Yesterday I went to the Apple shop in Perth – always a fun experience – and I bought a new computer. I did this because my old one (four years old!!) is slow, and often reluctant to perform many of the jobs I ask it to do. The frustration caused by having to wait seemingly endless periods for the thing to load during many of the tasks I look forward to performing forced me into this decision to send yet more money Apple’s way. My enthusiasm diminishes, my blood pressure rises, and I shout obscenities at this inanimate object – obviously to no avail. Clearly this had to end.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Apple stuff, it has always served me well, it’s just that the pace of modern technological developments constantly overtakes the inability of the hardware to remain part of our lives.
This not only applies to computers. I recently had to replace a printer because the “ink pads are full – refer to Epson for advice” (message on the screen). On referral it turns out that that this excellent printer cannot be ‘repaired’ even though it is not broken. It has to be replaced. The cost of new ink pads is higher than a new printer! Epson, like all printer companies, make their money from selling ink. Fair enough. But do their printers really have to be made to only last 2/3 years? So – new printer was bought. We’ll see how long this lasts.
In recent weeks we have had a microwave pack up, a dishwasher pack up, a gas fire pack up, and an oven need replacing. None of these items was ‘old fashioned’ …. indeed the replacement new models are still available. All are well known brands.
It does set one thinking, though. We are in a world of built-in obsolescence. Keep the wheels of capitalism moving, keep money rolling around the world. Just the way it is I guess.
It set me thinking of my newly discovered situation. Built-in obsolescence? I guess it’s just the same for us humans.