I love using my iPad, it's like a sleek and elegant window to the online world. At least, until the moment my two kids dropped it while fighting because of Angry Birds.
After that, he has a long, choppy jagged fracture on the screen that stops him working properly and makes him less beautiful in the world and the more risky you cut your finger on using it.
These are issues that affect the phone the same as tablets - with people struggling with crushed screens thanks to official repair or replacement costs.
Unfortunately, it is an old iPad 2 and the cost of repairing it via Apple for £ 196.44, which is more expensive than my old tablet is actually worth it, so I do what most people would do and ignore it.
But the crumbling part was spreading, so after a few short months, I decided to try and fix it myself. After all, getting it repaired professionally will be a waste of money and it's not worth selling in the state it's at.
I found a YouTube video that promised to take me step by step through the improvements. I checked it and looked affordable, so we ordered a replacement screen kit, parked the kids at a friend's house and prepared to fix the daylight.
My home improvement efforts were unusual; It seems that a sizable piece of the world is fed up with gadgets that have to be fixed by others.
With several phones that lasted nearly two years before falling values made them improve the waste of time, more and more people wanted to fix these things themselves - but that did not seem possible. Or intimidating. Or dangerous. Or all three.
The research of the Soul mouldable glue brand shows that last year alone, Brits spent an average of 89.38 pounds to replace items they could fix. That's a total cost of £ 4.6 billion!
Only 33% of people said they made a conscious effort to fix things rather than throw them away and one in 10 people admitted to throwing away six items that could potentially be saved.
At the top of the removed list are kettles, phone chargers, phones and toys. And some of us spend money to fix everything professionally; Altogether, we generated over £ 381 million that made the iPhone screen destroyed anyway (good to know other people must have kids too).
But undeniably, technology becomes so complicated that many of us feel unwilling or unable to try to improve. That is something communities like Project Restart and various online forums are trying to fight; there is an enormous amount of information available that aims to encourage greater home improvement and confidence, no matter how incompetent you are to worry you will turn out to be that way.
Well, let me say two hours. In fact I also asked my husband for help with fiddlier pieces, and that was mostly a fiddlier piece, so it was more like four hours of work.
The Internet is our guide - YouTube video (on a different screen, obviously!) Gives step-by-step instructions that we must pause as each part takes us at least 12x the amount of time needed by the dexterous demonstrators.
It can not be denied, there are some oaths, some frustration, some fear and a big dent in our tea bags. But
Life! Much to my surprise, the iPad now works with its new screen and we only pay £ 12 instead of nearly £ 200. The touch screen works beautifully, but I would lie if I said it was a really professional job.
The worst is the shattered glass screen that goes everywhere and the frustration of watching the demo do it perfectly when it takes so much effort. It's best to turn it on and ACTUALLY WORK.
Due to our home improvements, we had to install a line of electrical tape at the top to keep everything in place - the glue in the repair kit was not safe enough (probably because I made a mistake). The 'home' button is also a bit skewed and requires extra compression to work - but both are minor issues compared to the screen.
In short, I will not do it myself because the iPad is worthy of respect, or if the warranty, or if I need it to be beautiful. But since it's an old tool that few people bother to fix, I'm very happy with how it goes!
The important thing is if we can do it, then many others can also do it. Maybe not everyone, maybe not at any time (it's very fiddly) but it's good to go before throwing stuff.
Doing it yourself
Our results are great. It would be sweeter if we did not need the tape in the end, but the important thing is our gadgets are working again and hopefully can last a few more years, if it's used gently.
Not just tablets, you can fix problems with crashed phone screens, laptops and much more from home - with parts and tools available on the internet for a few kilos.
If you want to try home improvement, it's a good idea to look for a Restart project in your area, although it's usually found in cities.
Glotech has some typical repairs or replacements that are worthy of scrutiny before you make a decision about the tool.
IFIXIT is also a useful site, sort of Wikipedia on how to improve things, with the community contributing to its guidance and guidance.