This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending iFixit’s Unconference in San Luis Obispo, California, with Jordan from Wires Computing. It was a really unique opportunity to connect and network with individuals in the electronics repair industry.
For those who don’t know, iFixit is a wiki type website with guides on how to fix hundreds of devices. The iFixit team publishes many repair instruction sets and device teardowns, but there is also a large number of repair manuals that are written by the users. iFixit also supplies many of the tools and parts needed to fix many of the most popular phones on the market.
While the event itself was pretty laid back there were a couple of group sessions where we tested tools and techniques to put different methods of doing the same repairs to the test, the idea was that everyone could go home and put to use repair techniques that produced results as close to new as possible. I was fascinated to learn about how different repair business owners approach the various issues faced by those in the industry. It certainly gave me a different perspective on device repair. I also met some really skilled repair shop owners, Justin from The Art of Repair, as well as Jessa from iPad Rehab. I also had a chance to talk with some of the folks from Repairshopr. I learned about how solutions like Repairshopr enable business owners to manage more efficiently, allowing them to focus more on the customers.
We also listened to a presentation about the Right to Repair bill by Kyle Wiens, the founder and CEO of iFixit. In his presentation Kyle highlighted the problems faced by big manufacturers pushing bills that prevent consumers from being legally allowed to repair their electronic devices. iFixit is responsible for founding The Repair Association (repair.org) in order to raise awareness about right to repair, and to push right to repair bills through state legislature. Repair.org is actually a really great resource you should definitely give it a look. Also, I would highly encourage everyone to help The Repair Association stand up and pass right to repair legislature in as many states as possible.