The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great


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Could I get my current BlackBerry fixed?

The tinkerers : the amateurs, DIYers, and inventors who make America great - Anaheim Public Library

The rep shook his head sadly. I felt his pain. Having grown up tinkering with Radio Shack electronic kits, I used to love taking things apart—radios, tape players, anything I could get my hands on.


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But in the last twenty-five years or so, the number of household devices we can easily tinker with has dwindled. I Googled my model number to see if I could find a more affordable replacement.

The tinkerers : the amateurs, DIYers, and inventors who make America great, Alec Foege

What I stumbled onto instead was a short video on YouTube. The video showed a pair of hands disassembling a BlackBerry and replacing the screen in a matter of minutes.

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One FedEx delivery later, I had my phone disassembled and its parts neatly laid out on my desk. My tinkering journey ended at the point when I had a working phone again.

Maker Event: Author Alec Foege on The Tinkerers

Perhaps the best example of the smartphone-tinkering phenomenon is the remarkable case of George Hotz. Hotz, a T-Mobile subscriber, wanted to use the iPhone with his existing phone plan. On his own PC, he wrote a new string of code for his iPhone, allowing it to operate with any wireless network. Hotz staked his claim as the first person to unlock an iPhone. This accomplishment quickly brought him both fame and notoriety. Where do we draw the line between tinkerers and hackers?

What role does tinkering play in contemporary society? How did tinkerers traditionally influence American industry and society? Do we still have what it takes as a nation of tinkerers to excel in the global economy? I believe the answers to these questions lie somewhere in the tension between corporate discipline and individual ingenuity.


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For many generations in the postindustrial age, puttering around with the mechanical devices that surrounded us was practically a rite of passage, and for many, a way of life. It tethered us to our machines and reaffirmed our notions of modern civilization.

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Deeply probing how things worked also provided children and adults alike with endless hours of enjoyment. It saved enterprising souls hundreds if not thousands of dollars on repair bills. It also often resulted in new and startling discoveries that sometimes led to fresh innovations. The blue box grew out of a simple love for playing around with gadgets and making them bend to the will of a few individuals. Rather they were engaging in the time-tested American tradition of tinkering with what was around them, and through doing so, exploring their potential for future innovation. The term itself has fallen out of use, at least in the traditional sense.

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Schrijf een review. E-mail deze pagina. Auteur: Alec Foege Alec Foege.

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The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great

Samenvatting The author of Right of the Dial presents a tribute to America's innovators that traces the nation's history through its feats of engineering, citing the achievements of individuals from all walks of life while challenging views about the reductions of innovations throughout the post-World War II decades.

Recensie s Anyone who is interested in innovation in the U. Tinkering remains a force to be reckoned with in the 21st century Laudatory history mixed with a provocative treatise on creating neat new things.

The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great
The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great
The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great
The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great
The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great
The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great
The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great

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