My short bio: I have a store in Manhattan. I teach component level electronics repair on youtube which seems to be a dying art. I am currently fighting with the digital right to repair to try and get a bill passed that will allow all independent service centers access to manuals and parts required to do their jobs.

My Proof:


I am still replying to comments, but I am so far behind that I am still about ten pages down from new comments. I am doing my best to continue. If I drop off, I'll be back tomorrow around 12 PM. Still commenting now though, at 12 AM.


Ok, I cave... my hands are tired. I will be back at 12 PM tomorrow. It is my goal to answer every question. Even if it looks like I haven't gotten to yours, I will do my best to do all of them, but it is impossible to do in realtime, because you are asking faster than I can type. But thanks for joining!

EDIT 3: I lied, I stayed until 4:15 AM to answer... and now I will go to sleep for real, and be back at 12 PM.

EDIT 4 6/12 : I will be back later tonight to finish off answering questions. Feel free to keep posting, I will answer whatever I can later this evening.

Comments: 5971 • Responses: 103  • Date: 

tombiscuit2335 karma

Love the videos and thank you for making them. I work as a independent Apple tech support doing what you might consider low-level stuff (hardware upgrades, OS/software fixes etc). How do you deal with:

a) clients who believe the one thing you did messed-up something clearly unassociated with the repair – is there any "final word" thing you say?


b) clients who won't go away and always have just one more question – but often not enough to start charging them for?

larossmann2570 karma

a) This is where having a salesman comes in handy. I can spend 30 seconds telling them the truth and they want to burn my store down, or I can spend 15 minutes with them and they want to give me a tip. It really comes down to how you say it, how you spend the time investigating the second "issue", and how you explain yourself.

As I say this business is 5% soldering and tech and 95% psychology.

b) This depends. If they are well paying clients, I'll help them. If they are nice people who just want some additional help who acknowledge that I am busy, I'll help.

If they are not reasonable/nice people, then I will make my answers more and more curt, and go back to multitasking as much as I can. People really often mirror the amount of attention you give them. For people who have no sense of tact and fully comprehend that they are wasting someone's time when that person is very busy dealing with other things, I just stop treating them as human. I might go to the bathroom while they are in the middle of explaining something, turn the air compressor on, etc. Once someone makes it 100% obvious they are trolling me, I troll them back. I never act disrespectful - I won't yell at them, raise my voice, but I will troll them. :)

HeWhoCouldBeNamed2247 karma

Has fixing Apple products gotten easier or harder over the years?

larossmann4105 karma

Harder. Everything gets smaller, more glued together. The biggest issue is finding parts, LP133WP1-TJAA for the Macbook Air is over $200 from most vendors now.. this is a screen to what is now a five year old laptop. It's BS. There's no reason for this to cost so much, someone in Taiwan is getting rich off this shit.

HeWhoCouldBeNamed1690 karma

Wow. So they're getting closer to the point where it's better to buy a whole new computer?

larossmann2806 karma

Yes. It's bullshit. There is no reason for that screen to cost what it does.

OfficialRavenspire1001 karma

Or as fragile as it is, it's cancerously thin :(

larossmann2298 karma

I get making it thin, and I get it being fragile... but fuck give me parts to fix it!!

Kar_WrecK1711 karma

Hehe, he said 'but fuck'.

larossmann4266 karma

butt fuck often comes to mind when discussing dealing with apple.

Benthetraveler75 karma

Isn't it just possible that demand is so low that they don't produce a whole lot of em anymore?

larossmann288 karma

low demand for the 13" macbook air. i would sooner believe "jlo ass" has less demand on google image search!

crclayton1033 karma

What do you think the best argument against the right to repair is? Your response?

larossmann1546 karma

The best legitimate argument against it is the ambiguity in the bill itself, followed secondly by the idea that intellectual property rights are being infringed.

I fully believe in everything the bill suggests. There is no way that this is going to lead to intellectual property being copied... every smartphone out there already looks the same, every laptop is slowly starting to look the same and this has nothing to do with schematics. The reality is that most machines are using the sample circuit from the manufacturer to do everything anyway.

Like, the boost circuit for backlight.. it looks the same as the sample circuit in Texas Instruments' LP8550 datasheet. Same for the TPS51125. It's almost the same thing, there's nothing special or unicorn-like in any of these schematics. It's just needing to know which is which on the board that I am asking for.

I would say ambiguous language in the bill. They use the word fair all the time. Who determines fair? Me? Jessa? Apple? Tim Cook? A federal judge? A state judge? The president?

nikomo350 karma

Like, the boost circuit for backlight.. it looks the same as the sample circuit in Texas Instruments' LP8550 datasheet. Same for the TPS51125.

Texas Instruments literally has a switch mode power supply design tool, where you plug in your input parameters, and their tools spit out a readymade design for you to use.

Enter Vin, Vout, and Iout, press "Start design", wait, click "Compare all part types", and it has a shitload of different computer-generated designs for you to use.

You don't even need to open the datasheet in order to make the IC work with your product.

larossmann290 karma

engineer in a webapp.. loving it.

Dylan335i345 karma

Yah it's laughable to me. If "lowly" repair people can get their hands on these documents what makes apple think that their competitors cannot do the same. The only thing they do is slow the progress of those attempting to help their consumer. But it's understandable Apple is under that we are gods and everyone is trying to dethrone them mentality. They get so sue happy whenever anyone with a concept similar to something they've done that the tech industry as a whole gets held up. Note megnetic chargers.

larossmann605 karma

If I can find the document after 10 minutes of googling than yes Acer can too. The idea that these documents are the key to everyone in the world cloning the Macbook and offering it for $5 is ridiculous.

Cole7rain161 karma

Do you think it's possible intellectual property may be hindering progress more than helping it?

larossmann502 karma

in this case yes. No one can build a macbook off of what is in the schematics alone. the idea that this is possible is bullshit.

lowertechnology1011 karma

Ok, so I've fixed iphone 4's, 5's, 5c's, and 5s's.

My iPad Air has a cracked screen. Easy to fix, or let a pro do it?

larossmann1870 karma

It's a fucking nightmare. Just have someone else do it. I don't even have screns in stock right now so I am not trying to profit off of you. Tablets like the Nexus 7 have screens that are simple, but iPads for the most part are clusterfucks to maintain/service if you have never opened one before.

maschlue209 karma

I recently switched out the screen on my 2014 Samsung Note 10.1, just curious: is that thing one of the harder or easier ones to repair? I switched out the whole assembly, screen+digitizer after getting a deal on the tablet since it was broken.

larossmann360 karma

I've never opened one to be honest.

MuseofRose140 karma

what do you think of aftermarket non-OEM parts from china? I know they tend to function the same but in one case I had for an lcd replacement it felt less able to stand up to abuse. Do you preer to stick to OEM parts for this or use whatever gets t he job done.

Also i just got here but this is a good ama. tons of interaction

larossmann310 karma

fuck that shit. you mean the screens that crack easier, or where o and P are the same button on the touchscreen... no thanks.

nattylife122 karma

I have nexus 7 2nd generation with a broken screen. Is that something I can do myself or take to a fixit place?

larossmann243 karma

you can but get good adhesive, getting it to stick down properly will be difficult.

bigbrain009920 karma

Question A; What is the hardest thing you've ever had to repair?

Question B; What is the most ridiculous damage you've ever been asked to repair?

larossmann1629 karma

A) this is difficult to say. there is physically difficult, and then there is mentally difficult. I would say tracing down the RTC circuit fault here was one of my proudest moments.

From physical point of view,

for question B cat piss. I used to do that but not anymore. I have enough money. fuck fixing cat piss damaged machines. or puke, or any of that shit.

octopornopus146 karma

I had a customer come in for "water damage" on his iPhone 6. Only after opening it, and getting a whiff of a chemical scent I remember from my construction days, did the guy admit it had been dropped in a port-o-potty...

larossmann116 karma


davewinkwink665 karma

What kind of microphone do you have? Your video audio is super crisp.

larossmann883 karma

DPA4065. Most USB microphones sound like shit. I used a Shure WH20 until I got this, which sucked, then an SM35 which sucked a little less. I like the DPA4065.

nbd71270 karma

I can give a +1 for the 4065...I've used it on a number of occasions and never had to do a lot of work for it to sound good.

larossmann97 karma

it is the best headworn mic I have ever seen or used

miyakami630 karma

How did you get into electronics repair? How long have you been doing it?

larossmann1175 karma

Proper "repair" since 2007 or so when I started getting a paycheck from Avatar studios after a very long free internship process.

Just screwing around since I modded a playstation with a mail order soldering iron in a friend's basement with some really shit guide I got from IRC around 1997. If people think my soldering is bad now.. god if only I had pictures of the first PS1 I modded. I am surprised that steaming pile of garbage even turned on.

wontonspecial548 karma

You're everything I want to be and more. Tell me your flaws.

larossmann936 karma

too many to count

Alex1851011544 karma

So the charging cables always break for every device. Is there an easy way to fix them?

larossmann1212 karma

No, they cost nothing, just trash. I recommend startech lightning cables for iPhones because they are almost impossible to break. The original cable is trash.

For macbook chargers I don't try to fix them. People don't want to pay $65 for a new charger, so what... they want me to fix the old one for $5? I can't do that, it makes no economical sense.

The magsafe chargers are pretty shit in terms of build quality, but again, it's Apple, what can one expect?

McLovin-541 karma

If your channel got big enough would it/ could it replace your business?

larossmann1684 karma

It's one of those things where you have to go back to the content I create. Most of it is about

1) Business philosophy 2) Customer interaction 3) Component level electronics repair

If you take away my business, what would I do content about? I am not a vlogger. I may make a video every now and then with the cat or something silly like juicing at work but I am not going to film myself brushing my teeth or browsing facebook and making my bed... I respect people's right to upload whatever they want, but IMO that type of content is worse than AIDS.

I have to have a topic to discuss. And it can't be some bullshit where I try to find things to discuss so I have something to discuss, it has to be something that comes naturally.

People keep suggesting I do reviews but no sane company would ever send me free shit to review. And when I look at the items people suggest I review, they are like a month or two of YT income.. it would make no sense to do reviews at this time.

canchume437 karma

Hello big fan from Mexico, I have a question sort of , I'm planing to open a business like your In my city because I'm tired of the ones the exist only reflow stuff and tell lies to their customers, what equipment do you recommend me for the beginning? And my approach to the people? Thanks keep it proud of you

larossmann643 karma

This is a little too general. For tools, this video. See description for itemized list.

For people, have an of service mentality. I like to poke fun of a LOT of silly customer behavior in my videos, so it gives people this idea that I hate everyone and everything.. and I don't. To be successful in this business you must have an of service mentality. Whether you are fixing studio gear or laptops. As a studio tech, my goal was to ensure people did not notice the gear. It just works. I am of service to them, if they record an amazing album without noticing the gear, I have done my job. Here it is not about fixing specific circuits or how I glue something in. It is about being of service to the customer, solving their problems, and making them happy. So long as you have a goal in mind to solve people's problems and make them happy you're good.

You will have to cherry pick customers here if you take on my mentality. I can't take on miserable pricks, because my goal is to solve problems and make them happy. Miserable people can never be happy, so I don't take them as customers.

Manndude1413 karma

With your shop in NYC do you actively advertise? Whether on social media, through videos, or even print? What have you found to be most successful?

larossmann775 karma

word of mouth and a website that ranks well. For 3 years I didn't have a sign. As michael carvin says(someone I will be interviewing in the coming months), brain surgeons don't advertise!

I interviewed all my early clients about what they found important and what their concerns were, and put that stuff on my site where it easily showed up. That gave me a lower bounce rate, higher google ranking, and that's what really mattered.

OfficialRavenspire186 karma

On a similar note, what did you find was the best way of advertizing early off when this repair business was just starting off, I've been finding that's been the hardest thing for me

larossmann362 karma

i put ads on backpage/kijiji/classifiedads and other sites that all linked back to my site, and the ads were for specific services, not jack of all trades style ads.

danyheatleyallstar402 karma

How many components do you accidentally suck up through your air filter in the average week?

larossmann1083 karma

More than gradeaundera says cunt in the same period of time.

codewired399 karma

On average how much sleep do you get daily?

larossmann901 karma

4-6 hours. Even if I go to sleep at 8 PM and don't have to be up until 11 the next day, I don't fall asleep until 1 AM. Then I wake up every 2-3 hours and can't get back to sleep for an hour. It's been like that since I was a toddler. I hate sleeping, and waiting to fall asleep.

jryanishere235 karma

I am in tech. I have been an independent consultant my entire working life, 100% word of mouth, 100% self taught. I can relate to the immense amount of fuck ups incurred early on to get where I am now. I built my reputation by being blunt yet easy to talk to, affordable, and solving weird and complex problems in a timely fashion. We seem to be wired in a similar way.

So as a follow-up to the other guy's question, I too take forever to fall asleep and only sleep 3ish good hours while spending several tossing and turning. I seem to have energy throughout my day, but how in the hell do you get going in the mornings?

larossmann346 karma

an alarm rings and i wake up. i also own my business so i can open at 12 pm if i see fit to.

KommanderKitten134 karma

Are you the only one doing any type of repairs? Or do you have any underlings doing menial things?

larossmann495 karma

i do board repair and data recovery. the rest is done by my incredibly talented receptionist, who deserves sainthood from putting up with my shit for these past three and a half years.

KommanderKitten25 karma

How many employees do you have?

larossmann46 karma


RomanTheOmen10 karma

Try taking melatonin, it puts me to sleep like no other.

larossmann20 karma

doesn't do shit :(

eatMagnetic352 karma

Why did you decide to repair Apple products? Was it that there is a bigger demand (and also higher revenue) than other devices? Is the situation about schematics and diagnostics tools from (for example) Samsung as difficult as for Apple?

Really enjoying your Youtube-Channel (and also "non-repair" stuff on there!)

larossmann847 karma

A few things.

a) Streamlined product line for parts stock. No one is willing to wait more than a day anymore, if even a day anymore, for anything. If I tell someone it will be done in 2 days they will run out mad. So I can't fix anything where I have to order parts most of the time, because it will piss people off.

I can stock three LCDs and be good for two years. With PCs there are so many different models of this that and the other thing... there's no way to know what's inside half the time without opening it. And there are thousands of different PCs.. it's not possible to stock everything.

b) Money. Apple machines hold their value better(why is beyond me since so many are made like shit), people paid more for them, so they are willing to spend more to fix them. So I can make more money off the same skillset.

It's easier to stock parts for them, and it's easier to get people to pay for repairs. It's not because I like them, it just makes business easier.

firstrival214 karma

You keep saying Apple stuff is made like shit. So who do you think makes well built alternatives?

larossmann518 karma

lenovo high end thinkpads, but then you have the spyware shit to worry about :(

kbm15351 karma

Why do you use so many flux?

larossmann836 karma

If I use too little flux, I have to get more.

If I use too much flux, it still works.

It saves time.

Yumidex351 karma

Non-electronics related: What is your favorite drink? (non-alcoholic and alcoholic)

larossmann1384 karma

Alcoholic beverages taste like garbage. When I do drink, it is to get hammered, and I find they all taste like shit. I stopped drinking last year though.

My favorite regular drink is water. I am boring.

CptCmbtBts277 karma

You seem exceptionally knowledgeable in your field, and I was wondering: if you have any kind of degree or if you just have industry experience?

larossmann606 karma

No degree, I failed out of college repeatedly, under different circumstances each time. I'm not as intelligent as people give me credit for.

MilesSand35 karma

He talks about "flunking out" of college in his videos. He basically studied Electrical Engineering for a few years, and dropped out before he started his business.

larossmann57 karma

i never got far enough to do any ee.

DHSean275 karma

Have you gotten any weird internet fans coming into your store or stalking you?

larossmann582 karma

Yes, it sucks. Everyone here has known for years, even before I had a YT channel, that allowing a call to get to my phone means getting fired. I love my staff but it's one of those things. I get that people want to talk for 2-5 minutes and ask questions but it's not sustainable, multiply that by 100k people and when would I fix anything?

But even before that anytime someone asks for the business owner by name it's bullshit. a telemarketer, a bogus collections person, etc. there has to be a very good distinct reason to get to my phone.

in terms of actually following me I believe most know better than to do that.

hexxal241 karma

How was meeting Linus? What did you talk about with him?

larossmann521 karma

We talked about the industry, the dfi-street and OCZ days, and his career history. It was a little weird at first. He came in to say hi. Then walked right back outside, and had some dude following him with a camera to record him coming in as if he had never come in before. It was so weird, kinda like being on the set for a movie that you are interrupting, except they are filming the movie in your office. it was the complete opposite of any video I've done with jessa.

He's a nice guy. I have nothing against him. I just hate the reflow myth and he happened to be the one discussing it one day...

but otherwise really nice guy.

Non-Polar335 karma

Then walked right back outside, and had some dude following him with a camera to record

No hate towards Linus, but this is why I enjoy your channel. Just talking to the audience as if we were in the room just chilling instead of being treated like a TV audience

larossmann466 karma

they each have their place. his channel is very successful doing what he does, and his audience loves him for it.

one thing he said, he makes it a point to not discuss any type of political issue.. tech politics or otherwise. i can respect that. probably why he has many sponsors while there's no one who would ask me for a product review/sponsor with a 10 ft pole.

linus has a vision and he follows that vision to success. a lot of people don't do that. we have different visions, but that's fine.

kingbane60 karma

i think maybe linus did that so he wouldn't be surprising you with a camera. he goes in to say hi first so you know he's here then he brings the cameraman in afterwards? i dunno. it just seems more polite then going in with a camera before giving the person a heads up or something.

larossmann109 karma

Oh I definitely appreciate it, but the entire filming strategy made the meeting just kinda weird.

I don't do a lot of start and stop. I hit record, and just do everything as one piece. Recording with the start and stop and start and stop thing made it an experience I have no idea what to do with

Ipadrehab219 karma

Ask you anything? Sweet. Will you admit that Jessa is a better microsolderer than you :) Congrats on the AMA. This should be fun.

larossmann259 karma

Jessa is jealous that I am and have always been the "looks" of PBRS!

Jessa_iPadRehab406 karma

Because dudes that want to come to board repair school are motivated by eye candy in the form of another guy? You might be the biceps of PBRS but I am the tits.

larossmann331 karma

I can draw the alphabet with my tits in the mirror. Maybe this will be my next YT video.

Almighty_Sir_FapAlot204 karma

So, what are you working on right now?

larossmann744 karma

reddit questions

alex_dlc182 karma

What are your thoughts on the repairability of future electric cars and autonomous vehicles?

I'll add a copy of the message I sent before I knew you were doing an AMA:

"Just saw your new video and it made me realize that car repair will soon change drastically. Up to now almost every car has functioned on the basic principles from the invention of the car, they have changed, but only gradually. But what will happen to all these unlicensed car mechanics when society transitions to almost exclusively electric cars and/or autonomous vehicles? Will companies like Tesla for example release plans and schematics showing how their cars work? Or will they lock down their resources like Apple, making it increasingly difficult to repair cars? I really hope we don't get to a point in the future where people will not even be able to know how the things they use work."

larossmann898 karma

Apple plans on making a car. If anyone thinks the right to repair bill is about laptops and phones only they are deluding themselves. This is about everything. Time machines, hospital gear, hovercrafts, etc. Everything that will come out in the next few hundred years. We set the precedent now.

Electronics always came with schematics. Devices have always been designed to be repaired. It is only in the past 10-20 years that this don't-fix-anything BS became popular. People need to realize that this is not the norm, that this is the problem, that a very very very small part of our history as a species was spent in the dark when it came to repairing technology and it is time to have it come to an end.

Vinep181 karma

Has Apple ever directly contacted you because of your videos? Telling you to stop with threats of a lawsuit or anything of that sort.

larossmann490 karma

No but I know some day some BS like that will come. It's one of the reasons I don't consider YT a real job. Someday the thousands of hours of time I have put into recording, editing, preparing all of this will all have been for nothing. The benefits of it will live on in the people who repair items and make livings for themselves off of what they learned while I go bankrupt fighting lawsuits.. but I'll smile from my jail cell knowing I was responsible for that.

Manndude1144 karma

What are your personal thoughts on iFixit's Repair certification? Do you think it will even be necessary if the right to repair group is successful?

larossmann392 karma

I think it's BS. Jessa and I will fight to the end on this. I respect everything iFixit is doing with the right to repair, I do. I understand the need to have a certification to make people feel better so that the bill can be passed. It serves a purpose - "see, we're trying to make independent repair legitimate."

but like any certification, cmon. This is like A+, or net+, just BS that no one considers relevant.

The beginning of the end is when certs come in. It'll just be another piece of toilet paper that no employer cares about.

One must also consider the average salary involved in doing cellphone repair for others. It's like $10-$12/hr plus tiny commissions.. I'm not paying out of my pocket for a certification for some $10/hr job.

I am very cynical when it comes to certifications because of one's ability to pass the test and still be completely useless as an employee.

Surf3rx131 karma

Do you ever think you're ever going to find a replacement for your position? Every time the discussion comes up you always go into the story that "engineers" don't want to take a job with that low of a pay for the work they have to do.

You say you're not special, but your circumstances and position seem to be unique to say the least.

larossmann293 karma

I doubt it. I am pretty sure I will have moved onto doing something else for a living before I find someone that I can legit leave at my desk and expect to do the job properly.

Everyone doing this who is really good is part of the island of broken toys. We're good enough to figure all of this out but too "broken" to fit into regular society. I feel I fit into that mold. When I look at these diagrams, even if I don't get every little thing, I see a story. I know there's a story in there, and I always find it.

But I can't find the story in pre-calculus, or freshman chemistry. and I have no time nor inclination to write essays on the difference between "tradition, culture, and religion" so I can pass a lame history class so I can take a major in college(that I'd probably fail anyway).

So I figure out how to make money with the skills I have, and they apply very well here. I can combine the things I'm good at

1) Figuring out circuits using analytical thinking 2) business strategy 3) Salesmanship 4) Good understanding of how to deal with difficult people

The combination makes it fun.

Now there IS the possibility that someday YouTube monetization makes so much money that I can hire someone at an "Engineer's" rate to do my job, but that would probably fuck the profitability of the business, and at that point it would make less sense to continue doing this... unless doing this was the source of the YT monetization. I mean, I could see if this literally became more about content creation than just the profit/loss of consumer electronics repair.. if I log into youtube one month, see people are still stoked about seeing repair videos, and see that I'm making $20k/mo off YT, then sure I could hire a qualified replacement.

I'm not sure though. You never know what the future has in store. :)

Karavusk93 karma

I really dont think that the one who replaces you could make youtube videos about it. Most of the people watch your videos (even the repair videos) because of you and not because we want to learn how to replace a chip we have never seen on a laptop we will never buy.

larossmann150 karma

look at the ifixit videos, people were watching the most uninformed drivel for years because of MJ and the "appearance." since she left the views took a staunch drop. i don't have videos with views in the millions.. but a cute girl does.

if i replaced myself with a cute girl, i wonder what it'd do for views.

but it's not in the cards for me to even think of such things.

cpr05122 karma

What are your cats named? And any tips on getting broken hardware for cheap then fixing it because I can do basic soldering.

larossmann634 karma

Mr. Clinton and Blackberry. Mr. Clinton used to rape all the stuffed animals and cats when I picked him up, so I named him after Bill Clinton, the real life pervert. Blackberry can't meow, she just makes these little brr brr noises in quick succession, so I named her after my old blackberry 8330's default ringtone. :)

Broken hardware for cheap, I dunno. craigslist nad 3020/old marantz amplifiers, find electronics recyclers. There's one dude on ifixit protalk, john bumstead, that knows 1000x more than I do when it comes to contacting recyclers.

fahim9280191 karma

Dude, you should get paid for naming cats.

larossmann110 karma

one day!

ZeeJaz9500121 karma

Who is the most annoying customer to ever enter you store?

larossmann333 karma

There are so many I don't even know where to start. I guess the most annoying people are the people who don't understand what you are saying but have tons of questions. So they're paranoid, they're concerned, but you can't answer their concerns because of either intelligence barrier/language barrier. The ultimate trolls.

quiteflatnotice65 karma

The way you word things makes me happy. I just wanted to say.

larossmann61 karma

I'm glad to hear it.

Throwaway_4_opinions118 karma

Obvious shilling question, what is this right to repair bill thing? Why does it need to be fought, and what does someone who does not bother repairing stuff for a living get out of this?

larossmann384 karma

Look at your cellphone. If the battery dies, do you want to be told you have to buy a new one outside the warranty period? This is the worlds we will soon be living in, and it will be applied to EVERYTHING

Apple want to start making cars.

Think about the cost of healthcare... people send me thing sin the mail saying they use my videos to help them troubleshoot medical equipment. Some of these machines cost $100,000. You know why hospital bills are so high... because when the 100k machine dies, they don't replace the $1 transistor in the power supply, they buy a new one.

This has far more far reaching effects to consumers than just iphone and macbook repair people. Technology is continuing to evolve. We will have hovercrafts and time machines and shit someday... we should have the right to fix them :)

tweelix104 karma

Hey Louis, You talked a bit about people in america being unable/unwilling to do anything they aren't qualified to do. Do you reckon this could have anything to do with the insane culture in america of suing anyone or anything for the stupidest reasons? Like a bathtub company could get sued if they don't warn buyers not to drown themselves in it like the munchcakes they are. thanks k bye

larossmann158 karma

That is part of it, but I experience this a lot with employees. With employees there is no issue of being sued, and the issue remains. On average, people born in America seem to give up faster and have less overall drive to solve problems without specific training. I say this as someone born in America... I had to beat that attitude out of me a long time ago.

ScHn3tZ4t0r103 karma

A lot of your Videos are about how Apple is doing everything they can to make it hard for you to fix their stuff, but what was the most ridiculous thing any Company did to prevent you or others from fixing this stuff? Really like your Videos, I watch every new Video and listen to old ones when playing CS GO :D

larossmann164 karma

I like to think that the entire design of the Neve VRP by Siemens after they took the company over from Rupert Neve was a troll of service technicians.

But here, I dunno. Not making any parts available. Turning the backlight circuit UPSIDE DOWN on the only board I do not have a boardview for was a pretty good troll by Apple. the 820-3476 and 820-4924 use the same backlight circuit for the most part but on the 4924 the backlight circuit is literally inverted on the board... you could not imagine how much cursing occurred when I figured that out the hard way.

Riwukas6997 karma

Greetings Louis, any advice on how to stay positive in life even though I have a depressed mindset most of the time? Thanks in advance, big fan of your videos!

larossmann238 karma

find something to occupy your time that you feel benefits the world in some way. it works for me.

Manndude194 karma

Whats the worst repair you've ever actually fixed. I've heard stories of you and jessa stacking caps in random places to get the job done, but they were played off as normal fixes. Whats the worst?

larossmann132 karma

NopeNotAnthony68 karma

Louis! How has today been for you so far? Also: at what point did you want to start your own business and how did that work in the beginning?

larossmann172 karma

in laptop repair after four days of working at laptopmd. they made me destroy a laptop for someone who was only willing to pay $250 for board repair after I fixed it. fuck that. I only get $40/laptop I fix, I fixed it with parts I found from a dead board in the junk pile, that's $210 for the shop for doing nothing.. and instead of letting me collect $40, and them collect $210, they make me break it. the salesperson there was shit, I would have gotten them to pay $300 for the same repair with a smile, and if I failed to do so, would've just taken the $250 they were willing to pay on the intake survey. They had a soldering iron that was $5 from radioshack and the tip was fucked up, so they gave me sandpaper to fix it.. instead of buying a real iron. like seriously????

it worked out like shit when i was making $100/week, it was working out better when I made $1000/week. as with all small business starts, if you start with no money, it is a nightmare. you run a ponzi scheme on yourself. i bounced 2 or 3 months of rent from my slumlord to buy parts at one point.

xfstef65 karma

Hey man! I love your videos and I completely support you in fighting for our right to repair our electronics.

My question is: If I would attempt to make a casual game about opening and running a computer repair business, would you be willing to chime in with some feedback and ideas for it ?

larossmann123 karma

if I ever find time, sure. I haven't had 2 consecutive days off from work since march 2014..

telvana64 karma

Long time viewer here, since you had like 2-3000 subs (I think), I get a kick out of your straight to the point no bull approach to repairs and customer service. It's something I strive for myself as it's obviously working for you.

A.) I'm an Apple repair / PC repair tech myself, who's in a very small building (probably almost as small as yours, 800 sq. feet, yours might be smaller) How do you deal with the small area? Customer flow, personal space, equipment space, etc? I've seen in some of the videos that you stack things, keep things organized, etc but I've never seen the 'customer area'.

B.) I'll be in NYC in July, do you have any qualms with someone just stopping in, looking around, maybe buying something, saying 'hello', so long as they don't bother you too long? I've always wondered how you deal with that, as I'm sure you've had people who watch your channel show up and just try and kick it while you're obviously busy.


larossmann118 karma

who needs a customer area? i don't want people feeling overly welcome to sit and wait around all day. there is a front where they walk in, there is a little "Table" that is covering the radiator my landlord won't let me move where they can put their stuff down.

having a huge fancy customer waiting area and no space/equipment to actually fix shit is the problem with most repair places and why they are not profitable long term. i need room for myself to work. screw having a big waiting area.

my idea of managing with a really small space is to constantly be aware of what is in front of me. I am always moving things around to make room for myself, and to keep track of what i am working on

b) it depends on the day. if i have 50 boards to fix or a student here i can't make time for people. sometimes i do, sometimes i don't, it just depends on the day

mvilcis34 karma

What's your life schedule like? What do you do after getting up, going home?

Do you have any friends or a girlfriend?

Do you legit hate Material Design? Why?

Sorry if some questions are too personal, tried to be as... compassionate as I can.

larossmann74 karma

I have no schedule, I make it up as I go. I work whatever 80 hours a week I choose!

I get up, make myself some broccoli, cut an avocado, shower, then leave for work or something.

I date but no girlfriend.

I have a lot of acquaintances. I have a lot of people who call themselves friends when they need something. I have very few real friends - they're crazy busy like I am so we meet up once every 2-3 months when we have free time and discuss what we're doing to take over the world. :)

I have no idea what material design is.

Pee_body15 karma

"Material Design" is Android's current UI design guideline.

What model phone do you use currently?

larossmann18 karma

moto 3g, it is liquidproof, fast, and cheap.

redemption202130 karma

As a person who is not in the industry but is interested in helping support the effort to have local repair shops fix my appleware, what can i be doing to support that movement?

larossmann53 karma

what mark said!

35wes29 karma

What is your viewpoint of CompTIA certifications?

larossmann116 karma

They're worth less than the paper they're printed on.

Muffinizer126 karma

What computer(s) do you use personally and why?

larossmann79 karma

sorry to copy and paste but i just put this above.

some haswell 4 ghz, 16 gb ram, piece of shit asrock board that causes hangups and reboots(at work and at home, fuck asrock), amd r9 390, all slapped together terribly since I have no time for my own tech. I will upgrade it when I make over $200k/year. I am a cheapskate, I don't invest in anything that doesn't return me money unless it's good food, personal speakers/headphones, or... well that's about it.

In terms of laptops i gave up. Lenovo's new lineup is all garbage. when they fix it I will buy a laptop again.

forkl20 karma

Lenovo laptops have gone to complete shit. I've personally sold about 10 of them since christmas and 8 of them have come back for faulty screen cable (flashing display) Also had an issue with 'lenovo usb blocker' software that caused a BSOD after a windows update.. Lenovo have really gone to shit :(

larossmann23 karma

i don't even have a laptop right now. it makes me sad. i wanted a t520 successor, i got the t440p and hated the trackpad, i put the t450 trackpad in it and it never worked right.. and the new models are just complete shit


numpads and off center keyboards


dbcooper00725 karma

Hey Ross, love your videos and straight forward attitude. I'm a recording engineer so it was cool to hear that you worked at the iconic Avatar Studios. Couple of questions-what were some of the most memorable sessions going on when you worked there? And do you ever get into building mic pres or doing interface mods such as Black Lion Audio? Thanks!

larossmann62 karma

I never did that stuff with 002s.

In terms of Avatar, oh man. Eliane Elias always had amazing music seeping through the door. I didn't get to sit in the rooms. My job was to make things work. If I ever was in a room, it was because something didn't work, and the only music you heard was the sound of a producer about to have their foot up your ass since they're spending $3000/day to work in a room where something doesn't work.

Phil Lipscomb once put my frustration into words.

"My job is to hear amazing music through the walls. Someone will bring me something. I finally make it work, but then have to give it away so someone else can make cool music with it, but what cool music do I record with it? None. :("

Phil was such a cool guy.

Jamarlie25 karma

What was your worst customer ever like? I mean, surely you have had some people heavily declining they never spilled their soda, but what was the most annoying/bitchy/generally shit customer you've ever encountered?

larossmann60 karma

People who hear something different than what you say.

People who blatantly try to scam you.

People who are REALLY REALLY PARANOID, and ask a lot of questions, but there is either a language or intelligence barrier that prevents us from communicating.

Shore_Student22 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA. I've actually enjoyed a lot of the flow that you're done in your videos. What differences have you noticed in a repair job that you have done off-camera compared to one that you did while on camera? This could be in terms of time to make a repair, amount of time researching a specific problem, level of confidence you have approaching the issue etc. Thank you again!

larossmann68 karma

doing it off camera takes 1/4 the time. The reason I think the channel repair videos are popular is because I approach nearly every single problem from the point of view of someone who is clueless. so I walk you through the logic I am using in realtime. This is like watching a rerun of the same show over and over again, and makes doing the videos less fun over time. However, it means that any electronics ignorant individual can click onto any video in the series and catch on, without having to watch every video that came before it, and that makes it appealing, so I do it. and that seems to be working out well.

but it makes doing the repairs take forever.

i would get home a lot earlier and have much more time for my life if I didn't do YT videos.

satisfiedbuzzard17 karma

Is there anything that people outside the state of New York can do to help with the right to repair bill?

larossmann42 karma

Call the senator. Tell them you will support them if they support the bill. You don't have to say you are from NY, and you don't have to say you will vote for them. I like being vague in these situations. They will be happy to have "support", and you can give "support" in many ways... like in your mind :)

MentalGamerz16 karma

Hi, Louis. I love your videos. Just one question.

What is the one event in your life that you feel changed your life for the better?

larossmann103 karma

When I let go of thinking about getting back at the people who hurt me and started focusing on bettering myself. Everything fell into place.

SwagDrag133712 karma

What 3 things should people do to take care of their computers/laptops better?

larossmann75 karma

Stop spilling shit on them Stop dropping them Stop spilling shit on them!!!

gkaykck10 karma

Great job on videos, even as a software dev, i've learnt much from you. Thanks 😃 The question is, is this your dream job? Do you really enjoy fixing other peoples mistakes? If not, what would you do instead?

larossmann30 karma

When I was 17 we had to fill out this page to leave high school. It asked what I wanted to do when I left high school, I wrote retire. So that's my dream job. Retire.

I originally wanted to be a psychologist, then a loudspeaker engineer, then a recording engineer, then whatever the hell.. I enjoy helping people out where no one else would help them out, figuring out problems, and making money. Anything that combines those three I'm all for. It's not about the specific job, it's about whether it has those elements to it.

StraightFella8 karma

Hey Mate. From Queensland, Australia. Find you to be pretty cool. Also sexy, do you ever bat for the same team?

larossmann20 karma

I am not homosexual, but there's nothing wrong with that.

leclittoris5 karma

Maybe you may be able to help. I have a very old iPod classic, maybe 2nd or 3rd gen. This thing is packed with movies and songs, but hasn't worked in 2 years now. I'm trying to resurrect it, is there any hope? It doesn't charge at all. How much am I looking to spend?

larossmann8 karma

More than it's worth to be honest. We stopped working on those a long time ago just because you can find working old iPod classics for under $30 on craigslist. Since repair price has to be a percentage of the total cost of the device, and Manhattan is one of the most expensive places to run a business in the U.S., there's no way for us to economically repair them.

The second issue is that the spare parts market for long discontinued devices is filled with fakes and junk.

When you say hasn't worked, is there any specific issue? Like it clicks, or the battery drained faster until one day it died? Or just random?

secretchimp-3 karma

If you mail it to me I can take the hard drive out and send it back with a USB adapter to pull your media off for like 30 bucks or as a thumb drive for 40

leclittoris3 karma

Ehh, sorry man. I'll just wait till I find someone local with credibility towards an offer like that.

larossmann2 karma

You can try NYCipoddoctor if he is still kicking, his number is 6462023935. I just don't have any of those adapters anymore. His name is Demetri, very nice guy.

SlyDragonArtist4 karma

Do you play any games? (Dota 2, War Thunder, Overwatch etc.)

larossmann10 karma

I suck at DOTA and will some day make the time to get as good at it as I was when I was 17 :(

DarkenedSerenity4 karma

As someone who's not the most tech savvy, what do you think is the best (free?) way to learn? (High schooler)

larossmann11 karma

I have a YT channel!

drjankies3 karma

Louis, I love your videos but I know fuck all about repair.
I just think you are fun to listen too.
You seem like a nice person deep down and I love how positive you are.

I wanted to ask what is the one MacBook model I should avoid at all costs?

larossmann6 karma

any model with a GPU

the original macbook air with MCP79u, fuck that piece of shit

Zarowny3 karma

From where/what did you start learning test engineering from?

larossmann7 karma

I don't even know what test engineering is!

LazyChemist3 karma

What type and brand of flux and solder do you use?

larossmann5 karma

Amtech NC-559-V2-TF and Kester 24-6337-0007

MeistroRL3 karma

How did you decide to move into a store?

larossmann19 karma

I was working out of a place where I traded an agreement to fix all the studio gear for free in exchange for free space. When they changed ownership, I complained about one of the idiots who told me to put PA speakers in a mix room so there'd be "more boom" (no fucking professional mix engineer wants $100 JBLs from the rehearsal room on their desk). I was cleaning my bathroom at the time and managed to liquid-damaged-phone-dial the idiot after he had called me and he heard the entire convo I was having with a friend at the time about why I think he is an idiot. He was at the grammys with 15 other people and his boss and had me on speakerphone. I got a call back from his boss about how he'd kill me and my family, etc, just a bunch of stupid shit that was all BS

So I move into this little space next door that was recommended to me, for $3300/mo. By the end of the year I found my store which was a few hundred more, didn't require sharing space, was ground level, and moved.

You have to have a lot of business before you open. It's the same with recording studios. You don't open a recording studio and pray that business shows up. You open a recording studio because you are so busy that you can't book time fast enough at other facilities, you need your own space.. so you open.

but the idea of opening a store before you have a client base is nuts IMO unless you just have stupid amounts of money

NoireFox3 karma

What's are the specs of your personal PC and how often do you find yourself upgrading it?

Love your videos :D

larossmann11 karma

some haswell 4 ghz, 16 gb ram, piece of shit asrock board that causes hangups and reboots(at work and at home, fuck asrock), amd r9 390, all slapped together terribly since I have no time for my own tech. I will upgrade it when I make over $200k/year. I am a cheapskate, I don't invest in anything that doesn't return me money unless it's good food, personal speakers/headphones, or... well that's about it.

Dylan335i2 karma

I often find myself needing replacement drives for these devices (the proprietary ssd) do you or anyone here know of any good sources where your not paying $1 / GB for used drives?

larossmann4 karma

If you are talking about the PCI Express SSDs inside the newer airs and retinas, no idea. They are total ripoffs. They cost more than $1/GB. It makes me sick

kevdog37002 karma

will you ever do a podcast?

larossmann12 karma

I don't see what would make the podcast different from YouTube. I guess a podcast is YouTube without video. The YT videos are not scripted or thought out beforehand. I have a topic and everything just flows from there, so it's kinda like a podcast.. I think? If you have any specific suggestions about what would make the podcast different, I'll take them here.

DynamicDoge2 karma

Hi, Louis Rossmann!

Regarding the recent Apple story about people's right to repair their devices, what would be your advice for new revolutionary tech startups for them to not follow Apple's path?

larossmann7 karma

Don't become douchebags over time. It's that simple. Apple didn't start out this way, they became this way over time. They used to be the underdog, now they're the douchebags.

saint19972 karma

Hey Louis, big fan. What are the specs of the computer you use to record your videos on?

larossmann3 karma

hex core haswell 3.3 ghz(quad core haswell at home 4 ghz), asrock motherboard that causes crashing like a lot of shitty asrock mobos do, r9 280x(r9 390x at home). it's a shittily built machine because i have no time for my own stuf

thecatfox2 karma

Hey Louis, I'm currently an EE student interning at a data acquisition company in Texas. I've started using Altium design tools for circuits, which I'm not sure you've used or not, and have gotten a good hang of the basics. I understand all about components and what they do, but often times I have no clue why certain components were chosen for the job e.g. sizes of capacitors (no matter whether they're electrolytic/tantalum/etc.), sizes of resistors. Do you have any resources you would recommend for this subject?


larossmann4 karma

Real design engineers. Read posts from design engineers. I like the diyaudio forums because you can read posts from people like john curl, etc, who have actually done something with their life. The EEs that live in their parents' basement until they're 50 all troll on my channel comment feed... ignore those ones. The real EEs, I mean, that design real stuff! Find them.

loonyduck12 karma

Hi Louis! Started watching you this month and I'm absolutely loving your content.

How much did it cost you to be able to actually start offering logic board repairs? Yes that cost can include time if you want.

larossmann3 karma

it depends what you count. the total investment in getting involved in this project, including youtube, tools, starting a partnership with another guy that i dissolved mid-way, etc, was about 30k. but i spent it in $30-$300 increments or so over time, with the occasional high dollar purchase.

jehuty18122 karma

Hey man, watched your videos for a while and I really enjoy what you're doing, learned alot. I gotta ask though, how do you work at that desk?

If I don't have at least enough free room to stretch my arms out and forward I find it impossible to solder cleanly let alone align a new part.

larossmann4 karma

It's a New York thing. You have no idea how small the spaces I've had to work in are....

Every other space with space is $10,000-$35,000. I don't have money for that shit. I will work where I can afford to work. When I'm rich I'll get a bigger place, but when I'm rich I might not be sitting in an office soldering RTC circuits back together with magnet wire either.

Kyuskenai2 karma

Hey Louis,

I just recently got into your videos, and you've really sparked an interest in me doing this as a living. However, I have little to no money to get anything off the ground and my credit is horrendous and can't get a loan to save my life. Are there any tips you might be able to give to someone looking to start doing what you do for a living?

larossmann4 karma

My credit score is in the 400s. You have to be creative when you're broke, and that is your unique journey.. I explained one of the things I did to get a store in this video. before that just waiting for the right opportunities, working my ass off, and not being afraid to do something like walk into a rich dude's office while wasted and tell him why he was an idiot for giving money to someone else instead of me... but that is a long fucking story

apexjnr1 karma

Lewis, dude i love you, you're a really good source of sensible topics, anyway onto the question.

Have you ever had an employ with depression and if so how did you respond to it?

I had depression once for a very brief time it was the first time i had identified what it was and i found out it was actually not the first time i had it, it was just the first time i identified it, my problem was caused by my potential incoming failure + anxiety when not being able to complete a task on time, i eventually called for help and my boss simply told me it's ok to miss the deadline i never wanted to put you in that position/emotional setting.

larossmann2 karma

I have. They wound up getting let go but for reasons not depression. Stuff like showing up late, or screwing up sales to csutomers/not doing their job.

the thing is I have had depression many times in my life. both the chemical type where your head just tells you to be sad for no good reason, and the type when things go wrong like you lose $30k in a day, or you find out a family member committed suicide, or you get audited... shit can suck. i have to come to work and just deal with it. so i can't really tolerate it in people that work for me, because if I do, then I have to tolerate it in myself, and then it all goes to shit. I try to have a happy environment and I do my best to make the day go by in an entertaining and carefree manner, but I can only do so much.

blbil1 karma

How do you feel about your recent YouTube subscriber growth? Is being a YouTube personality something that really interests you, or are you content with it strictly being a side-project of sorts and just focus on your business?

larossmann3 karma

YT started as a form of therapy. If I am full of shit about something, I will realize that while talking into a camera when it clicks that millions of people will be able to hear my thoughts and ideas.

I like the idea of helping people out who started where I did. My channel is a guide for the younger version of myself, that if I could make available to the younger version of myself, would have made my life much easier. It's cathartic for me.

The reality of the world is that I have to make money so yes if I am putting time and effort into editing/recording/explaining things on camera and 2-5 hours a day now into replying to people's messages and comments, I will click the monetize button. But I didn't do this to get rich or make money. I'll TAKE the money no problem... but money wasn't the motivation.