2018: My Year of the Tech Teardown

Opening up a hard disk drive for the first time.

It’s been a while since I posted on this blog. Mostly out of confusion for what I wanted to write here since I’ve been trying to get my personal brand up and running on various other platforms. Was it an existential crisis of sorts? Yeah, I guess you could say that.

Truthfully though, I think I was trying to do things I thought I should be doing, rather than things I actually wanted to do. It was terrible for my motivation as a content creator and it dragged a lot of my ideas down. Sorry, past self. I promise we’ll do better this time around.

It took me a while to realize this and well, here we are now. So recently, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. About things I’m genuinely I’m genuinely interested in, and have decided to take a side project this 2018:

Opening up broken tech and learning about their insides.

Why Tech Teardowns?

Looking back at the things that interest me in the realm of tech and creativity, I saw two reoccurring themes: (1) I liked learning how something works and the theories behind it; and (2) I was fascinated with handiwork.

This became obvious to me while spending time watching the likes of JerryRigEverything (tech reviews from the inside), Defunctland (history and engineering of defunct amusement park rides), Techquickie (tech education) and TheScienceElf (retro tech experiments and history).

The more I thought about it, the more it became apparent that in everything I do, I always tried to understand what was behind it, fueling it to do what it did.

In terms of my fascination with handiwork, I recalled my various years of art class, the time I learned how to use power and hand tools during secondary school, and the spark I feel every time I tinker with my gaming PC.

I also remembered the time (was probably around 9 then) I had a toolbox for my toy cars: the Cyclone Magnum from Tamiya, and the Garuda Eagle and Garuda Phoenix from Bandai’s Crush Gear line.


Shout out to anyone who recognizes this.

Tech teardowns feel like a good mesh of these two things that trigger my curiosity. (Plus, it gives me an excuse to use the screwdriver kit that I paid way too much for.)

Getting This Project Started

Since the start of 2018, I’ve already been making strides to move forward with this project. Earlier this year, I managed to get my hands on two broken enterprise-level hard disk drives — one from my brother-in-law and another off a seller on Carousell, a marketplace we have here for selling secondhand goods.

These two drives, I’ve already recorded myself opening up. Not completely sure how to make use of the footage yet but I’ll figure something out eventually.

Moving forward, I’ve created a list for me to follow of tech items I want to open up. It’s as follows:

  1. PlayStation Portable (multiple generations)
  2. Any DSLR Camera
  3. Any Vintage Film Camera
  4. iPhone (multiple generations)
  5. iPod + iPod Touch (multiple generations)
  6. Multiple old cellular phones

To obtain these items, I obviously want to spend as little as possible — which is why I’m opting to buy most of them from Carousell since I’d be dealing with locals instead of having to pay tons for shipping off eBay.

I’ve also chosen to be mindful of the condition of each item I purchase. I’m deliberately buying products with major enough defects, even if it costs a little more. The reason being that I don’t want to do a teardown on an item in acceptable working condition without confidence I can put it back together.

I don’t want to diminish the pool of working old tech. Other people deserve to experience that item. I’d really like to see the next generations learning from these future relics of history.

In any case, while I figure out how to best approach creating both blog and YouTube content surrounding this little project of mine, you can follow my progress via my Instagram Stories. Currently, I’m trying to get my hands on a PlayStation Portable from a seller who stood me up the first time we agreed to meet…

If any of you have tips on anything in relation to this project, feel free to let me know. I’m happy to learn more from others in the community!

(Would be pretty awesome too if someone could donate some of their old tech items hahaha #jussayin)

One thought on “2018: My Year of the Tech Teardown

  1. Pingback: HGST Ultrastar AK72000 Hard Drive Teardown & Disassembly | PanickedPixel

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