Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Fixit Clinic featured in today's Boston Globe

Fixit Clinic featured in today's Boston Globe: ..."The more I’ve thought about it since, the more I think that confidence is what unites people who fix things. They have faith that there is a way that doesn’t involve the garbage heap."

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

New Battery in Macbook Air

Does this Macbook Air need a new battery? Well, yes: especially when you see swollen Li-Po (Lithium Polymer) pouches like the ones to the right in the photo. Another symptom of a swelling Macbook battery is that the trackpad no longer clicks: the battery is swelling up against the trackpad from underneath.

When I installed the new battery and tightened down the screws on the underside once the new battery fully charged it swelled slightly and the trackpad wouldn't click. I had to loosen the screws slightly to get it to work. I ended up returning that replacement battery as defective, the new, new battery doesn't seem to have the same issue.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Fixit Clinic article in the Harvard Gazette

What better way to teach Design for Manufacturing (DFM) than to interrogate the way things are currently made?

We hold Fixit Clinics in partnership with Colleges and Universities so future practitioners -- engineers and designers -- see how Design for Manufacturing (DFM) is currently practiced and to encourage “Design for Durability” (DFD), i.e. incorporate durability, maintainability, serviceability for the future sustainable circular economy; repair is a cornerstone of our environmental and economic future.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Fixit Clinic mentioned in today’s Washington Post

Fixit Clinic is mentioned in today’s Washington Post: TECH IN YOUR LIFE How to find trustworthy repair help for your busted iPhone or TV set:

Saturday, March 25, 2023

As Featured on Pat Benincasa’s Fill To Capacity! Podcast

 Fixit Clinic founder Peter Mui is this week’s interviewee on Pat Benincasa’s Fill To Capacity! podcast:

It’s on all the major podcast streaming services or listen online at

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Let's Keep Our Chomebooks

Chromebooks have become popular computing devices with school systems and libraries: school system adoption and purchase of Chromebooks rapidly accelerated during the pandemic as school systems needed to support distance learning. However: all Chromebooks have an “Automatic Update Expiry” (AUE) date after which they no longer receive Chrome OS updates. For individual consumers this means that their Chromebook gets less and less useful and less secure over time. However: for organizations with lots of Chromebooks enrolled in Google’s Enterprise Enrollment (e.g. schools and school systems) they have to stop using them immediately.

Message that appears on Chromebooks when they reach their AUE date

Even though they are recent computer hardware (typically under three to five years old) and mechanically and electronically functional they are of little value to computer refurbishers because they have no domestic resale value. My understanding of what is happening at the moment is that computer refurbishers sell Chromebooks to recyclers that send them on to Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam where they are being harvested for the one or two computer chips with residual value: the rest is e-wasted locally.  So, sadly, we are exporting our e-waste overseas again from the U.S. Doubly sadly: we are creating e-waste out of items that potentially have lots of useful life remaining.

A school system’s Chromebooks waiting to be e-wasted at a computer refurbisher

It is possible to convert Chromebooks that have reached their AUE date into general purpose computers: usually by removing a “write protect” screw, sometimes simply by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery. However, that requires some physical disassembly and modification that computer refurbishers are unwilling to undertake: they can’t justify the labor cost.

Fixit Clinic will assist schools, libraries, and other agencies in keeping Chromebooks in service in our communities – to keep in our schools, to give to students, to give to the local Library, to give to the economically disadvantaged in our communities. We will do this by teaching students, youth, and residents how to convert Chromebooks into general purpose computers, ideally for use by themselves.

Fixit Clinic is partnering with the Dougherty Valley High School (DVHS) Engineering Club (San Ramon, California, USA) and seeking donations to help divert and convert expired Chromebooks. We hope that by working together, we can reduce e-waste and help bridge the digital divide in California. Together, let's keep our technology out of landfills and put it to good use in our communities! To learn more about our mission and get involved, please take a moment to fill out this form:

Our team will reach out to you with further information and next steps.

If you have any questions on the donation process and would like to discuss in detail, please reach out to Varun Vaidya (DVHS Engineering Club president):

Monday, March 6, 2023

March 18 2023: Upstream Solutions to Downstream Pollution

 Zero Waste Youth USA is having their annual Convergence March 18: Peter Mui is speaking in Track 2 “Upstream Solutions to Downstream Pollution” at 10:55AM PDT; anyone anywhere in the world can register to attend via Zoom at