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Video: Go behind the scenes during a TR Dojo Cracking Open

Ever wonder how TechRepublic cracks open the latest tech gadgets? Bill Detwiler gives you a behind-the-scenes look at our TR Dojo teardown process.

Whether you support a piece of technology for your employer or just for family and friends, knowing what's inside the device can help. During this week's episode of TR Dojo, I give you a special, behind-the-scenes look at our teardown process.

Check out some of our most popular Cracking Open galleries:

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About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

18 comments
tech_ed
tech_ed

I find it funny that in today's day and age, people still depict photgraphs being taken by playing an auto film advance noise for the camera! Does anybody other than for artistic value use film anymore?

sharpear
sharpear

This is one of the best things I like about Tech Republic. I love TR Dojo and a big tinker'er myself. Keep up the great work. Is there anyway you can send me a link to your archives to look at all the things you have taken apart? Wish there was something like this for cars. It would save me a lot of cash if I knew how to do this work myself like electronics.

spork66
spork66

Sorry Bill - but been watching your vids for a long time and I still say that it should still be called the IT DOJO and you are and IT Ninja L8R

arjanh
arjanh

I worked as a security engineer at an ISP some time ago, and we had to test a special-purpose reverse proxy server. First thing we did when the box in question was on the table was opening it, and have a look at its guts. When we were done, we put everything back together, only to find it wouldn't boot anymore. Its tamper-detection had been triggered. Flipping through the manual we found a procedure to fix this, involving pushing two mini-switches in when closing the lid. It still wouldn't boot. So we logged a case with the vender, who came up with yet another procedure, which yet again failed.... In the end, the box was sent back, and was replaced by a newer model. First thing we checked on that box was of course the tamper-detection recovery procedure. It worked.

gchudyk
gchudyk

A memory seared in my brain: We were looking at a new IBM machine with nothing but rivets holding the case on. We were curious so my compatriot, without any kind of discussion/approval, took out our power drill and popped the case off in front of the VP of IT (our new boss). The equipment was on loan...we didn't own it. I remember my brain screaming "NOOoooo!" Everything turned out ok....except maybe my pants.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

That was either really bold or incredibly foolish. Perhaps both.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone like.author.displayName 1 Like

Awww...

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

This special edition was running a bit long so we didn't include the bloopers. Next week's episode will have them for sure.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

Huh? Since when did a D-80 have to "wind the film" after taking a shot? ;-)

smason
smason

You have to have cheesy SLR-wind sounds when depicting photos in a video. :) Kinda like the little black binoc-frame when depicting someone looking through binoculars in a movie.

TAPhilo
TAPhilo

Same reason why you hear lasers firing from ship to ship when viewed from space - you expect to hear them!

RockerGeek!
RockerGeek!

...one of the options should be "who hasn't?" LOL But seriously- this Easter weekend I thought I'd go home from school for a leisurely visit w/the family. NOPE. Dad and I took 2 old computers and took the best of both and made one big franken-pc. And upgraded RAM in my sister's laptop. I'm such a great daughter. In regards to the vid- Thanks Bill! Gotta love when you crack open the cracking open segment ;) Now if only you'd switch to Canon cameras.... =P

robertbrown
robertbrown

Bill, the sound levels come out really uneven in this episode. Thanks for the look behind the camera.

danekan
danekan

what are those devices in the racks supposed to be in the green screen data center? they look pretty fake

RockerGeek!
RockerGeek!

It's a green screen- that's what it's for, lol Unless they payed for expensive sound equipment and mics, a server/rack room would be FAR too loud to shoot these vids in. They're too loud to think in...

TAPhilo
TAPhilo

Could not tell if your multi-purpose driver was magnetic enabled or not. I find that having 1 (or more) of these drivers around that use magnetic tips allows large and small screws to be removed / replaced a LOT easier than a standard non-magnetized scredriver. The only place I recommend never using one is when tuning radios!

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Yes. The tips on most of our screwdrivers are magnetic. I realize magnetic tools and computer hardware can be a "no no". But, I've been using these tools for years and never had any trouble. Then again, I'm not rubbing the bits across our devices' various ICs.