Resources for Tinkerers

Resources for Tinkerers

My kids like to take things apart. Maybe it’s an innate human characteristic or just curiosity about the world around them. My five-year-old methodically removed all of the screws from his wooden mini-workbench and put them in a nice pile. My two-year-old’s technique comes closer to channeling Godzilla.

Are you a tinkerer? Even among engineers, I find that very few of us are willing to delve into the guts of a device with complexity outside our comfort range. I think kids have the advantage of not fearing whether they will be able to fix it later. They don’t think about how much it cost or whether it should be taken apart, and they’re confident an adult can provide a safety net. But, for those of us that are concerned about how best to crack open a $1,000 MacBook with a critical soda problem yet have the compelling desire to take it apart anyway, there is help.

Online video isn’t just for watching other people’s attempts at stardom. There are a host of instructional videos put together by generous people willing to share, learn from their mistakes, or just help you recover from what could be a $1,000 mistake. A quick search of YouTube or iFixIt can provide step-by-step examples of how to take apart a MacBook, replace a cell-phone screen, or repair a chainsaw carburetor.

As a tinkerer, perhaps you want to just build something yourself instead of buying it from a store. You can learn how to build a great HDTV Antenna from coat hangers or an automated Nerf Sentry Gun to protect the office.

Enjoy! (and let me know how you made out)

Disclaimer: Umm, it’s the internet, so you can’t always believe what you see, even in a video. Use your head.

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