Technology

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Watching an old TV, using my old iPhone to continue blogging, why old? I’m broke and living on or below the official breadline but also because I am a child of the 50’s, a baby boomer who knows how to make things work, particularly computers. The main pc cost < £100 second hand and came with Windows XP Professional but I got so fed up with its (lack of) performance (even the little G3 iBook was better at Google maps which I had a real world need for) so I went Linux, Ubuntu to start with then Mepis and now stable and efficient with OpenSUSE. With some irony, I have a second machine called nerd to run XP in order two maintain a couple of appliances that demand XP or at least Apple OS 10.4 or later to keep this iPhone and the Tomtom satnav up to date with current software.

And sometimes the technology works, least ways I have just managed to upload the start of this bit of blogging from the ‘phone to WordPress and down again to this desktop where it will be much easier to add the hyperlinks. To continue the inventory, I have a rarely used Dell V305 printer/scanner/copier, 2 original Bondi Blue iMacs  awaiting a salvage merger and various other carcases which have some reusable bits. Must remember to make contact with the Dan who sometimes appears on freecycle because I reckon that s/he and I could do some mutually useful swapping. the component parts of computers are generally so well made that there is always life in them. I am no good at the soldering iron stuff but I can usually do the logical stuff by searching for and installing the right software. I guess that is quite a useful skill to have and fits well into the 50s mindset of make and mend. Even the ancient  Nikon Coolpix 3200 had a software update waiting on the Nikon website. The television is ancient too but I often find something I can bear to watch thanks to a free Freesat box that I somehow  qualified for as part of this year’s digital switch-over. Not complaining  about that, especially since the changeover plan,as well as a satellite dish and digital TV aerial came with a good FM aerial so I can listen to Radio4 in stereo  without the annoying signal lossiness that comes with movement and internal aerials.

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5 comments on “Technology

  1. Ed says:

    Broke and living on or below the official breadline – I know how you feel!

    I’m a benefit scrounger and despite what the Daily Mail would have you think, I don’t live a life of luxury, nor do I have a huge plasma screen TV. In fact I haven’t got a TV but I’m not too worried – I don’t need one. My computer is my one luxury. If there’s any TV I want to see I can always watch it on iplayer or one of the other catch up services (or there’s always somewhere you can download TV shows from). I use my computer for all sorts of things – it’s a real lifeline – I’d be lost without it.

    In moment of recklessness (and when I had a bit of money) I bought an iMac. I’m glad I did. I’ve had it about five years now and it’s still running as quickly and smoothly as the day I bought it, and I don’t think it’s ever crashed (I’m also a bit of a sucker for Apple products).

    I admire your make and mend mindset. Being able to breathe new life into old components is definitely a useful skill.

  2. warriet says:

    John Howard Blackburn ‎’Re-use, Repair, Recycle’, as they say. And, don’t buy what you don’t need. Which is why I’m driving around in an 11 year old Defender, & why it will be substantially better than ANY (save one) 4×4 by the time I’ve finished.
    NaNNaNNaN at NaN:NaN · Like · 1 person
    Jeremy Hawthorn The battery on my digital watch ran out, and I discovered that I could buy an equally good new watch for GBP 8 – about what it costs in Norway to get a replacement battery. Something mad about this.
    NaNNaNNaN at NaN:NaN · Like
    Kathy Miles It’s all relative, isn’t it? I don’t need a new car or mobile phone or pc, so I have old ones: my car is probably older than yours! However, there are things I don’t *need*, but would buy simply because I like them and enjoy owning them. But other people might think that a Blackberry or the latest-model car *is* something they need. I’m sure I didn’t *need* to win a furry MeerKat in Newquay arcade, but it’s now sitting in the office at work with a very silly furry grin on its face, and cheers us up.
    NaNNaNNaN at NaN:NaN · Like · 2 people
    John Howard Blackburn If you want a textbook definition of the term ‘planned obsolescence’, buy an EPSON printer……..
    NaNNaNNaN at NaN:NaN · Like
    Kathy Miles Rather get some new shoes! Got a heavy-duty HP black and white printer as I do loads of printing, and touch wood, it’s been brilliant.
    NaNNaNNaN at NaN:NaN · Unlike · 1 person
    David Edwards ‎@John – Epson usually OK, what’s the problem?
    NaNNaNNaN at NaN:NaN · Like
    John Howard Blackburn ‎@Jeremy: When I was last up in Orkney a Norwegian Navy FAC squadron came into Kirkwall. After they’d tied up the crew all disappeared down to Woolworths to buy sweets to take home. The same sort of thing, maybe, albeit 40 years ago.@David; our exp. has included planned obsolecence and non-availability of repair parts, to try to get you to buy a new unit.
    NaNNaNNaN at NaN:NaN · Like
    David Edwards like BMW motor cars, printers have been historically bee sold as loss leaders, the profit coming from the sales of consumables over the printer’s lifetime. this policy became very silly as soon as a new printer (with ink) costs less than a set of replacement cartridges for last week’s model. I suppose it’s just another illustration of the madness that goes with the chimera of ever increasing growth
    NaNNaNNaN at NaN:NaN · Like
    Jeremy Hawthorn In Norway, a decent new washing machine costs about 400 quid. To call the repairer out costs 100 before a spanner is touched. When ours goes on the blink (it has chugged on for many years) it will make no sense to do anything other than buy a new one. The logic of a high-wage economy.
    NaNNaNNaN at NaN:NaN · Like
    David Edwards high-wage economy is good, just as long as ‘stuff’ is high quality and lasts for a reasonable length of time without falling into the ‘planned obsolecence and non-availability of repair…’ which is of course part of the currently consumptive business model

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