Be your own DIY guru this summer! - Go55s

Be your own DIY guru this summer!

All work and no play might make Jack financially independent, but he’ll also be a total bore, so here are two very different websites to help you strike the right balance between labour and leisure as you while away the hours this summer…

iFixit.com

Take a look around you at all those fix-it projects you’ve put aside for ‘later’. Don’t despair if there’s quite a few piling up because thankfully there’s help at hand.

iFixit.com is the fabulously useful website that declares it’s the ‘free repair guide for everything, written by everyone’.

I’m not so sure it’s for everything (how do I fix my dog’s flatulence then?) but it certainly covers a load of paraphernalia – in fact, it can help you with over 21,000 different devices and has over 57,000 free manuals online.

Most of the repair guides are tech-related and deal with all makes and models of the usual suspects: cameras, laptops, phones and tablets, but there are also repairs for apparel, art, cars, swimming pools, toys and much more. It’s well worth doing a search if there’s something you need fixed.

Despite its potential to be a confusing nightmare (with over 157,000 solutions!), the website is surprisingly easy to use, and ultra-organised. It’s actually a version of heaven for those of us who love everything to be just so.

The four main sections are:

Repair Guides – learn to fix just about anything

Answers Forum – where you can pose a question or answer one

Community – where you can teach people to make their stuff work again

Teardowns – providing the curious-minded with a literal look at what’s inside a device

There’s also a Parts and Tools Store – perfect to get an idea of how much a repair will cost you, and also handy so you don’t have to hunt everywhere on the Internet to find the bits you need.

The repair guides are beautifully laid-out, with step-by-step instructions that feature both photos and words. There’s also information about the level of difficulty (sometimes you just have to accept that it’s time to take it to a professional), the time and tools required to complete the repair, user comments, the ability to add a repair to your ‘favourites’, and the number of people who have successfully used the guide.

If you’re so inclined, you can also create a guide to help others solve a problem you’ve already conquered.

This is the Internet at its best – a community made up of people from across the globe coming together in the spirit of sharing information and helping one another.

Movieo

Once you’ve done your share of repairs, it’s time to kick back, and what better way than with a movie … or 250,000!

Movieo is a free website that started out as a passion project, funded entirely by its creators, two friends who still work on it fulltime. Its aim is to take the pain out of deciding what to watch next by helping you discover, organise and track a quarter of a million movies from the comfort of your couch.

You can keep tabs on feature films by adding them to your ‘Watchlist’ (the ones you want to see) and your ‘Seenlist’ (the ones you’d like to see but haven’t yet),  but perhaps the best part is the ability to hide all the movies you’ve already watched or aren’t interested in. This allows you to visually surround yourself with only movies you’ve never seen before and enjoy the thrill of discovering some new cinematic gems.

Movieo also has a comprehensive filtering system, so if you input what kind of movies you’re looking for, it will find exactly what you need. For example, you can be specific and browse ’80s comedies with a runtime under two hours, or be more general and see everything that’s available on Netflix. The results will be automatically sorted by a mix of score and popularity from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, or Metacritic.

If you love creating lists then you’ve also found your dream website because Movieo helps you build beautiful detailed lists very easily. Their interface is big, bold, bright and simple, so you can create and share large movie collections in a matter of minutes.

You can also attach notes to titles in the list, which makes it perfect for recommending movies to your friends. Or if you want the world to know about your movie choices, you can publish a list that makes it go live across the site.

A word of warning though – this website is highly addictive and you may find yourself ‘going down the rabbit hole’ and spending hours sorting through all the amazing movies that are out there.

As American cartoonist Bill Watterson said so perfectly, “There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do”, but with the long, lazy days of summer stretching before us, perhaps you can find some time to tick things off your ‘to do’ list. Good luck!

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