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German breaks Apple anti-repair security

by on05 October 2023

The Nerd.Tool.1 liberates repair shops

An independent repair shop in Germany has invented a tool that can break through anti-repair locks Apple has put on a specific sensor on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

The Nerd.Tool.1 was invented by Stephan Steins of Dortmund's Notebook Nerds repair shop. It is designed to allow independent repair shops to replace the display angle sensor on broken MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops.

Apple insisted that it was the only one which could do the replacement because it had to be "calibrated" with the specific device. Apple apparently conducted special magical rituals at a particular time of the day and made secret offerings to dark gods which no muggle could do.  This meant that users with broken sensors had to pay Apple large sums to perform these rites to the elder gods.

This sensor detects when the laptop lid is closed, and turns the screen and fan off, and puts the laptop to sleep. If it's broken, the laptop's screen will remain on even when the lid is closed, which drains the battery, can keep the fans running, and generally shorten the life of the computer.

Nerd.Tool.1 recalibrates replacement sensors, allowing repair techs to replace them without any fuss. "We are calibrating new sensors nearly the same way Apple does," Steins said.

It is done via Apple’s apparently secure T2 security chip or its M1/M2 chips. However, nerd.tool.1 does the same thing. Apple’s sensor holds all the data and it is not serialized or paired to the logic board so we are just calibrating it."

 "We broke Apple's lock," independent repair advocate and repair pro Louis Rossmann explained in a YouTube video demoing the Nerd.Tool.1.

"To whoever it is at Apple who decided to not make this available to technicians, 'Fuck you, we win,'" Rossman said.

"We are selling the nerd.tool.1 to be able to spend time in developing other solutions," added Steins. "We will do our best to get nerd.tool.2 to fix other issues which repair shops are facing. The response has been awesome! The community is very kind, which shows how painful these missing tools are for many independent repair shops."

Last modified on 05 October 2023
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