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