Fight to Repair Daily: August 26, 2022

Apple’s Self-Repair Program Manages to Make MacBooks Seem Less Repairable

On Monday, Apple announced it would finally, officially let Mac owners repair their own computers with parts and guides sold by Apple itself. On Tuesday, its Self Service Repair store started taking orders. This, on its face, seems like good news—but as it turns out, their self-repair program makes MacBook Pros seem less repairable. How is that possible?

Battery replacement is pretty much the only guaranteed MacBook repair. Even if you never use the laptop, you’ll still need to replace the battery due to natural degradation. Every other component is subject to environment and use—how many times have you spilled your iced tea? Dinged the case? Stepped on the USB-C charging cable (welcome back, MagSafe!)? Those factors will change what repairs you’ll need, but battery replacement is inevitable. Batteries are consumable, and just like your tires, they’re rated for a certain lifespan—heck, there’s a battery health menu item that says this outright. It’s a fact of our lithium-powered life.

This time, along with the manuals, Apple is presenting DIY repairers with an excruciating gauntlet of hurdles: read 162 pages of documentation without getting intimidated and decide to do the repair anyway, pay an exorbitant amount of money for an overkill replacement part, decide whether you want to drop another 50 bucks on the tools they recommend, and do the repair yourself within 14 days, including completing the System Configuration to pair your part with your device.  Which makes us wonder, does Apple even want better repairability? (iFixit)

Don’t be fooled by Apple’s embrace of ‘Right to Repair’

Apple was once the Right to Repair movement’s most vociferous opponent. And its most effective. With limitless resources, Apple could afford to lobby right-to-repair legislation across local and national statehouses.

The reality is that users and independent repair providers now have the tools and components they need to fix Apple devices. But that shouldn’t overshadow Apple’s continuing shenanigans, nor the inherent weaknesses in the Apple self-service repair program.

The Cost to the Consumer: Apple’s certified vendors rarely — if ever — perform board-level repairs. They just yank the defective component and install a new one. This presents two problems. First, a replacement M1 MacBook Pro logic board costs $614.24. Consumers must pay that, even if the issue only lies with a single $1 chip. Second, with most modern Macs, Apple solders the flash storage chips directly onto the logic board. It’s not a user-replaceable component.

The Problem of Serialization: Serialization is, in short, using software to link individual components to a device. It’s a way of saying “this camera module belongs to this logic board.” If a repair shop transplants a camera module from one phone to another, it’ll malfunction. The camera app will freeze during use. Users are unable to switch to the ultra-wide camera. The entire photography experience becomes degraded. In most cases, serialization doesn’t protect consumers. It is merely an artificial limitation on what independent repair shops can do. (KnowTechie)

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Vintage Macintosh Receives Modern ePaper Conversion

Vintage computers are true collectors’ items, so we don’t condone hacking them apart. But sometimes the original electronics are beyond repair or missing altogetheIn such a case, we support modification to bring new life to these retro beauties. Such was the case for Dave Luna, who added a huge ePaper display to a Macintosh Classic II shell.

Converted Macintosh Classic II: Dave Luna

Luna’s primary purpose for this converted Classic II is displaying family photos. He wrote a custom Python script with a GUI that mimics the Macintosh desktop and shows each photo in a window. But Luna chose a unique method to get the photos to the computer. Those photos reside in a family Google Photos album and Luna didn’t want to mess around with the Google Photos API. Instead, he connected a Chromecast to the Raspberry Pi’s camera port through a special Waveshare adapter. An HDMI splitter strips the standard copy protection from the video signal and the Python script captures stills from the feed as the Chromecast runs in ambient mode.

That’s a pretty convoluted way to display a photo album, but it works. The Classic II can also act as a simple digital clock if Luna gets tired of looking at photos of his family. (

‘Liberate the tractors’: The right to repair movement that’s regaining control of our devices

Owners of smart or “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices—from smartphones to internet-connected coffee makers—may have experienced similar frustrations to the owners of John Deere tractors.

To encourage customers to purchase their latest device, some tech firms effectively shut down older models by withdrawing the digital support services that keep them up and running. Sonos, the smart speaker company, was forced to backtrack in 2020 after criticism of its plans to phase out its older speakers in this way. In an open letter addressing customers’ outrage, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence admitted that “we did not get this right from the start.”

Yet the reality is that manufacturers still retain the controlling stake. The current right to repair only extends to a limited number of products, such as washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators. It does not include smart, IoT devices, despite the growing volume of IoT e-waste. (

Beko unveils new 10-year parts warranty on selected appliances

Appliance giant Beko has announced that it now offering a 10-year parts guarantee to help give consumers peace of mind and encourage repairs rather than repurchasing.

Consumers are now able to register selected Beko appliances for the new 10-year parts guarantee in addition to any one- or two-year labour guarantees their products are eligible for.

Beko says this reflects the confidence it has in the durability and quality of its appliances and that this will bring consumers added peace of mind when purchasing home appliances.

And in light of recently introduced Right to Repair laws in the EU, which we have also adopted in the UK, this move from Beko gives customers access to free parts to repair registered products. This, it says, will help minimise appliance waste and encourage owners to repair their existing appliance rather than buy a new one.

To help support the new warranty offer, Beko has unveiled a new product registration page on its website, which will also help consumers identify which guarantee they are eligible for. (

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