Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 30th Jan 2018 23:36 UTC

Third party phone repair shops say that phone makers like Apple and game console makers like Sony and Microsoft have effectively monopolized repair, using their size and power to drive smaller companies out of business.

Verizon and Apple have worked in union to thwart such bills in several states, but traditionally don't like to publicly talk about their lobbying on this front. They now have another state to worry about, with Washington State considering their own right to repair bill, created in the wake of outrage over Apple's decision to throttle the performance of older phones to (Apple insists) protect device integrity in the wake of failing battery performance.

I've said it a million times by now, but I see no reason why computers should be treated any different than cars: PC and phone makers should be forced to publicise the necessary information to allow third-party repair shops to repair their devices, all without voiding warranty.

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Maintenance and Maintainability
by on Wed 31st Jan 2018 03:06 UTC
Member since:

Have you tried working on a car built in over the last 2 decades? Pretty much the only thing I can still do on my car is basic maintenance. I once burned up the computer on 1999 Jeep Wrangler (my fault), and the thing became a 3500-lb paperweight. That being said, my current car is also infinitely more efficient than any vehicle before it. At the end of the day, the tighter tolerances come with less maintainability.

As for electronics, the driving force behind this lack of maintainability, at least in my opinion, is miniaturization. Why have multiple chips (80x86 + 80x87) when you can have a single one that includes your CPU and GPU? Why have a DIP processor, when you can have a FBGA one?

I'm not saying this is good, but it is the trend. Even more so since most people do not give a damn if they are able to replace that battery or not.

Reply Score: 3

daedalus Member since:

I tend to drive older cars, and haven't come across any problems getting parts from a dealer. Up until recently I was driving a VW Golf GTI that was just about 20 years old, every dealer could still get parts. Some more unusual parts (like ECUs etc.) would take 2-3 days to get but most standard parts would be there the following day, and service parts were still held in stock. I guess it changes depending on where you live...

Reply Parent Score: 3

Drumhellar Member since:

I once burned up the computer on 1999 Jeep Wrangler (my fault), and the thing became a 3500-lb paperweight.

There are a lot of parts where, if damaged, turn a car into a paperweight - long before cars had computers integrated everywhere. You just replace the part.

In the case of an ECU, it's easy (Probably one of the easiest things to replace, actually), the same you'd do if you have to replace a damaged engine cylinder or a borken axle.

On the Wrangler, it's just a box that has large blocks of wires plugged in, and the ECU itself is just attached to the body by four small bolts. Easy to access.

Reply Parent Score: 2

dbox2005 Member since:

Plus you can buy a cloned device from China and program the ECU to be recognized without any prejudice. This is what Chinese are good at : cloning the genuine well spent dollars on locked in technology they can easily get around to unlock.

For sure I am always buying something if I can have some sort of back door open if needed.

Let others pay for their stupidity ;)

Edited 2018-01-31 19:34 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

bhtooefr Member since:

ECUs can be locked down pretty tightly due to the integration into vehicle security systems, on modern cars (hell, on a 2000+ VW in the US, or earlier in Europe, you need a code that came with the keys, and on 2004+, that code is no longer accessible without either using shady tools to pull the code out of the instrument cluster, or the dealer has to look it up in a central database).

Reply Parent Score: 3