MacBook Pro Retina display an “engineering marvel”

iFixit has taken apart a MacBoor Pro Retina display and the results are compelling:

“What’s astounding is that Apple’s engineers managed to cram four times the pixels of the previous 15″ MacBook Pro into a display assembly that is (nearly) the same size. The big savings here is weight, not thickness. The Retina display weighs in at 673 grams, while a standard 15″ MacBook Pro display tips the scale at 908 grams. That’s a solid 25% weight savings.”

To say that I covet one of these is a gross understatement.

How the Nook Simple Touch GlowLight glows

The NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight is a tempting e-reader from Barnes & Noble. It’s incredibly lightweight, small and portable. Every time I visit B&N, I’m tempted to buy one. The backlight is a nice advantage over Amazon’s Kindle, which lacks such a feature. But how does it work? The good folks at iFixit found out when they took at NOOK Simple Touch apart.

There are eight evenly-spaced LED lights across the top of the NOOK’s screen, and that’s it. Nothing on the bottom or sides. So how is the whole display illuminated evenly? A light diffraction grating built into the glass display does the trick. iFixit explains:

“This diffraction grating bends and disperses the light throughout the screen. Barnes & Noble really did their homework on this one, because instead of a simple linear diffraction grating (think of a bunch of parallel slits), it appears that the diffraction grating varies throughout the glass to evenly disperse the light.”

There’s a great example of constraints fostering creativity. Well done, NOOK team.

iFixit opens the new iPad

The folks at iFixit bought a new iPad in Australia, took it apart and posted beautiful, step-by-step photos of the process.

I met Kyle from iFixit two years ago at Macworld Expo. He’s a stand-up guy and told me about flying to Japan to be the first to get a device (I think it was an iPhone, but I’m not sure). I love people who absolutely adore what they do, no matter what that is. Kyle and his cohorts have that spark, and it’s great.

Now go ogle the iPad’s innards.

iFixit.org

Kyle and company at iFixit.com have announced iFixit.org, a huge project that has blown me away:

“We have been traveling to developing countries in Asia and Africa, visiting e-waste scrapyards and small repair shops, meeting ‘fixers’ who breathe new life into gadgets that the western world has tossed away, and photographing the journey. Part travelogue, part investigative reporting, part soapbox, iFixit.org promises only one thing: a clear-eyed, thoughtful look at global repair culture.”

What a brilliant, stunning, inspiring project. Congratulations and best wishes to all involved. I’m very excited to watch this grow. I met Kyle at Macworld Expo a couple of years ago and walked away thinking he’s a real stand-up guy. This confirms it.

iPhone 4 repair manual

The folks at iFixit have compiled the insight they acquired while breaking down/re-assembling the iPhone 4 into a comprehensive (and unofficial) repair manual.

I’ve relied upon iFixit for years, and the detail in this manual is a great example of why.