There is only the Force.

The iPod touch is a descendant of the iPod Classic with a anodized aluminum frame surrounding the plastic touch screen and polished steel back cabinet. The attachment system is the same. Inaccessible little bastard aluminum clips. Same idea as opening a Classic; the back cabinet comes off, exposing the goodies underneath.

The iPod touch 2G is a whole new ball game. Departing completely from the Classic and nano framework. It resembles an anorexic iPhone.

The front is now completely plastic. The back is familiar stainless steel, only now, instead of meeting the front panel neatly, it is contoured and curved to fit over the plastic’s thin delicate rubber border. Think of it like holding a softball in one hand as opposed to a baseball. In one, the fingers bend up to the curve of the ball and point in parallel lines. In the other, the fingers point in paths that cross, much how the forces of Apple will move to encircle the globe to hunt down the last of the Resistance while Steve Jobs smirks serenely in his giant white polycarbonate castle which will be shortly upgraded to an anodized aluminum castle for security reasons.

If you want to open your $200-$400 iPod (which you may want to if yours is among the 3-5% that fail), you’ll need the following tools.

  • Exacto knife
  • Bench grinder
  • non-conducive Lubricant
  • small Phillip’s head screwdriver
  • Plastic spudger

ipod tools

The bench grinder is used to grind the edge off of the Exacto knife till it is sort of shaped like the end of a falchion. The point is sharp enough to cut paper, but the rest of the edge has between a 300 and 500 ┬Ám thickness.

The first step is to lube the crack with some specialized lubricant. Next, the tool tip is gently inserted into the crack and worked back and forth without breaking the rubber liner. The intention here is to separate the rubber from the steel casing. Next the plastic front is slowly worked up one corner at a time, by attacking the seam at the places where the clips lay. The greatest threat comes from the metal blade itself on the soft rubber. Pinching of the softer-as-silicone rubber is usually not an issue with sufficient lubricant.

Ultimately, this ends with the top left corner where the flex cable for the touch data resides and allows for a half inch of travel before it must be levered out with the spudger. Now we can unscrew things.

What I’ve learned from all this is that.

I’d make a terrible surgeon.

Maybe it’s the caffeine or lack of sleep. But I seem to lack dopamine in the morning. Maneuvering a millimeter-wide screw into a similarly-sized hole seems to be much harder the first or second thousandth time. If I miss, I’m at risk of scratching the LCD or ripping wire traces in the PCB boards. (Yes, there is more than one.)

I’d make a terrible Jedi.

Much anger I possess.

Apple engineers are bastards.

angry asian ipod

3 Responses to “There is only the Force.”

  1. […] about Steve Jobs as of August 10, 2009 There is only the Force. – tommy.lardbucket.org 08/10/2009 The iPod touch is a descendant of the iPod Classic with a […]

  2. A Match Keel Kiwi says:

    why, sir, what kind of lube would you suggest for this?

  3. Tommy says:

    (Assuming that question is serious): We have a special electronics lubricant.

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