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Comment Re:My problem is quite the opposite. (Score 1) 332

I figured out Lotus 1-2-3 back on a PC (pre-XT) at school, with no manual, back when no one really knew what a spreadsheet program was (Visicalc was first but a lot harder to use). It was not hard at all. Fast forward to Excel and I can't figure out the damn thing. If you're not a pro using it all the time it is very obtuse and the help is not helpful.

Comment Re:disposable tech (Score 1) 418

Things are not so easily recycled though. Often these devices are just taken apart and various components tossed in different bins. Circuit boards are shredded without removing any chips first, cables are put together to get the copper out. Rare earth metals are rarely recovered. It's better than dumping in a landfill but only just slightly better. The recyclers will not know or care if a particular part still works. Sometimes these devices are sent to poor countries where some of the demolition is done by hand without proper safety.

Comment Re:disposable tech (Score 1) 418

Hmm, the old TV repair shops used to get special training and tools from the manufacturers. Manufacturers did this because the consumers wanted it, they didn't want to buy a completely new product just because of a broken part. The manufacturers are intended these to not be repairable by anyone, and they're not going to help out any local professional, because they want the consumers to buy brand new devices instead. This excessive consumption is much more rampant now than it was in the 50s.

Comment Re:as repairable as any modern gadget (Score 1) 418

Since the invention of the laptop these have always been repairable, and it has customarily been simple to replace batteries and harddrives, or even to add in more RAM at times. The death knell for responsible laptops was when Apple eliminated the battery cover and glued the case together. Somewhat scary since in the previous model we had several coworkers with failing batteries that would swell to double their volume and push the battery cover off...

Ten years ago just about every device you could purchase had some repairable parts in it, all of which could either be fixed by the user or with a technician, without having to mail it back to the manufacturer. PCs, refrigerators, televisions, microwave ovens, autos, cellular phones, laptops, pagers, wrist watches, etc. Ten years ago there wasn't anything that worked with a battery that could not also have the battery replaced.

Comment Re:It's the future... (Score 1) 418

AT&T send a letter a month after I purchased my old phone that it needed a new sim card; then turns out my phone wasn't compatible with the upgrade. One month old and it was "obsolete". I kept it ten years though. Over that time they kept annoying me to buy new phones. I even purchased a new battery (trivial to change, no repair shop necessary) to keep it going. Eventually they finally sent the execution order and turned off the cellular service for it. Now I've got a "smart" phone with no replaceable batteries because there were no decent voice-only phones to get. I honestly doubt it will last even 4 years. Need to just learn to survive without a phone, but I get nervous about being in an emergency with no way to call for help.

Comment Re:It's the future... (Score 1) 418

Why replace it? Keep it, it is still NEW. Sure there are newer models, but the 3GS is a new device only four years old at most. Throwing away something this new is wasteful, and because it goes into landfills (do not kid yourself that things are recycled) it's ethically questionable.

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