Friday foolery: Clean the fan!

Dec 03 2010 Published by under Miscellanea

It's Friday! And technology is frustrating, that's not news.

But sometimes we really do make it harder than it should be. Here's a well-produced and hilarious example:

I'm at the International Digital Curation Conference next week. I'll certainly be tweeting (hashtag is #idcc10) and may blog.

3 responses so far

  • Trying to fit technology that 20 years ago nobody would have believed possible in as small a volume as possible is probably an inherent barrier to easy user servicability. I am not surprised that manufacturers don't spend more money on design to also prioritize use servicability, as that probably won't get em much more sales.

    However, I recently replaced the fan in my three year old MacBook myself -- I could never have done that without the nice photo-illustrated guide from And it was in fact easier than the (dell?) in the video above -- kind of surprising from a company that isn't known for encouraging user self-service in hardware repairs. On the other hand, they have such a big business in applecare/genius bar repairs, that saving their own tech staff's time saves them money. No thermal jell required.

    But it also made me think what the internet does for this kind of stuff. I could never have done it without's guide. With it, I managed to save my old laptop with a $60 part, instead of the $500 parts-and-labor a local repair shop quoted me. Bought the fan from too, they're like my new favorite company now.

  • Joe HourclĂ© says:

    Jonathan -- agreed on ifixit; I've been using them since they were pbfixit, and only had manuals for powerbooks.

    And yet, when my MacBook Pro's fan started making an odd noise just before DCMI & ASIS&T this year, I went with the replacement machine. (partly because it was more than 4 years old ... it was the first gen MacBook Pro), but partly because I had already replaced the hard drive in it, and I knew how obnoxious it is to work on this model.

    Laptops are kinda like today's modern cars -- they're cramming so much stuff in the engine compartment that there's no room to work in there. They mount the oil plug in there sideways so when you take it out you get oil all over the undercariage (unless you're ready w/ a cut down bottle turned into a shield/funnel.)

    We've gotten to where we're almost a disposable culture -- it's cheaper to buy new things than to have most items fixed, and part of it's because of design choices that make things so hard to fix. (and the other is the cheap foreign labor ... you're not going to ship the item overseas to get it fixed, it's always going to be local labor, which can't compete with the labor costs from original assembly)

    oh well ... I guess I'll see some of you at IDCC, but I won't be tweeting or blogging.

  • I used this video in my LIS class to make the point that desktop machines are generally MUCH easier to maintain than desktops, largely because there's so much more space to muck around in.

    And to make students laugh, because class shouldn't be hell.

    I'm thinking about what to do about Buffle the 2007 MacBook. It's fairly battered, but still works more or less okay (Firefox beachballs it pretty easily, admitted). Now that Apple's fixed Keynote on the iPad so that it's realistically usable for a conference speaker, I may buy an iPad and try to keep Buffle chugging another year or two.

    See you at IDCC!