On becomming obsolete
Sometimes as I sit here and look out through my cabin window watching winter transform into spring, it does indeed seem like the world is passing me by. I think that no matter where I am….be it a supermarket or an airport the ‘young’, (anyone under 50), of today are in a hurry and oblivious to everything but what is in front of them. At the supermarket the may be waiting in the checkout line but they are intensely focused on the latest text message on their phone and at the airport with their heads bowed, as if in supplication, as they ‘bow’ down to their computer screens. Whenever they do look up their faces a blank stair with their minds stuck in a far different reality.
Whenever I talk about how things were when I was young and they do look up at me I get a look that says, quit living in the past. I have no doubt to them become: out of date, no longer of use….’obsolete’. We are now living in a new age where obsolescence is built into not only humans but all the material things we purchase. So is it any wonder that those of us who long for the ‘good old days’ are also categorized as obsolete?
We now see that everything we purchase have a short shelf life. They are manufactured to breakdown and be replaced within a short span of time. The purpose of course is that the company manufacturing them can increase their profit by selling a replacement. This obsolescence is a direct result of the fact that we consumers demand bargain basement prices on anything we purchase. The manufactures in order to supply these products at the lowest price naturally turn to the cheapest labor and material they can find. This in turn gives us a product that is indeed low in price but also one that will have to be replaced in a short span of time.
Computer manufactures, and the reason for this posting, have found another way to make us give them more money…. upgrades and compatibility. They have unilaterally decided to constantly change compatibility between the computer it’s peripherals and software. There is never consideration given to the few of us who are totally satisfied with the system we have. The manufactures continuously find ways to improve or update their systems and then no longer support outdated systems.
As in my case when my ‘beloved’ printer died, what was I to do? To have it repaired would cost more than replacing it so I was forced to seek out a new printer. For those who have not been on this quest recently you will find that almost all new printers are WiFi printers, needing no hard line to connect to their computer. When I eventually found one that fit my needs I brought it out to the cabin and set it up only to see when the instillation disc was booted those dreaded words….”This software not supported by this operating system”. Apparently I have had my computer too many years and the operating system can no longer communicate with many newer programs.
Moral of the story… we the people are screwed. We demand the lowest prices and for the most part are getting what we asked for. However that lower cost comes with the burden of inferior short lived products. Or else we get a solid product, like cell phones, that once a year is rendered impotent by the next generation of “better” cell phones that we must have.
Maybe we should start demanding a product that
does what we want it to do
and doesn’t need to be replaced or upgraded every year.
Did I mention that I have a set of Craftsman power tools that I bought in the 60’s
and still works like the day I bought them?