Saturday, March 29, 2008

Got Dead Gadgets?

From A Friend.

We want dead gadget stories!

We would love to receive stories showing clearly how products simply can’t be fixed or upgraded, because of clear choices made by the product designers.

Please send your stories to Stories@deadgadgets.com and include the following information:

•Make and model
•Year they bought it. Is it under warranty?
•Why it’s dead. (Doesn’t turn on, won’t reboot, can’t upgrade it to run certain software, etc)
•Steps taken to try to fix it, or cost to fix it. (Making the call to get an estimate on what it would cost to fix it (vs replace it) is good. But actually getting the company to say they WON'T sell you a replacement part gets to the heart of the issue. So that’s an extra step, but if you could ask them to document this, it will help us tell this story. Feel free to include whom they spoke with at the companies, so there can be no question of misunderstanding.)
•Picture of the dead gadget. (Be sure we can see the manufacturer name or logo!) For our dead gadget gallery (soon to come).

This request includes broken TELEVISIONS, not just computer-type devices.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the request! I hope they are getting a lot of good stories to add to the collection. Hopefully we can get manufacturers to not only recycle their electronics but create them to be repaired and upgraded in the first place.

Eve said...

My planned obsolescence story is rarely believed when i tell it. Its a little off subject it's not about gadgets it's about 'socks'. Or i should say man made material used to make clothing. But in this case its about socks.

First a little background then the story.

When man made yarn and fibers first came out they duplicated natural fibers. Making the fibers four to six inches long. The fibers were then spun on wool looms. They didn't incorporate natural fibers into the yarns. It was 100% man made material.

The fibers turned out to be so durable that people didn't need to go out and buy more clothing for a long time. So they chopped the fibers into tiny little one quarter to one eighth inch pieces and spun in chopped bits of cotton or other natural fibers. And invented new looms that could handle the short fibers to weave it on. So that the yarn/fabric will pull apart, fray and wear out sooner.

The lint in our dryer traps is all those little chopped fibers that have worked free in the wash.

Now my story;

Back when man made fibers came out (early 1960's) my granddad bought four pair of matching dress socks made out of the new un-chopped fibers. I never knew what type of fabric or what company made them. Turned out he was allergic to the material and gave the socks to my dad.

When i was a child very year it was granddads socks that hung on the mantle at Christmas.

Dad wore the socks for years, when they started looking not so new he started wearing them in his work boots. By then it was the late 1960's.

Around the time i went off to collage (mid 1970's) mom decided granddads socks were showing too much wear and tried to use them for scrub rags. Found they wouldn't hold water so was going to throw them out. My oldest brother home visiting at the time asked for them. Said that he could use them in sneakers and not worry about wearing a hole in the heal.

A couple years back i was over visiting my now retired brother when i watched my sister in law pull a pair of socks out of the dryer. Yup, granddads socks. They were thin but still recognizable. She said that just one pair was left. My brother still wears them on occasion and wouldn't let her toss them out. Family heirloom. Their kids also used granddads socks at Christmas.

Granddads socks are almost 50 years old now. Can be bleached and not loose color. This one i know because my sister in law in hopes of damaging the socks enough to be able to toss them out poured pure bleach on them. Didn't work.

It was a testament to what could be only if....

I can't decide if the durability of granddads socks is a good or bad thing in the long run. On one hand look at all those other socks that never had to be made to replace them. On the other hand they can't be biodegradable in this century.

Told you people don't believe this story when i tell it. But the last pair of granddads socks are still around to prove it.

And no they are not smelly.

Dave said...

Hah, what a great story. thanks for sharing. Your grandfather would be proud I'm sure.

Where did you find out about the first piece of info. Very interesting and I'd be interested in learning more.


Anonymous said...

I can’t quote you any sources but I am old enough to remember it happening.

When Granddad gave the socks to dad he told us they were made from the new manmade fibers. We had never seen anything like it before. Everyone stood around and felt the socks. I am also old enough to remember the first time i ever encountered plastic.

Anyway, how I learned about the change in manufacturing methods was through my great Aunt Trudy, she owned a cottage industry, she weaved fabric. She had a set of nifty old time 19th century hand crank knitters and crank/treadle weaving machines. She also had a hand crank yarn spinner. But i never seen her use it. She ordered the yarn ready made. She sold her yard goods at the local five and dime.

Before manmade fabrics her yarn fiber purchases were wool, cotton and linsey-woolsey.

When the change to man made fiber yarns happened she stuck with those choices but couldn't get "good" yarn anymore. She was fairly upset about the short fiber yarns. They were ‘fuzzy’ left fuzz all over her workroom. The yarn frayed braking too easy, kept breaking on the loom. And, the fabrics wore out too fast, but they were nice and soft.

The old long fiber natural yarn woven into cloth, then made into say a shirt, made a shirt that lasted three or four years before it starting looking “old” but was serviceable a few more years. Getting 8 to 10 years out of a good heavy shirt wasn’t unheard of. They wore like iron. Felt like it too when they were new.

None of Aunt Trudy’s hand crank/treadle machines are made in the US anymore but they are made in other countries but not imported here.

But if you want to see the old knitting and weaving machines you can find refurbished ones on e-bay now and again. Look up the sock knitting machines, they are sold often enough to find one and are a wonder of 19th century technology.

Oh i cant get this thing to send on my account so im Anonymous tonight.