We held our first Restart Party back in June 2012, and in exactly 6 months we went on to run 12 events and countless presentations all over London. Our growing community of self-repair enthusiasts has fixed, or contributed to fix, all kinds of malfunctioning electronics: from laptops to electric shavers, from printers to bed-side lamps, from wi-fi cards to dvd players and watches. We didn’t always succeed, to be fair, either for lack of spare parts, tools or simply because we did not know how to – but in every occasion we learned a lot about repair, flawed design, planned obsolescence and alternatives to the mantra of recycle & buy a new one.
As we gear up for a lot of exciting upcoming events in January and February, this week we are presenting you our personal selection of 5 top favourite fixes we performed at Restart Parties in 2012:
#5 – Not all manufacturers are equally greedy
Bob came to our very first event, after learning about it during BBC Outriders in the middle of the night. He brought a “dead” tablet: a Elonex Etouch 1000ET, which had failed following a failed software upgrade. The screen was black, with no sign of life. The device was outside of its warranty period, and Bob did not know what to do. We took quite a lot of time with his tablet, and managed to install the new available firmware. However, the tablet’s screen would only blink for a second at start-up, then die. We suggested to Bob to try and get in touch with the manufacturer, explaining all we did, as we assumed the problem could be hardware. After the event, Bob contacted Elonex and sent the tablet out for repair. After a few days he got back in touch with good news: the tablet was repaired by the manufacturer for £25, with a note explaining that “there were loose contacts on the display circuitry hence the black screen/no display. There is really no action that you could take to prevent that sort of fault.” In Bob’s words: “your Restart was a springboard for action and I’ve now got a fully working tablet. Thanks a lot!!!” Well done to Elonex for reasonably-priced technical support.