I’m a very technical person and if something is broken, I’ll give it a shot and try to repair it before declaring it dead. It can be something as simple as cleaning dust from the inside of a laptop to re-lubricating its fan to avoid replacement, replacing a broken or dead component with a new one with basic repair by doing a component swap to more fine ones like replacing a swollen and leaking capacitor by re-soledering a new one. It’s nothing deep level electronics, but I’ve fixed quite some devices with next to none expenses. Laptops, LCD monitors, graphic cards, hair clippers, vacuum cleaners, you name it.
And one thing I’ve noticed over the years of doing this is how manufacturers keep on doing this asshole design thing where they hide screws under rubber feet or device stands. You unscrew all the visible screws and you start prying the device housing apart and you see there is still some absurd resistance somewhere. And then you tear off the rubber feet and behold, more screws underneath. I’ve seen that on almost every single laptop in existence and it’s so god damn infuriating. There is already 8 screws visible, why is there a need to HIDE 6 more under the feet? Just recently I took apart my HP laptop that has two long rubber strips as laptop feet underneath. One strip had 4 screws hidden underneath and other one had 2. On top of like 5 visible screws. Why HP? WHY?!
Then I was fiddling with my ASUS router. 2 visible screws and 2 screws underneath rubber feet. Again, why ASUS. WHY?! Couldn’t you just place the screws NEXT to the rubber feet so I don’t have to tear them off and fuck up the double sided tape used on them?
Third, every single frigging mouse that I’ve ever had. Oh, you want to clean all the dust and grime from hands out of the crevices and wheel on the mouse? Sure, you can open it. Except fucking screws are always UNDERNEATH the mouse glide feet (mouse skates). If you take them off they’ll be deformed and essentially fucked up, essentially ruining the mouse. No one cares if screws are visible underneath. They are on mouse belly. They can be visible for all I care, at least I could take it apart and clean it properly without destroying it.
Fourth, this one is outside of computer world, but still an absolute asshole design. I wanted to take apart my old Reminton HC5600 hair clipper that I was using for my beard. Granted, it’s old and Li-ion battery in it could hardly survive two beard trimmings, but I thought, I’m just gonna buy a new Li-ion cell and replace it. Yeah, that would work if device wasn’t designed by an asshole. Yes, it was waterproof which I expected to make things more difficult, but not with the outer shell. It had outer plastic cosmetic shell with actually sealed shell for motor, circuitry and Li-ion cell within it. But getting to this internal water proof shell required you to unscrew 1 screw on the outer shell next to the charging port to get inside. Which was hidden underneath a plastic cover that I couldn’t dig out even by digging a flat screwdriver into the plastic and literally digging it out several millimeters in depth of the case and I still couldn’t even see that screw. The outer shell screw was essentially sealed under several millimeters of plastic. So I said, fuck it and tore it apart. It broke off exactly where I was suspecting the screw was. What’s most ironic, you need to fuck up the outer shell because of asshole design just to reach internal waterproofed shell that is put together with 2 screws and has a rubber sealing around it and all that easy to access jazz. WHY?! Why the hell would you make internal one this convenient to take apart, but make outer shell impossible to open without fucking it up beyond being usable again? Why Remington, WHY?!
I’ve been reading all this EU “right to repair” news for smartphones and how they want to make them easier to repair. I sure as hell hope this bill or law or whatever it’ll be called will affect other devices as well, not just smartphones. I want these hidden screws under rubber feet to be gone. And I want these asshole case designs that are purposely made so that you can’t repair it without destroying the device. I had to throw away a device that only required replacement of a Li-ion cell that I could easily do it myself. Instead I ruined it because it was impossible to take the case apart without destroying it. And don’t get me started how many times I broke off or cracked something plastic on laptops because screws are in most asshole places on purpose? Coz there is no way in hell anyone would put them there because it would make sense. They put them there coz they are assholes and they don’t want you to repair things yourself.
I really hope EU pushes this through and forces manufacturers to stop doing this shit. And I really hope it won’t be only for smartphones, but for all electronic devices.
2 thoughts on “Manufacturers, stop hiding screws under rubber feet of devices!”
Very good post. I am also angry about this…