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Built-in Obsolescence

Discussion in 'General Software & Hardware Forum:' started by Jimlad, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    I've just upgraded from Mac OS X Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion. And while that alone isn't worth discussing, a point it has demonstrated is.
    Some things are even shiner, the scrolling has switched directions (which I'll just have to get used to), and I've noticed a big improvement in performance (now, now, don't be so dirty-minded). But here's the rub: Certain programs like my ancient version of Office (occasionally I do require it) no longer work as Power PC blah blah no longer supported. Now, I can use other things besides Office, no problem there. VMWare Fusion is now out of commission too though.
    So, yes. To the point of the topic. Everything is built and designed to become useless and need replacing later on down the line. Discuss.
     
  2. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    believe it or not windows xp/vista/7/8 has less of an issue than os-x has in this scenario because fundamentally the os hasn't changed, it's still using the x86/x64 architecture unlike os-x which switched from risc (power pc) to x86/64 which at the very least required some sort of emulation to work older programs.
    Now don't get me even windows (well the companies doing the drivers) stop supporting some items, my scanner stopped being supported after xp (although you can get software which supports it - a new scanner is cheaper lol).
    But my switch from xp to windows 8, via vista and win 7 has been fairly smooth on the software front, had a few which needed updating to a newer service pack but that was about it. Windows 8 from windows 7 had no issues on my main programs and hardware that I use because at it's core it's still win 7 and can use it's drivers :)
     
  3. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    Was that a general statement or one that was specifically related to your post and Mountain Lion?
     
  4. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    It's a statement supported by the rest of my post. Things are designed NOT to last these days, and to become purposely obsolete. The point about a new operating system not supporting older software was an example of that. I'm using a thing that happened as a springboard to spark debate about an issue we all know exists.
     
  5. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    Yeah a general statement then. You're right, things aren't designed to last these days. It's like shoes, they're designed to look great and perform reasonably well, but then they go and put these ridiculously thin soles on them which wear out after a couple of months. Whilst it's not the end of the world, you've got so many people going around saying "Yeah! These only cost me £15" They don't seem to realise that they have been hooked onto some incredibly wasteful (resource wise) service of continuously replacing their shoes. People seem to be generally more inclined to spend less in the short term and more in the long term, even though it's not doing anyone any favours.
    In regards to computers, well, it seems like you're frustrated by the lack of support for software, which on it's own and over a long period of time (2 - 4+ years) shouldn't be anything to worry about but in your situation I think you have a right to be annoyed.
     
  6. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    Shoes are an excellent example, Squiddy. Though it amazes me that people will pay £120 for trainers that will last no longer than a £35 pair of converse. I'm just talking about street wear here mind, actual sports people should buy the gear for the job.
    Once upon a time (when everyone wore, you know, SHOES) you'd get them re-heeled and fixed up. My dad has shoes in excellent condition older than ME!
     
  7. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    ah the old tradition of quality clothes/shoes.... that went out with the invention of rubber....and 'cheap' consumerism combined with 'fashion' changing so often for purely commercial reasons.
    Clothes don't suddenly stop being usable if they're no longer in fashion...
    You can still buy a good quality pair of shoes like Jimlad's dad has but they're not cheap anymore, it's arguably a dying art, shame really as they'll last unlike current shoes.
     
  8. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    A quality pair of shoes is the next thing on my shopping list. I've been in that cycle of "meh, may as well get the £10 Primark shoes as they last just as long as the £35 Converse." For a long long time.

    Don't think I've had a pair of shoes that lasts over six months in ages. Saying that, I tend to buy multiple pairs of cheap shoes.
    In regards to computers and technology. I feel the same. I got my IPhone 3G about 3 years ago. Fair enough, you're meant to change your phone every 2 years or whatever, but, about a year ago (maybe 2 years after getting the phone) Apple stopped releasing updates for it. Then inevitably, it broke to a point where it's pretty useless.
    I have a feeling that's the way everything is going. With their new iMacs, you can't update the hardware yourself. They'll just expect people to buy new again every time they release a new model.
     
  9. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    Ooh I'm still clinging on to my 3GS, thankfully they're still supporting it, so I've little incentive to get the 5 or anything else yet. Still got my 1st pair of converse only just starting to fall apart at the 3 year mark, so they've done well. Lasted longer than much more expensive trainers I've bought in the past, ironically.
    Oh and about those quality shoes...
    http://youtu.be/43owLHNnf9o
     
  10. wac

    wac Senior Member

    I bought a pair of shoes from Primark for £5 and they lasted less than a week before the soles got holes in them. Based on the usage/cost ratio they were the most expensive shoes I've ever owned.
    Back on topic, all technology will fail sooner or later but we are seeing more and more products which have extremely limited shelf lives. It either breaks or stops being supported or a newer model comes out and it's no longer cool to have it out on the train.
     
  11. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I think that whilst businesses have caught on to the fact that people are in fact very unaware of long term costs and highly likely to make more frequent (and overall more costly) smaller purchases, with the way things are going at the moment, socially, politically and economically, I can't see this lasting for too much longer. Western over indulgence and wasteful attitudes will only be a viable option for so long. Sooner or later resources are going to dry up and even if they don't people will become aware of this farce of a system and start making more informed purchasing decisions.
    As for computers, well it's hard to say the same thing because the technology evolves at such rapid speed that it would be nearly impossible to keep a mid-spec machine over 2 years old up to date with the current technology. The same goes for software really, unless they drop the habit of releasing buggy software, choosing to spend the next year fixing all the problems. At which point when that time is over they will do the same again with a newer version of their software. The only other option is to move to a monthly service, like Adobe is doing, so that you're paying to own their most up to date software as and when it comes out, instead of being left behind with old software until you decide to upgrade.
    Other than that, I can't really (at this time at least) think of much else to solve that issue : /
     

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