Make: magazine, Volume 80, is dedicated to making sure we can fix things that we buy, titled “How to Win the War on Repair.” There is a war on repair brought about by manufacturers who don’t want you looking inside the things you buy. This makes “right to repair” laws necessary so that each of us can retain the ability to do these repairs.
My guest on this episode is Wayne Seltzer who grew up fixing things in New Jersey and many years later started the U-Fix-It Clinic in Boulder, Colorado to help others learn to fix things. Wayne’s article in the current issue, Omega Appliance Repair, shares the story of how he started his own repair business one summer in New Jersey. You’ll get to know Wayne and his life story from the kid doing repairs in the summer to an MIT student, to a Bell Labs intern to working at Sun Microsystems.
Now retired Wayne is a technologist in residence at the “Blow Things Up” lab in the Atlas Institute at the University of Colorado at Boulder. We talk about waffle irons, battery powered, lawn mowers, clogged vacuums, overheated hairdryers, transistor radios that his father worked on to digital radios that have become disabled by their manufacturers and all kinds of things that might be thrown into landfills when they could be repaired and reused.