Operation: Fix Toshiba! Raising Funds to Create Repair Manuals

Johnny Winter / iFixit.com/CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

We report a lot on the good work done by the team at iFixit.com. They're electronics self-repair experts and they offer a ton of guides, advice and important information on today's computers and gadgets, including tear-downs and a rating system for how easy devices are to repair so you can make an informed decision before purchasing a product.

They are also continuously fighting for our right to repair our electronics without having to take them to manufacturer-authorized shops, or worse, having to upgrade to a new device because we don't have the right resources or it's too expensive to repair.

As founder Kyle Wiens writes on Wired.com, he started iFixit because of the copyright hold that tech companies have over their repair manuals. "I’ve seen first-hand how tight a grip manufacturers have on critical repair documentation. Major electronics manufacturers like Apple and Toshiba do copyright their service manuals; Apple has been using legal threats to keep its manuals offline for years. In fact, this information vacuum is what drove me to start iFixit. Instead of reproducing Apple’s service manuals, though, our community dismantles their products, figures out how to fix them, and writes completely original service manuals – free of Apple’s copyright claims."

That copyright hold has taken its toll on another valuable resource for DIYers, Tim Hook's online laptop repair manual collection at Future Proof. Toshiba has recently asked Tim to take down all of their products' repair manuals and Tim has complied, but that now leaves a gaping hole in the resources available to both people doing repairs at home and independent service shops that depend on reliable online sources.

In true iFixit fashion, Wiens and his colleagues are raising money on Indiegogo to buy Toshiba laptops, take them apart and write their own repair manuals so that people won't have to give in to planned obsolescence and can continue to repair Toshiba products with confidence and extend the life of the devices.

From Indiegogo:

Let's [un]screw Toshiba! We want to write a free and open repair manual to replace the manuals that Toshiba took away. We currently have manuals for just a few Toshiba laptops, but it's nowhere near good enough. We want to write more manuals, but we don't have the hardware! All we need is more hardware to take apart. That's where you can help.

Donate a couple bucks here. We will spend 100% of the funds on used Toshiba hardware; we'll write manuals for them.

We'll document every repair/replacement procedure in step-by-step guides with high-res, color photos and videos—which is a far cry better than what Toshiba offers in its manuals.

Operation: Fix Toshiba! has a goal of $10,000, but you can give as little as $1.00. The crew plans to focus on laptops made in the past four years, starting with the 50 most popular Toshiba models. If they surpass the $10,000 goal, they will expand their efforts to the 100 most popular laptops.

If you donate $10 or more, you get perks to help with your at-home repairs like a magnetic mat for keeping all those screws organized, and driver and tool kits.

Watch the video below for more information on the campaign.

Tags: E-Waste | Gadgets | Repair | Technology

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