Wednesday, 27 September 2006

SOS Gadgets

Why are gadgets today designed and built to last long enough for the warranty to expire and then die out on you?
Examples are aplenty. My PDA (O2 XDA IIs), for a start: The first sample they gave me at the shop wouldn't start for a basic demo of "here's how to operate your new PDA phone". Luckily, the second one did. Or was I lucky? The PDA works great, but it is obvious it wasn't design to last, half of its features don't work when the other half are working, and the list continues.
Have a look at compact digital cameras: The vast majority are designed to look stylish and slick, but are they designed to last? Not according to my experience with my Panasonic, and not according to many other horror stories. But did anyone hear of an old compact film camera that broke down?
I can give many other examples, but the point is that new gadgets are simply not designed and built to last. They're designed instead to look cool, slap your ego, but break down quickly enough (without repair being much of an option) so you will buy another one.

And what made me come up with this speech at this moment in time?
Well, blame Toshiba. My month old Toshiba Gigabeat S60 MP3 player just died out on me today. Nothing spectacular - no explosions or anything - it just wouldn't start.
It's not like I mistreated it or anything - I doubt anyone in this continent took a more gentle approach to their MP3 player than I did - yet it still broke down while brand new.
And now I have to drag myself to Toshiba's repair center in Mount Waverly, open at the very comfortable hours of 9 to 5, Monday to Friday only.
Lovely, Toshiba. I just love your work.

No comments: