Splitting tech-ache

Hi, kids–

I’m pretty good at maintaining my tech products. I take very good care of the tech in my life, which is why I still have a MacBook (purchased in 2005, just recently upgraded to Snow Leopard OS) that’s working fine, thank you. I also have a PC desktop, purchased in 2004. That was working okay until this past year when it became apparent that I would HAVE to get a different system because Microsoft decided to stop doing upgrades for the OS on that. Which, I’ll have you know, is XP. Otherwise, the security systems I implemented 4 years ago have been working well, but some of the internal stuff on it isn’t working very well. I know it’s time to upgrade that pup and in all likelihood, it’ll be a Mac, though I like the XP platform.

More griping? Read on…

Microsoft would like to see XP die. And since 2010, it’s been doing everything it can to try to make users abandon it. And speaking of Windows asshattery, how about that Vista? Yeah. The program that was released before anything else was compatible with it. The Vista screw-up managed to extend XP’s life a bit, but there are updates on the PC platform that are not compatible with XP. And if you use Explorer, you can’t go past IE 8 in XP.

And now Microsoft is forcing its Windows 8 on PC users, which is trying to look like the start-up screen of a Galaxy tablet, seems to me. It hasn’t really captured many imaginations. And WTF is the deal with a touch screen AND a keyboard? I don’t find it all that easy/convenient to do any kind of serious composing/typing on my iPad with the keyboard/touch screen capabilities. I have a wireless keyboard that I use with my iPad, but it’s not a special experience for me because there are no mouse capabilities on an iPad and instead, I have to use my finger on the screen to pretend to be a mouse. My fingertip is a lot bigger than a cursor, so I don’t have the precision control that a cursor/mouse would. Which means it takes a while to get things cut/pasted/moved.

Point being, tech corporations force consumers to purchase expensive products to stay “upgraded.” They do this through a combination of marketing and ensuring that security updates aren’t available for our older operating systems. Or they stop maintaining the older products, so you can’t get service or parts anymore. Some might make service and parts as expensive as simply replacing the product, creating yet more waste and more drains on resources. All of this irritates me, because tech upgrades aren’t affordable to everyone, and they’re difficult for, say, older Americans to deal with. I consider intrinsically forced upgrades inherently ageist, thus, and cost-prohibitive, especially for poorer Americans, whether senior or not.

I don’t want to be in a tech apps race. I want products that last years that have flexible platforms that are easy to update and upgrade without having to purchase a new device every two years or less. I get that upgrades often fix security issues, so they’re important in that respect. But not all of us want or need all the crap that, for whatever reasons, people seem to think they want and need. Do you really need an app that allows your smartphone to shine a light? There are these things called “flashlights” that you can actually get on your keychain. They run on batteries that last days, as opposed to the mere hours a smartphone battery is limited to. And seriously. You need your smartphone to talk to you? Really? You can’t program in your own appointments? It’s just too hard for you to do that or program in your own reminders? It’s too hard for you to do your own internet searches?

Yeah, maybe I am somewhat of a curmudgeon. But I ain’t made of money. Devices cost money, and on average, last 2 years. So make me a product that lasts as long as my MacBook has (how about an average of 5 years, and make it easy to recycle?) if not longer, and make it easy to add security updates and easy to implement new operating systems or even parts of operating systems. I’d like a lot more compatibility and a lot less consumeristic whoremongering. But then, that’s just me.

And so you know, I’m writing this on my 2005 MacBook, Snow Leopard OS.

Although I have to admit. This is super cool:

source (re-sized here)

Happy writing, happy reading.

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