing to write about his travels.

Fixers
In addition to repair, we’re interested in what happens to our devices after they become obsolete and are discarded. What happens to e-waste? What should happen to e-waste? What can you do to make sure that you’re recycling your electronics responsibly? We’ll consider these questions (and more).Part travelogue, part investigative reporting, part soapbox, iFixit.org promises only one thing: a clear-eyed, thoughtful look at global repair culture.

What is Fixers, and how is it related to iFixit.org?

We will also be posting updates about Fixers, a short documentary Kyle and his team of journalists have been developing about electronics repair technicians in cities such as Nairobi, Delhi, and Cairo. Currently in post-production, Fixers will be released later this year. iFixit.org will host progress reports, behind-the-scenes goodies, and previously unreleased footage.

 

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