An article on planned obsolescence...

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vinyl master
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An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by vinyl master » 03 Aug 2018 01:19

I found this to be very interesting reading...A fascinating, yet underreported issue IMO...

http://nymag.com/selectall/smarthome/ve ... cence.html

...which is exactly why I've been promoting buying vintage electronics for years and keeping them from the landfills! And one thing about our vintage electronics, compared to the "smart" electronics of today, is that virtually any manual is out there for any third-party repairman (or even certain Engineers here) to read, study and utilize...Because of that and the abundance and availability of old parts, most of our old machines (turntables, receivers, amplifiers, cassette decks, etc.) CAN be brought back to life...

I recently went down to our local electronics recycling event to give them an old microwave and a shredder (last Saturday of each month) and you wouldn't believe the amount of CRT TV's there were stacked up...Mountains!! :shock: There were almost as many computer screens and newer TV's, as well...There's gonna be a lot more of this e-waste, too, as they have not found a proper way to incentivize the recycling of it...

I'll tell you this...I for one will enjoy my 30-40, even 50 year old equipment that was made in an era when the makers didn't think it would last forever, but with TLC and maintenance, it has...My Sansui receiver, Dual 1009's and Sherwood receiver from the late 60's were built like tanks and still work! =D>

In contrast, where are all those IPhones and Amazon Echoes gonna be in 50 years??? :?

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by gofar99 » 03 Aug 2018 03:26

Hi, Great article, sadly very true. I try to only buy things I can fix myself or design and build things I can fix. I too have vintage gear. My main turntable and the number two are from the 70's. The amp I use next to my PC is a Marantz I bought new in 1970 (works great BTW). All good. However, the new vehicle we bought in December puts us at the mercy of others. It pretty much is a computer on wheels. It even communicates to the outside world (including the dealer) about its "health". Right down to having them call us to bring it in for something it reported. I am not entirely sure it isn't spying on me right now, all the other "smart" devices here are. As long as we are subject to a supply based economy that places profit ahead of everything else and we are gullible enough to believe that the latest and greatest gizmo is a must have we will be at the mercy of others. Sadly I don't see an end to that scenario. :(

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by vinyl master » 03 Aug 2018 05:55

gofar99 wrote:However, the new vehicle we bought in December puts us at the mercy of others. It pretty much is a computer on wheels. It even communicates to the outside world (including the dealer) about its "health". Right down to having them call us to bring it in for something it reported. I am not entirely sure it isn't spying on me right now, all the other "smart" devices here are. As long as we are subject to a supply based economy that places profit ahead of everything else and we are gullible enough to believe that the latest and greatest gizmo is a must have we will be at the mercy of others. Sadly I don't see an end to that scenario. :(
And that's how they all have us by the you-know-whats...We can't just take it to any dealer, like we can take our equipment to any audio shop...They know that and WE are powerless to do anything about it...Everything is a computer nowadays and they are getting "smarter and smarter" every day, while WE humans continue to get "dumber and dumber"...Those are things I worry about...So much knowledge is also lost, as we depend more and more on our devices for everything...If something happens to our devices, I honestly think that many people wouldn't be able to survive without them...And if you CAN survive without them, prove me wrong...FIXING things rather than throwing them away (and subsequently, buying new stuff to replace the old) incorporates a skill set that I must admit is sadly missing in today's society...

Working with your hands and creating stuff is another element related to that...I watched this interesting reality competition the other night featuring crafters and their creativity...Take a look...



I was a bit drawn to it because I like the idea that anyone can make something and I also wanted to see what the hoopla was about, partly because my dad was a woodworker himself...He'd built our dog's house, when I was a kid, picnic tables, a porch swing, a bench, and many other interesting things (a clock made from a slice of a tree bough, decoupage art, etc.) He was also a putzer who saved a lot of bits and bobs for future use and always had a project going somewhere...Always gluing something or nailing something together...He'd fix bikes and plant shrubs...He even built a playhouse for us kids when we were very young...Who does that kind of stuff nowadays??? :-k

Alas, we live in such a disposable world where we'd rather have things done for us, handed to us and made for us, rather than made BY us...We learn so much from doing it ourselves, but we'd rather let all of our gadgets do the thinking for us!

And when our gadgets die, a part of us dies...Maybe parts of us are already dead because we've lost that ability to think...

Actually, it's one of the reasons that attracted me back to vinyl again...Learning to set up and align a cartridge is actually a very hands-on activity that requires a modicum of thinking, patience and dexterity...The music just doesn't come out, but the collection has to be well-cared for and the equipment maintained...Certainly this is all far more complicated than a download, but easily more rewarding! =D>

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by Tinkaroo » 03 Aug 2018 09:18

One of the reasons for people getting rid of CRT TVs is in order to get the latest and biggest flat screen, but the CRT was still working well and will probably do so for years.

I picked up a big screen Panasonic CRT for a bargain price to watch videos on and it has great color, albeit not in high definition. They were made obsolete by companies marketing plasma, then LCD etc. big screen TVs. They weren't made obsolete by poor build quality.

It seems that marketers for companies such as the fruit one are always trying to find new ways to get us to buy the latest cell phone or portable device which becomes obsolete within a couple of years. If I want to take photos I will use a real camera, not a cell phone. I would rather listen to music on a real sound system than a portable device with earbuds. ipods batteries give up the ghost and can't be easily replaced.

I have stereo equipment that has lasted me for many years, some of it 40 years old and still working well. If I bought something new I'd like it to be of decent quality to last as long.
I don't want it to look retro, but be made of fiberboard and contain some cheap motor and electronics worth next to nothing.

My father was like your's vinyl master in his desire and ability to fix something rather than to throw it out. He would get me to help him out mostly so I would learn something, plus he taught me it was better to fix something than to throw it out. It's also good for our brain to learn how these things work, and to figure out how to fix them. It is important however to take safety precautions, especially with electronics.

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by vinyl master » 03 Aug 2018 17:49

Right you are, Tink! And then I also think of my buddy Chris, who has bought several old Predicta television sets from the 50's and 60's and has repaired them to work like new...Build quality wasn't lacking on those, either! :wink:

And I do think it'd be kind of cool to watch old black-and-white favorites on one of those just for fun... 8)

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by fscl » 04 Aug 2018 17:34

Is the CD player at the end of it's life cycle........ :? :-k

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD_player

The local thrift / charity shops are loaded with these now....... :shock: #-o ](*,) ](*,)

So that's perhaps a 40 year run...... #-o

I'm wondering where that fine line between planned obsolescence and product life cycle falls........ :-k :-k :-k

Thinking about electronics and their related effect on products, I blame it on the tentacles of Moore's Law...... :-k

Remember when it took perhaps all night to download / transfer your picture(s) via computer....... :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Fred and still have / using my Palm TX, now air gapped........ :)

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by scrapjack+ » 05 Aug 2018 20:39

Tinkaroo wrote:One of the reasons for people getting rid of CRT TVs is in order to get the latest and biggest flat screen, but the CRT was still working well and will probably do so for years.

I picked up a big screen Panasonic CRT for a bargain price to watch videos on and it has great color, albeit not in high definition. They were made obsolete by companies marketing plasma, then LCD etc. big screen TVs. They weren't made obsolete by poor build quality.

It seems that marketers for companies such as the fruit one are always trying to find new ways to get us to buy the latest cell phone or portable device which becomes obsolete within a couple of years. If I want to take photos I will use a real camera, not a cell phone. I would rather listen to music on a real sound system than a portable device with earbuds. ipods batteries give up the ghost and can't be easily replaced.

I have stereo equipment that has lasted me for many years, some of it 40 years old and still working well. If I bought something new I'd like it to be of decent quality to last as long.
I don't want it to look retro, but be made of fiberboard and contain some cheap motor and electronics worth next to nothing.

My father was like your's vinyl master in his desire and ability to fix something rather than to throw it out. He would get me to help him out mostly so I would learn something, plus he taught me it was better to fix something than to throw it out. It's also good for our brain to learn how these things work, and to figure out how to fix them. It is important however to take safety precautions, especially with electronics.

I've had to replace quite a few crt's for my win98 rigs. CRT's aren't necessarily obsolete because of their size, they are obsolete because the lack the inputs used on modern hardware. Allot of newer pcs and video cards do not have vga output. I still have a 60" "hd" internal projection tv in my room, the last type of tv to work with light guns, and I had to connect it to our last cable box via coax cables because the cable box had two outputs coaxial and hdmi. Mine actually has a built in surround system and audio amps that can drive it's built in speakers enough to literally rattle all the windows in the room just from the no input signal hum. I see internal projections on he street all the time, they sit for months because no one will take them.

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by vinyl master » 25 May 2019 22:13

Well, I think we need some "right to repair" laws, if what this article says is true... :shock:

https://www.wired.com/story/right-to-re ... ket-newtab

As the article states...

"Today, we may think we own things because we paid for them and brought them home, but as long as they run software or have digital connectivity, the sellers continue to have control over the product. We are renters of our own objects, there by the grace of the true owner..."

and...

"We have fewer rights as digital tenants than we do as tenants of real estate, where eviction is subject to due process. If we purchase something, it is ours. We shouldn't let ownership go down the memory hole..."

When you think about it, physical, non-digital items and those things we can fix ourselves should be treasured all the more!

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by Alec124c41 » 26 May 2019 13:20

And that, folks, is why we have records and turntables. :)

Cheers,
Alec

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by vintagevinyllover » 26 May 2019 18:52

I Agee on the recycle/upcycle/repair philosophy and much of what’s been said here, particularly about lost skills. Maybe if you can, check out a TV programme called The Repair shop (I am in Uk but it might be shown in other countries). People take along heirlooms and all kinds of objects to be restored, 3 per programme. The skills of the restorers, often working together, never ceases to amaze. Naturally there is a wide range covered but one episode showed the restoration of a battered non-working Edison cylinder phonograph with a wooden horn into a fully functional thing of beauty! Other things have included an old corona typewriter, Victorian mechanical toys, paintings, furniture, and so much more besides. It’s all very interesting and quite emotional!

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by rewfew » 26 May 2019 21:00

Maybe there's just too many of us. Too many people consuming too many resources of our world without any expectation of the ramifications to the consequences of upsetting the balance of nature. And nature doesn't react with any benevolence towards ignorance and greed. It just is. We may have to try and adapt to some harsh ways some decades out. Nice legacy for future generations. Maybe were inadvertently planning our own obsolescence.

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by vinyl master » 27 May 2019 03:46

rewfew wrote:
26 May 2019 21:00
Nice legacy for future generations. Maybe were inadvertently planning our own obsolescence.
And that, rewfew, is what I'm AFRAID of! :shock:

AND why I keep going on about the issue...

The saddest part of all, though, is this...It won't necessarily be natural disasters or other forces that'll do us in...WE (as in US, ALL OF US, THIS WHOLE WORLD OF PEOPLE) will be the makers of our OWN demise, due to our rampant stupidity in general as a species (and lack of education about it), our refusal to acknowledge our mistakes and our continued plundering of the earth's limited resources! We've known many of the answers FOR YEARS to the major problems that beset us humans, but we just haven't gotten up the nerve to do ANYTHING about them and so they continue to get worse...We just haven't got the foresight to make things any easier for future generations who will pay for our inactivity and apathy, let alone the political will to put a stop to all the nonsense we've inflicted on this planet...And the old guys who contributed to much of this mess want to retire, die and pass the buck onto their grandchildren to fix what's broken...Nice legacy to leave, indeed! :? Climate change is an issue, the superiority of technology and the rush to limit human autonomy will be a future issue, if we're not already seeing that, and then there is the "idiocracy of nations" (as I like to call it), where more people vote AGAINST their own best interests than FOR them, leading us to the gridlocked quagmire we now find ourselves in...Politically, we have never been more divided or in need of unification, agreement and bipartisanship than we are now...Heck, we've even eliminated the standard of truth...Truth is whatever our opinion says it is...Real truth is "fake news"...And objectivity without bias? THAT was thrown out the window a LONG time ago! Apparently, the scientists have it wrong, the politicians have it wrong and the people have it wrong...And since no one wants to correct the "wrongs" and make them right, they just keep getting passed on to future generations, in the hopes that someone will right the ship...Instead, the ship keeps hitting icebergs and all the crew can do to keep from sinking is to put on a duct tape patch to TRY and keep the water out...Good luck with that! Now, imagine all the countries of the world as ships where all the captains have long disappeared, abandoning their crews to the elements and you'll get the gist of what life feels like nowadays...Pitiful, just pitiful! :(

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by Tinkaroo » 27 May 2019 12:37

Try not to get too discouraged vinyl master. Some of us need to be voices of reason and to do what we can by personal example to encourage conservation.

Shop local, if you have to drive then plan your trips to save fuel. If you can drive a bicycle or walk then do so. Keep your things in good repair and don't buy something new if you can repair your car, bicycle, washer, dryer or whatever.

It would be better if it were unnecessary to bring in right to repair laws and people just didn't buy the non repairable goods being offered by the likes of Apple. There really isn't any excuse to why you can't self replace the battery in an iPod, iPad or cell phone other than they want it to be obsolete so you buy a new one.

I just bought a 40 year old bike which is in great shape, and it costs a lot less to keep it running than to buy a new one, plus it's better for the environment than producing a new one. With care it can last for many more years. When I visited Holland about 10 years ago there were bicycles everywhere and places to lock then up at the local train stations. Along the coast they had many windmills for power.

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by rewfew » 27 May 2019 16:07

vinyl master wrote:
27 May 2019 03:46
AND why I keep going on about the issue...
V.M.. All we have is our vote, (which itself is manipulated with gerrymandering and propaganda). So we collectively have to be informed enough to not vote for morons who deny and discount our collective good, for a notion that a selective few can make our lives better if we wait long enough for it to trickle down to us. Economic ignorance is one of our most powerful crippling barrier's toward's action.

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Re: An article on planned obsolescence...

Post by vinyl master » 28 May 2019 02:28

Oh, I try not to get TOO discouraged, guys...And you're right...Of course, I HAD to rant for a minute...

On the other hand, I've been reading a lot of interesting articles lately that have me questioning the direction of things around the world...And since China is not taking our garbage anymore (and many other countries don't want to, either), we're going to have to think up some better and more creative packaging that can be recycled...

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/ ... sh/584131/

Maybe use a plant-based source for this? :-k Notice that dust covers are also made of plastic, but when was the last time anyone ever threw one of those out without SOMEONE coming to rescue it, if they did...Same with vinyl records...Why can't ALL plastics be JUST as valuable? Our old audio equipment goes up in price every year, while that computer monitor from the 80's, VCR from the 90's, Ipod dock from the 2000's and loads of other crappy electronics and plastic gadgets do not...There is something to be said for building items of quality, too, which sadly is not a concern for most people nowadays...It's all about buying and being cheap...But since China doesn't like our tariffs and has decide to put forth a few of their own, some of those cheap Chinese items at your local Wal-Mart may not be so cheap after all...

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/16/business ... index.html

When I look at that garbage patch out in the Pacific, I wonder if we're all doing enough...I read that a handful of companies (100 or so) are the cause of 71% of the pollution/carbon emissions that is/are enveloping the planet...

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable ... ate-change

It's THESE companies that could be doing more, but I guess THOSE CEO's don't care much about the world they're leaving to their children, grandchildren and everyone else's! Things are going to have to change AND rapidly for our species, if we're to survive and thrive...

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... -un-report

They say the changes will be as virulent and disruptive as Henry Ford's automobile was to the horse and buggy...So, along with doing our part, more nations and companies will have to be held accountable for their actions or inactions...All I know is that the future is gonna be an interesting place...At the very least, we need to consider our own carbon footprints and do what we can to limit them...I'm not saying I'm perfect, but at least I'm trying...We can't give up, friends! One reason I haven't thrown a lot away is that either a.) I end up reusing it or upcycling it, b.) I end up donating it, selling it or giving it away and/or c.) what I can't give away, sell or use, I toss in the appropriate container...For example, paper, junk mail and newspaper can be shredded and given to the local church, at least in my area...Pallet wood makes for some cool raised garden beds and your leftover organic table scraps (sans meat and dairy) can make for some excellent compost in that garden! Even better, I now look for packaging or bottles just on the basis of whether I can re-use them for something else or not...If more people had this kind of mindset, we'd be much better off IMO...Then again, I'm a cheapskate skinflint, too, so it kinda comes with the territory! :wink:

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