Manuel Mantecon, who goes by Pichi, has several boxes stacked in his bathroom filled with iPod parts. When it’s time to fix one up for a customer, he takes the boxes down, including one shaped like a sewing kit that he refers to as his “iPod toolbox,” and refurbishes used iPods out of his bathroom in North Carolina. He works out of his bathroom because it’s a lot of moving parts, and he tends to leave a bit of a mess. “I know it sounds a little crazy, but it keeps everything out of sight,” Pichi said.
Pichi, 50, is currently out of the workforce due to multiple sclerosis but enjoys fixing up the classic Apple music players for people around the world, who find him through word of mouth or Reddit forums. In the last six or seven years, he estimates that he’s reconstructed hundreds of iPods.