On repurposing old tech

Most people probably have a bunch of broken or outdated devices at home, most probably smartphones, and perhaps a few old laptops as well. So what do you do with them?

Me? I had a digital camera from 2003 which I disassembled to death. Prior to disassembly, it still works! Well, work in the sense of needing to be plugged in all the time and occasionally turning itself off every now and then, but work nonetheless.

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That is how it looks like disassembled, and I admit, I’m not a very delicate tinkerer. However, it still works even after reassembly! Well, minus the screen. I kinda destroyed it during the disassembly process.

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Over the years, I’ve also accumulated 3 smartphones. My third one, I’m still using. My second one, much like my old digital camera, has been disassembled to death. To be fair, it was already dead before disassembly, dead not in the sense of needing to be plugged in all the time, but dead as in broken touchscreen and a bulging battery. Yeah.

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This is as far as I went with disassembly, and I’m sure you can see the bulging battery from the picture above. Obviously, I did not attempt to reassemble it and simply threw it.

As for my first smartphone, it still works even to this day, about 8 years later. Battery drains crazy fast but that’s probably expected. I did attempt to disassemble it, but not very thoroughly. I’m not really keen on another death by disassembly.

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Yup, it still works even after reassembly. Not that I’m using it or anything, it’s just sitting on my drawer collecting dust right about now.

Similarly, I have also accumulated 3 laptops over the years. My third one, I’m currently using right now. My second one still works, though the battery life is short and I haven’t used it in a few years. And my first one is broken, I think the motherboard is fried or something. No, I haven’t done any disassembly yet, but I’m really looking forward to someday.

I’m not sure what prompted me to write about this, probably related to what I wrote in this blog post a few weeks ago about repurposing old tech. Or perhaps I’m just itching to do some tinkering on something.

On a side note, I want to make an observation in general. My first smartphone can be disassembled using a screwdriver, and so can my old digital camera. But my second smartphone? Nope, there are no screws on the outside. Much like my current phone and my already obsolete iPad mini, the whole thing is glued together.

It seems like, with the newer techs, they aren’t as repair friendly as their older counterparts, and with so many devices jumping on the waterproof bandwagon, I don’t think anyone would bother repairing or tinkering with their devices anymore, not that the manufacturers would want anyone to anyway.

On another side note, this video is amazing and well worth the 19 minutes on repurposing old laptops.

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