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> Quality Of Technological Devices, Discussion of quality versus quantity
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Posted: 30-Jan-2008, 10:56 AM
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Ahoy mateys,

Today, there are billions of people on the planet. Most of these people have equipment that can be replaced by a few ways:

1) Return to a manufacturer or place of purchase for a new or refurbished item
2) Throw away and buy a new one
3) Throw away as the manufacturer deems necessary and a new item sent
4) Acquire a new item and use the old or new item for parts with another item
5) Replicator? (oh that is not around the corner, yet)

Questions that arise then are what happens to the returned or thrown away items? The assumption is that items which are thrown away is either done by the end user or the manufacturer. Do they get incinerated, stripped, or tossed to another country for them to strip or just look at during dark starry nights?

I would say all of the above.

Today we have items that adhere to RoHS directive to not use certain hazardous substances in devices, however, old items that have finally met their doom are finding their way into the trash heap. If controls aren't in place to extract the hazardous materials, it will be come problematic for all of us on the planet.

This is what I see all the time. People just throw away phones, computer equipment, lots of mobile equipment, television, video cassette recorders, and other items. If it fits in a dumpster or on the side of a road, it usually gets taken away to some distant abyss, or at least we like to think that.

Okay! Now this is where the thread gets interesting.

I see a bit of an issue with the way things are going right now with electrical devices. Of course they are getting smaller and are packed with functions that make the device somewhat, counter conducive to any lifestyle. If someone gets a cellular phone, it is not juts a phone. This phone plays music, stores pictures, plays video, stores files, maintains a contact database, has a calendar, can record video, take pictures, play games, brows the internet, text message, IM... even run an embedded operating that is open source, at times!

Does anyone see anything wrong with this?
If not, I'll bring up some interesting topics for everyone to discuss.

The more feature advanced devices become people will either dislike it, like it, or just be alright with it, and not want more or less features. However, why do people spend hours in a store browsing through a section on phones, televisions, computers, and other technologically advanced device? Why do we have a hundred models from a bunch of manufacturers for the same type of device? One would say, why that's the best part of a free market! I would ask, why? and for who?
One might argue, that it produces competition and keeps prices cheap! I would ask, who is that good for? And why?

Why do you think the amount of items that reach the trash heap are huge. If everyone in their lifetime, throws out a vcr, television, computer, cellular phone, camera, video recorder, etc, that means that we have a trash heap of over a billion devices (probably not exaggerating here). Of course, there are recycling programs taking care of this, but the devices that leave our country and get dropped on another country's soil might not be so lucky. It might just pile up.

Also, I've noticed that people are getting angrier at their devices, too. Imagine someone on a cellular phone and they get all mad and talk louder at the person they think they are talking to? Do you ever see someone throw their phone, laptop, monitor, computer, television, etc? I see people exchange phones more times in a year than I used to back in the 80's. I still have the same phone I used from 1993 (not a cellular phone, a Sony phone for the wall). I still use an Apple Powerbook from 2001. I still use a Sun Server that was built in 1999 for a server! (although it is not economically friendly). Also, not only with electronics, but this goes for all kinds of devices. Especially cars! Why do we need a thousand models of a device that has four wheels?

I think humans on this planet are out of control. We don't need a billion products manufactured that do the same thing. First off, demand causes software to be written poorly as there is no time to properly write it and make any device worth while of having since most devices today are ran with some form of software. Marketing features people will most likely not use and confuse the buyer are great ways to sell an item!

How about this: why not create a product that lasts 5 to 10 years? that would make more sense. People don't need to throw away a laptop each year, and get a new one. People don't need to crush their car each year and get a new one.

Items don't last long at all, nowadays. People get what they pay for. There is also another problem, sometimes you pay too much for junk, too. People want cheap! I don't know why people ask a salesman: Do you have a cheap and reliable ? Ha! Cheap and reliable don't go together.

Quality versus quantity: This ratio is getting worse. Let's just say, quantity is greater than quality.

Are we becoming slaves to our own technology? Is having the greatest and latest gear affecting our minds?

Buy a quality product, keep it a few years or a decade! Now, I just hope manufacturers or that there are manufacturers who hold to a quality standard and provide decent customer support.

I am tired of junk!
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Posted: 02-Feb-2008, 10:08 PM
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Agreed, computer, cars, and mobile phones are some of the Worst, to keep up with the standards of a "good" computer, one would have to update Graphics Cards and drivers, RAM, and HDs several times a year, I still have a computer that I have had for 11 years and still use it quite often! we paid good money for it and back in those days people cared about quality, now everyones a lazy, wimpy fool. Nobody cares about satisfying anyone, its whatever gets that person more money, It makes me sick how things and people are mistreated, Whatever happened to Quality?


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Posted: 02-Feb-2008, 11:25 PM
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Right on one of my main gripes with corporate America, and also one of the reasons I don't shop at Wally World. which makes more sense? pay $1000 for an item you might have to replace 10 years from now (and then because of features, not because it breaks) or spend $500 for something that breaks down two years later and would cost $400 to repair?

Whenever I make a big purchase, If I can't do it right the first time then I'll not buy anything until I've answered the question of when I can do it again.

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