Today I want to talk about what repair is, and why it’s important. More to the point, why your right to do it is important. I am not a writer, i’m a technician. A repair guy who loves what he does and wants to keep doing it. Not only do i get the satisfaction of making broken things work again, I also get to help people who would otherwise have lost irreplaceable data like pictures of their family members that have since passed away, or the video of their baby’s first steps.
Yesterday, Apple made a decision that will both jeopardize an entire industry of people trying to keep electronics out of landfills, and cause the loss of that priceless data for millions of people each year. The latest Macbook now has a “security” feature that will prevent anyone but Apple being able to repair those devices. What this means for the consumer is that instead of being able to walk into a locally-owned repair business and get a device fixed in a matter of hours, you will now have no other choice but to either mail your device to Apple and hope that they are willing to fix it, or drive to the nearest (for many, over 100 miles) Apple store to stand in line and again, hope they will fix it.
That isn’t all though. That’s the small picture, but the big picture is that Apple has never had a great interest in repairing their own devices. Frequently they will list problems like ‘the motherboard is dead’ and will under no circumstance save a users data, even when its as simple as unplugging a hard drive and plugging it into the new machine. They don’t have an interest because they would rather sell their users the newest, highest profit device they have and stop supporting older legacy models.
If you aren’t familiar with repair.org or the Right to Repair movement, please take a few minutes to check out this organization. They are working tirelessly to stop this sort of wasteful, anti-consumer business practice and secure your right to fix the things you pay for. The idea is not new, and is the reason we are able to have our cars worked on by a mechanic of our choosing today