Electronics Environment Maker News
Share the Repair

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.

Wayne Seltzer in his shop
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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

View more articles by Dale Dougherty