Death of a Tinker

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It’s a classic image of yesteryear Dad, the tinker in his workshop.  Dad’s domain was the yard and with his tools he maintained and beautified his yard for all to see.  His turf was everything under the hood of a car, all the things that could be hit by a hammer or cut with a saw.  That domain has been shrinking since the 40’s, 50’s and every year hence.

Perpetual_Motion_by_Norman_Rockwell

The brutal truth is that the same men who created the ideal, also added a layer of complexity to the things they created.  The next generation took those things, and improved them as well.  Think of the Model A from Ford.  It started as a workhorse and ended up a hotrod.  Now cars are so complex it requires special degrees to design them and intense training to fix them.

1929_Ford_Model_A_Fordor Goodwood_Breakfast_Club_-_Ford_Model_A_hotrod_-_Flickr_-_exfordy_(1)

It’s not impossible to work on a car, any motivated individual can dive right in, however most don’t.  In fact, all that complexity has added unprecedented reliability.  The average person doesn’t need to know how to tinker with cars.  Given some basic maintenance most cars will run for hundreds of thousands of miles.

There’s a small debate going on about “repairability scores” and their necessity in the modern world.  It caught my eye when the new Kindle Fire and Microsoft Surface each got extremely low ratings for repairability.  So low in fact, for most people, it would be a better use of time and money to replace rather than repair these devices… THEMSELVES.

That one word in all capitals is the key to understanding the debate.  If you’re not a tinker, you won’t understand why anybody would ever want to attempt a repair no matter how hard.  You’ll probably just want to replace the device instead.  Let me offer up my services as a cheaper alternative.

Unless you have an unused upgrade, it’s often more cost effective to let a professional repair service fix your smartphone or iPhone.  If you’ve got insurance on that device, double check the cost of your deductible and don’t forget to factor in all the money you’ve already paid into the plan.  Finally, what’s it worth to have the repair done right away?

In reality the tinker isn’t dead, that’s just a linkbait title and I apologize for that.  The idea of the tinker has changed from a traveling repairman, to casually breaking the car and now casually breaking your phone.  Don’t worry, we see a lot of improperly repaired devices.  We’ll help you out, and I promise… we won’t judge.

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