People seem to like that post about fixing computers and the fucked up little components in apple laptops and here is some solid advice on getting started fixing your own equipment:

Start recreationally watching repair videos.

There are a ton of mechanics who have youtube channels that show how they do their troubleshooting process and how they navigate engines. They might put up a video or two a month talking about an overheating problem on one SUV that they can’t track down or on replacing some fuck-off part that’s all the way in the back of an engine.

Teaching people how to troubleshoot is one of the hardest things about any kind of technical repair, and watching professionals zoom in on a problem can teach you that kind of troubleshooting.

You’ll see the process that they go through in trying to replicate the problem; they’ll see which things cause the problem and which things don’t. They’ll see if a problem is persistent or intermittent. They’ll show you their order of operations and how they organize their tools and you’ll learn how they keep bolts in order and how they keep their hands clean.

One of the comments on that other post derides “spudgers” because the commenter doesn’t know what a spudger is (which is fine! it’s a silly word and it is in the screenshot of the parts that I was complaining about! people don’t have to know what that is and I don’t expect them to!) – it’s a narrow tool you use to wedge open the clips on the side of a laptop. Some people use old credit cards for this, I used a jeweler’s screwdriver and I scratched my case. A spudger would have been handy, actually, but a mac-specific “pentalobe” (star) screwdriver is bullshit.

Watch tech repair videos and learn the names of tools. Watch household appliance videos and learn how your fridge works. Even if you don’t have something to repair. Especially if you don’t.

Watch plumbing videos, watch carpentry videos. Watch videos of people removing insulation.

It’s great to watch specific videos when you want to do a specific task, but honestly once you watch ten videos of someone assembling a gaming PC it becomes a whole lot clearer that this is probably something you can do yourself.

Watch ten different people on youtube change their brake pads.

Working on your brakes is one of those things that sounds fucking terrifying until you know exactly how simple brake systems on most cars are.

Even if you don’t have something to work on right now, it is so, so worth it to learn how to tinker around and repair things, and one of the absolute easiest ways to do that is to watch other people doing it and friends, people fucking love putting their repair videos on youtube.


#…I *want* to have a better understanding of the hardware around me but also processing A/V input is mentally taxing #and I can see why having video specifically would be helpful here #hmm #I dunno maybe I’ll try it anyway at some point #maybe with captions on so at least I don’t have to process *both* A and V #Youtube auto-captions are pretty fucking good these days so #(you can even have it open a transcript on the side‚ it’s great)

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