Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Jun 2012 02:49 UTC
Apple After a proper teardown, iFixit concludes that the new MacBook Pro has no user-serviceable parts at all, which some think is a really bad thing. I honestly don't know - I mean, my ZenBook isn't particularly user-serviceable either, and my smartphones, tablets, and whatnot are pretty much entirely soldered together as well. What do you guys make of this?
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RE[2]: Sounds like a challenge.
by rexstuff on Thu 14th Jun 2012 22:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Sounds like a challenge."
rexstuff
Member since:
2007-04-06

I am not so sure that those are mutually exclusive.

Yes, in addition to being faster, lighter, stronger, etc, we lost the ability to do the service ourselves, but I'm not sure that that has to be the case.

Why can't we build a car or computer that is user-serviceable while still making use of the modern engineering that gave us these benefits?

For instance, I may not be able to repair an EFI module the same way I could a carbuerrator, granted, but why can't I replace it?

A modern car with user serviceability in mind may not be quite as fast or efficient or even as cheap, but I wonder if there wouldn't be a market for it...

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Sounds like a challenge.
by zima on Fri 15th Jun 2012 01:53 in reply to "RE[2]: Sounds like a challenge."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Why can't we build a car or computer that is user-serviceable while still making use of the modern engineering that gave us these benefits?

Because we don't want to pay for it. Such "simple" things as reliable (non-trained-user-reliable) connectors maintaining size, or withstanding environmental (as in, in the engine compartment) conditions ...it would add up. Plus there's the reliability of computerised control in safety-critical road conditions.

You most likely wouldn't pay for it:

A modern car with user serviceability in mind may not be quite as fast or efficient or even as cheap, but I wonder if there wouldn't be a market for it...

You wonder, not declare you would buy it? Plus, really, there is a market for it - notably in the form of military-oriented vehicles (but it's easy to get civilian versions), which are roughly that.
Oh yeah, and they tend to be quite expensive (well, unless you're willing to settle for something not very modern and without many comforts, like Niva or UAZ-452; closest outside such heritage is possibly Dacia Logan or Tata Nano, even quite cheap, but many people simply laugh at them...)


And really, keep things in perspective - yes, sure, it was a good thing that you were able to repair a car yourself back in the day, but mostly because they broke much more often in the first place (and actually, one has to wonder if a major cause of that were sub-standard repairs)

Edited 2012-06-15 02:12 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

zima,

I try to fix simple things like replacing a battery and lamps on the car myself. This is because the car mechanic is able to charge more for his time than I can charge for mine. I might not think about self-serviceability when buying a car, but I'd certainly be annoyed if I learned that I couldn't self service it due to manufacture locks.

I think the same applies to laptops, it's truly pathetic that batteries and ram can't be self serviced, although I understand the manufacturer's motivation for doing it when they can get away with it.

I may not be representative, but then again I don't think self-servicing is as niche as some people are making it out to be.

Reply Parent Score: 2

rexstuff Member since:
2007-04-06

If my glasses are too rose-coloured, mehtinks yours are maybe too tinged with cynicism.

It is certainly doable, and I think not as difficult as you imagine it. I think there are some people who would see the value of a self-serviceable car; perhaps not enough to make it marketably viable, but there are people who would pay for the ability to repair and *tinker* with their vehicles. If there weren't people like that, things like Linux and Arduinos and Raspberry Pis wouldn't exist at all.

So yes, I might buy it, if it could be made at not a significant premium, which I think it could be, if there was sufficient demand.

And I don't think that the old self-serviceable cars were really THAT unreliable. In fact, I tend to think that when the trend toward non-user-servicable vehicles took off in the 80s is when we really started to see a decline in quality and reliability. Don't make the mistake of comparing a 2010s vehicle with one from the 60s and concluding that user serviceability makes cars unreliable. That's hardly a fair comparison.

Nor am I suggesting to get rid of things like computerized safety controls, only to make them accessible to the amateur technician. Many modern cars are basically designed to lock out all but the dealer-certified mechanics; not even that modern, I remember I had a 94 Sable that required special, impossible to find tools to do even the most basic maintainance tasks.

Reply Parent Score: 2

clasqm Member since:
2010-09-23

... closest outside such heritage is possibly Dacia Logan ..., even quite cheap, but many people simply laugh at them...)


Got one, actually (called a Renault where I live). It's got EFI, electric windows, ABS ... Not particularly user-servicable.

Reply Parent Score: 1