One of my favorite things at this year’s Maker Faire was iFixIt’s repair area. They had obviously worked their butts off to create a really cool environment conducive to teaching people about fixing their own cars, home appliances and electronics gear. They had awesome displays, like physical exploded view “diagrams” of handheld devices, using the actual parts in a stacked cube of Plexiglas. Really clever. Oh, and they had a Trebuchet that launched T-shirts. They’re a really great group of folks, too, very passionate about what they’re doing. I gave their booth one of my Editor’s Choice ribbons. Well deserved.
On their website, their latest project is the launching of a site where users can post their own teardowns. If sites like Instructables offer a means by which anybody can post how to make something, this is a system for how to post about the process of unmaking things. It’s exciting to think how a resource like this can be used by people to learn about the goings on inside the tech they use, what parts are involved, how to replace them, etc.
Kyle explains the new site:
We use a powerful home-grown documentation tool to write our repair manuals. Over the years that software has developed into a fast and efficient way to publish the Mac teardowns that we create. Our hardware teardowns and analysis have become world-renowned for providing a first look inside new hardware. Tons of people have asked us to publish their teardowns to our audience. This demand helped us realize the importance of releasing this platform for everyone, so we spent the last year polishing our tool and making it robust enough for anyone to create teardowns free of charge.
In the past we’ve focused primarily on Apple devices, but we’ve recently expanded and published a number of non-Apple teardowns. Our recent teardowns of the Nintendo DSi, Amazon Kindle 2, and Dell Adamo were massively popular and have been viewed by
hundreds of thousands of people.
The deviation from writing Mac teardowns foreshadowed today’s epic announcement. We hope that people use our flexible teardown platform to create teardowns of devices of all kinds, not just Apple products.
We keep our website running fast. Over the course of dozens of large traffic events, we’ve learned a thing or two about handling large spikes in server traffic. Thanks to cloud computing and Amazon EC2, today we’re able to dynamically scale our capacity to
Writing a teardown is simple, and we wrote a step-by-step guide to show people how it’s done.
We are also proud to announce our first user-generated teardowns. Using our tool, PhoneWreck.com has published their detailed cell phone teardowns and circuit analyses in our easy to understand step-by-step format.
BlackBerry Curve 8900
HTC Touch Pro
Samsung Omnia i910
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1
All of these teardowns are immediately available online.
We are absolutely thrilled to be launching our new site. This platform has been a labor of love for a long time, and we’re excited to see what tinkerers all over the world create with it. Join us, and show the world what’s inside your gadgets!