Luddite Redux

ipod 4g photoAwhile back, I wrote a post about working on our in-attic TV antenna to get off-air broadcasts instead of cable. That made me wonder if I was a Luddite or a geek. Today’s techno fun confirmed this luddite status. I took a few minutes (didn’t take long) to replace the battery in our old iPod 4g/photo. It’s not that ancient, but feels like it’s been around for ever. It was actually only bought 7 years ago, but has been replaced by a nano and Now a Touch. Still, it can hold most of our music (at least most that we want to take on a long car trip) and there was no reason to throw it away just because it wouldn’t hold a charge for more than a few minutes. It was still working fairly well when tethered to a speaker set that doubles as a charging station, but had lost its portable existence.

This is where iFixit came to the rescue. I’ve used their services before to replace hard drives in ailing laptops and such. Usually, my attempts have been successful, though one time we gained a hard drive and lost the internal speakers (a cheap external pair worked better than trying to repair what I broke). This site has great instructions and pictures for every step. They warn you how difficult self-repair might be for any task, and they’ll even sell parts at a reasonable price. My new battery and a couple tools to open the iPod with only cost $15. With their tools and instructions, I was able to pop open the case, disconnect a couple sets of wires (didn’t damage any this time!), remove the old battery, and replace it with the new one. I’m sure this voided my warranty, which expired something like six years ago, so I don’t mind. I had to use a Torx 6 screwdriver, which I happened to have from a previous laptop repair. Otherwise, it might have cost me a few dollars more. I got a virtually new iPod (granted the hard drive is still the original, so who knows how long it will last), and I got to see the inside of the iPod I’ve been carrying around. I also gained the confidence to know that if something else breaks, I could probably replace it or at least find out of it’s worth trying to fix.

What I like about this company, besides their excellent instructions and parts, is their philosophy. They’re a small company based in San Luis Obispo. It doesn’t hurt that I have fond memories of this town from a road trip down the California coast after I graduated from college, but the thing I really like about them is that they have lots of information on their site about what happens to e-waste when it is ‘recycled.’ When I do have to throw something out, I try to find a responsible recycler, but I agree with their philosophy that fixing our toys is a lot more responsible than replacing them. If we kept our technology a little longer, we could do a lot to keep the landfills from filling up with our outmoded electronics.

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