Wednesday, 13 June 2012

REPAIRING Tech and fixing will be a thing of the past

Thanks to futurists like Ray Bradbury and HG wells, I am incline to think of the worst things are going to happen. I wouldn't say its a slow moving car crash but I get the feeling of chess pieces are moving in a global effort to fuck up my inevitable future.
Words like global warming, energy crisis and overpopulation are the ingredients to dystopia. But don't panic, things are roughly the same. As a electronics engineer I was used to seeing trends coming and going in the form of machines that caught the publics eye and how some machines don't last for long.
I was a round when valve TVs would beak down every now and again either because, one of the valves which oscillates and generates the high voltage to power the Cathode ray tube. A device which I thought was cool because effectively it was a particle accelerator( I was  strange kid). Now that technology has moved on, the cathode tube the valves and most analogue electronics have disappeared almost altogether. Gone are the days of back room inventors like John Logie Baird or Edison or Tesla who would make things from their respected sheds.

The mystery of things have been taken out of film making and music making but, for me there is still mystery. Considering company's now hold many patents and inventions all to make a finished product saddens me .
Company's like Dyson or Apple have this policy of secrecy over their products.  An air of mystery about their latest products leads me to think a false sense of importance to such things. I would mock about certain machines because, though it look marvelous. The tech inside would be lame. As a repair point of view I would love analog systems with their safety fuses and big power supplies because you can repair and fix at a low price. A good soldering iron a digital multi meter and knowledge of electronics you can repair things, 9 times out of ten it was the power supply. Things evolved much later with s switch mode supply, for which the electrolytic capacitors was to be blamed for.

But nowadays with digital systems need increasingly complex test equipment and surface mount wielding gear It's beginning to be an agenda for companies to fix and repair their own tech. And gone are the days for repairmen to fix a wide range of technology. The last place for a electronics engineer like me was to go to a recording studio and find comfort and joy in repairing old SSL or NEVE analogue audio consoles.

But even studios are struggling in these times which leaves me to think about if the world is going to pot.
I was looking at the new achievements of the latest news of WWDC and thought positive thoughts about the machine that are on offer. Apple seems to be grabbing attention with their mac books even with this retina display. But took apart the Apples next generation computer and found flaws in the whole design.
It is named the least repairable laptop they have taken apart.
The New mac book pro is built like a macbook air and ipad, things like ram and display are soldered or glued on and
custom Solid state drives all of which can not be replaced. Even the large 94wh battery is glued and unique to Apple. One might suspect that once units of this laptop has shifted, there will be a lot of complaints because this machine can not be repaired  due to its compacted technology.

Apple was good enough to say that it's PVC free with no harsh material used in their products, at their 2012 conference.
But having to mention all of this and say they are working to be innovative and yet come up with a £2000 disposable computer is one of their ridiculously stupid ideas. The whole working to reduce space and  weight has its limits. I would think things has reached a limit with mac book retina display.
If this a world leading technology company has no plans in thinking about the small things, like repairs and customer support. I am predicting other company's will follow and we will end up buying beautiful but disposable gadgets. Gone will be the days or fixing the problem your self but more of warranty insurance and loyalty towards companies who you buy your gadgets from.
This disposable way of thinking has led me to believe that style over function is growing and that sentiment for machines is disappearing. The quality of something you own has been reduced, its sad for me when you see a electronics changed so much over the years. The changes I see are parallel to the dystopian future I read about in Sci Fi novels. And like chess pieces on a large scale with trends and technology are the different movements. I can see that we should try to predict the movements as best we could.

No comments:

Post a Comment