Early last week, my wife dropped her iPad on the driveway with predictable results: the screen shattered - which also sums up my wife’s feelings on the matter. (By the way, she isn’t normally affected by accidents like that - she was only upset that it broke because she uses it every day; which lends further support to the growing body of evidence that iPads and other devices like them are the future of computing.) In fact, the only thing that could match her gloom was my enthusiasm, because a broken iPad means that I get to fix an iPad - and there isn’t really anything an engineer likes more than tearing stuff apart (for science, of course). (Title’s making more sense now, isn’t it?)
Oh, the humanity!
I ordered a replacement screen and "iOpener" tool kit from iFixit (incidentally, the iFixit guys were in the same class as me at CalPoly), which arrived a few days later. Their instructions warn that replacing the screen is very difficult, and should be expected to take a few hours.
I didn’t find it to be as hard or take as long as they warned, taking almost exactly two hours. With the exception of the heating pad, the other tools that came in the iOpener kit (guitar picks, blue plastic prying tools) were not very useful. Because the screen was shattered, I had better success with an exacto knife, a small hobby knife, and the spudger tool from iFixit.
Since I knew it would take a few hours, I hooked up my DSLR camera to my computer as an intervalometer set to take a picture every 15 seconds. Without further ado, here is a video of the whole process, compressing three minutes in every second of video.
My mother says I look like Charlie Chaplin, but I don’t see it…
Realized that I’m wearing my “glass half full” shirt in the video…serendipity, because I hadn’t planned the title of the article when I did the repair. Also shared my story on iFixit.