Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Rapid Response Repair?

Calling all Fixit Coaches (and other Community Repairers): can we stand ready to fix shared Public Property and Community Assets during this pandemic?

For example, critical medical equipment, laboratory equipment or emergency service equipment might break with manufacturers' service unavailable. Or it might be as mundane as the toaster in the hospital break room or the local animal shelter's floor polisher (pictured below.)


If you're willing to be "on call" to respond to a community repair request please sign up at http://bit.ly/fixitcoachsignup, indicate where you're located in the "Anything special about your participation?" field.

We'll try to combine this with the newly minted virtual Fixit Clinics, hopefully we can effect repair remotely or do some sort of online triage to set up ideal conditions for a successful in-person repair visit.

New: Virtual Fixit Clinics

"Mythbusters meets Antiques Road Show, Top Gear meets Car Talk"


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2020-04-01 Update: We're joining iFixit's Fix At Home Challenge https://www.ifixit.com/News/36647/join-the-fixathome-challenge: here's your chance to show us that big thing you can't carry in to a Fixit Clinic(!)
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(2020-03-23 Update: As COVID-19 unfolds we're extending the vision of "virtual" Fixit Clinics to offer “rapid response repair” for medical equipment and laboratory research and/or diagnostic equipment. It doesn't have to be critical care equipment: it might be as mundane as the toaster oven in the hospital staff break room or the hospital’s floor polisher.)
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No community repair event near you? Repair event cancelled due to Coronavirus? Can't get your Fixit Clinic fix?

Well we can certainly fix that!

Announcing Virtual Fixit Clinics: the world's greatest troubleshooting talent converging to address whatever's presented; we'll leverage the wonderful magic that is the global internet to hold "virtual" Fixit Clinics using teleconferencing software.

Fixit Coaches: Any community repairers (or wannabe repairers, "fixing families") in the world are heartily welcome (e.g.: Fixit Clinic, Restart Party, Repair Cafe, Anstiftung Foundation, etc.). You're also welcome to present things from your local community or your own broken stuff.
Register at http://bit.ly/fixitcoachsignup and we'll send details on joining the teleconferences.

Have Something Broken? Answer these questions:
- Do you have a computer and internet connection that will support video teleconferencing?
- Can you show and describe the problem / recreate the problem in under five minutes?
- (Optional: Can you have some rudimentary disassembly tools at the ready?)
- Can you fill out http://bit.ly/brokenitemreport afterwards?
If yes, register at http://bit.ly/fixitcheckin (select the "Virtual Fixit Clinic") and we'll reach about scheduling you for an upcoming Virtual Fixit Clinic.

Looking forward to meeting in cyberspace!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

New Fixit Clinic Video

Heartfelt thanks to San Mateo County Office of Sustainability for producing this wonderful video on Fixit Clinic: https://youtu.be/qJtNrsgtAs0


Friday, January 10, 2020

Four Recent Articles

Is repair going mainstream? Here are four recent articles:

1) The New York Times on how our military can't repair its own stuff:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/opinion/military-right-to-repair.html
We've been framing Right to Repair as a sustainability and resiliency issue for communities and individuals; this op-ed in the New York Times frames it as a military readiness and national security issue.
In reality: any community — domestic, military, etc.— that moves away from understanding the things it uses and relies on is at systemic risk. And you have to wonder what it takes for the military to go public with an issue like this. This isn't a rogue captain posting an op ed in the NY Times. It's clearly sanctioned.

2) The Wall Street Journal encouraging buying long-lived and repairable goods:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-umbrella-that-lasts-forever-how-much-would-you-pay-11578078532?emailToken=81eb8c25ff23701c740f9eb16d38fced/wUyOiLhOkNfpIEY91+Pu5uOp+9iKSiklT/aC9ju8KRrQDMBaEnf2qTipMqBRLEQa3RQMo/bYO6ZcI0yxaMqOiRD91zioaTtDC9liVy9JRPc5dPRHvJtl/jkzroWbVIW&reflink=article_email_share
Good to have this article in the conservative mainstream press. Our variation on this message is: once you learn to repair something you own you essentially bestow it with a lifetime warranty.

3) The Minneapolis Star Tribune notes old non-computerized tractors are now a hot commodity:
http://www.startribune.com/for-tech-weary-midwest-farmers-40-year-old-tractors-now-a-hot-commodity/566737082/
John Deere has long been an opponent of Right-to-Repair, they've gone as far as arguing in court that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) allows them to assert that when you buy a modern tractor from them you're no longer purchasing a tractor, you're only purchasing a license to operate the tractor. (Interestingly: Canadian farmers are not subject to the DMCA and are still allowed to repair their own John Deere farm equipment.)

4) Forbes on how subsidized phones for low-income people are infected with malware:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2020/01/09/us-funds-free-android-phones-for-the-poor---but-with-permanent-chinese-malware/
We've seen these symptoms at Fixit Clinic but weren't sure it was built-in malware, it's reassuring to get independent verification. As software and hardware merge we're seeing more issues around digital inclusion, digital literacy, digital equity. Should low-income people have to accept less privacy?




Monday, December 16, 2019

A Waffle Iron For The Ages

From Fixit Clinic 500 2019-12-14 Redwood City Public Library: the waffle iron was a present at their wedding 20+ years ago, our Fixing Elves helped them get it working again.




Our sincere holiday season wish is that their great-great-great-grandchildren will be using the same waffle iron.

More photos from Fixit Clinic 500 2019-12-14 Redwood City Public Library at
https://photos.app.goo.gl/ELvdQHDBhM4BKdx17

Monday, September 30, 2019

Elvis Lives (Again!)

Honored to have the King of Rock and Roll grace Sunday's Fixit Clinic at San Carlos Library. His batteries had leaked and corroded the connections.


Once we got that addressed Elvis was back in action.


Here's video of the King of Rock and Roll once again at his finest:


More photos of Fixit Clinic 475 San Carlos Day of Service here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/pm39muEcnwcs2eVX8

Friday, September 27, 2019

Redwood City Library Fixit Coaches Flyers

The graphic designer at the Redwood City Library came up with this great poster for soliciting Fixit Coaches and made both English and Spanish versions: we love it!


Fixing Fremont Library's Carts

At the Fremont Main Library we asked the librarians to gather up the library's book shelving carts that needed repair. Fixit Coaches Extraordinaire Steve Evans and Steve White (AKA "The Steves") put a bunch of carts back into service immediately with simple lubrication and then explored repairing bad wheels, casters, bearings, caster sockets (plastic or nylon sleeves that support the casters.) We may attempt using the 3D printers in the library's new Makerspace to create replacement parts, maybe modifying the design to make them more durable.

The Steves inventory the library's carts


"For Salvage": this cart's next destination was the Alameda County Salvage Depot. Isn't it better to repair it and keep it in service?
Repairs in progress in the library's new Makerspace

We strive to fix community assets at Fixit Clinic: the things we own jointly through the civic institutions we share. Do you think this is a good idea?

Friday, August 16, 2019

Fremont Library Fixit Clinic Residency

The Fremont Main Library just opened their new Makerspace today. As the inaugural programming for the Makerspace we're holding Fixit Clinics on a regular basis there.


More photos from the Makerspace Grand Opening: https://photos.app.goo.gl/NtqquCX1yrNqByVbA

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Introducing The New Fixit Clinic Video Series

We've launched a new series of instructional videos in partnership with iFixit; the goal is to encourage everyone to repair whether there's a Fixit Clinic happening nearby or not. https://youtu.be/1IJwpFBmTGk

Here are the three videos thus far:

Introducing Repair Tips from the Fixit Clinic with Peter Mui
https://youtu.be/1IJwpFBmTGk
How to Replace Thermal Fuses: Repair Tips from the Fixit Clinic
https://youtu.be/XE-XlDP1wHs
Optical Drive Troubleshooting: Repair Tips from the Fixit Clinic
https://youtu.be/2UqzKlnHGPU

If you have a topic for an upcoming video let us know.



Saturday, February 2, 2019

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Santa Fe Flyer

It's lovely to see the flyers different Fixit Clinics come up with, this one is for the upcoming 2019-02-02 Fixit Clinic CCCLXVI (366) in Santa Fe, NM


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Dakota County Flyer


Stumbled across this flyer from the Dakota County (Minnesota) Fixit Clinics: love the imagery!


Sunday, September 9, 2018

A Flurry of Fall Fixit Clinics

We’ve got lots of Fixit Clinics this Fall: are any of them near you?

New Volunteer Fixit Coaches and fixing families are always welcome -- the more the merrier; sign up at goo.gl/xS1MRK. We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event!

- Fixit Clinic 306 2018-09-08 Brookdale Library, MN


- Fixit Clinic 307 2018-09-08 San Pablo Library


- Fixit Clinic 308 2018-09-08 San Diego CA


- Fixit Clinic 309 2018-09-16 Boulder, CO


- Fixit Clinic 308 2018-09-16 San Francisco CA


- Fixit Clinic 310 2018-09-22 Dorchester, MA


- Fixit Clinic 311 2018-09-29 Fremont Main Library


- Fixit Clinic 313 2018-09-29 Northwest Reno Library, Reno, NV


- Fixit Clinic 314 2018-10-02 Cambridge MA Harvard University


- Fixit Clinic 314 2018-10-03 North Valleys Library, Reno, NV




- Fixit Clinic 316 2018-10-06 Berkeley Public Library South Branch


- Fixit Clinic 317 2018-10-07 Burbank Recycle Center, Burbank CA


- Fixit Clinic 318 2018-10-13 Minneapolis MN


- Fixit Clinic 319 2018-10-13 Oakland Public Library Asian Branch




- Fixit Clinic 320 2018-10-20 Half Moon Bay Library


- Fixit Clinic 321 2018-10-27 El Cerrito Library


- Fixit Clinic 322 2018-10-27 Washington-Centerville Public Library Centerville OH


- Fixit Clinic 323 2018-11-03 Newark Library
(no URL yet)


- Fixit Clinic 324 2018-11-10 Minneapolis MN


- Fixit Clinic 325 2018-11-18 Boulder, CO Boulder Public Library

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Fresh Milkshakes at 2018-07-14 Fixit Clinic CCXCVII (297) San Leandro Library

The story's heartwarming: Jo's father was part-way through refurbishing this vintage three spindle Hamilton Beach commercial milkshake mixer when he passed away. Jo was determined to complete the repair for him and attended last month's Castro Valley Library Fixit Clinic to get help.





At yesterday's San Leandro Library Fixit Clinic Jo finished up with the mixer and made milkshakes for all the Fixit Coaches -- yum!



It's stories and fixes like this that make Fixit Clinic so satisfying. And while we don't get fresh milkshakes at every Fixit Clinic, Jo's repair made these taste even more special.

More photos from Fixit Clinic CCXCVII (297) San Leandro Library can be seen on Google+ at https://photos.app.goo.gl/EfoibpBeyQvMVFdZ6

(and photos from Fixit Clinic 293 Castro Valley Library 2018-06-23 can be seen here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/J2qukNnbjcJE7TnC7)

Friday, June 22, 2018

Fixit Clinic as Real-World Experience for Designers and Engineers

In addition to many other fine institutions of higher education we've held Fixit Clinics at 3 of the top 6 universities of the world: Harvard, MIT, and UC Berkeley. We continue to inform designers and engineers in training how to design and engineer for serviceability, durability, maintainability, repairability from the get-go for the approaching closed-loop economy. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2018/reputation-ranking#!/page/0/length/25/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

CalRecycle Report: “Future of Electronic Waste Management in California”

A new report from CalRecycle entitled “Future of Electronic Waste Management in California” recommends incentivizing greater repair and reuse of electronic devices. It’s the first time we're aware of that California (or any state) has recognized and legitimized repair (and reuse) as alternative strategies to recycling.

- Direct link to download the .pdf of the report: “Future of Electronic Waste Management in California”: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Actions/Document.ashx/?id=8934
(Fixit Clinic is mentioned by name on pages 11 and 27 of the report.)

- CalRecycle press release for the report: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/NewsRoom/2018/05May/14.htm

- Analysis / Opinion by Kyle Wiens on iFixit.org: https://ifixit.org/blog/10099/calrecycle-electronics-recycling-report/

This is a big step in the right direction, we're excited.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Fixit Clinic 261 Berkeley Public Library

Our first Fixit Clinic held at a Berkeley Public Library: we had a great lineup of Fixit Coaches and Participants. Among the highlights:

There were at least five food processors:



We had knife sharpening:


People were really getting into their repairs:




More photos from Fixit Clinic 261 Berkeley Public Library can be seen here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/zCeVha30CLmneNUu1

All in all, a great kick-off event to Fixit Clinics at the Berkeley Public Library, we'll be at the North Branch in a few weeks.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Fixit Clinic CCLX (260) San Bruno Public Library

The wonderful people of San Mateo County came out in droves for today's Fixit Clinic at the San Bruno Public Library. Among the highlights:

CD/DVD/Blu-Ray drives (optical drives) continue to be easy fixes:


This microwave just needed a new 20A fuse:



Another two-toaster day, both fixed!



More photos from Fixit Clinic CCLX (260) San Bruno Public Library are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/9ANknXc1bI6NWVz92

Everyone had a great time: looking forward to the next one!