TECHNOLOGY AS TRASH

computer gargoyle

In 2013, the computer industry declared me obsolete. Irrelevant. Anyone who can’t or won’t afford software subscriptions to “keep up to date,” is in trouble. Adobe stopped selling DVDs of their product and other companies are following suit though not as quickly expected. There’s been quite a bit of push back from folks like me.

alienware side view computer

Personally, I don’t mind running a version or two behind the latest thing. Especially since many new versions don’t work better — or even as well — as those I own. I can easily go years without “updating” my software. I guess software companies don’t make enough money selling new releases to folks like me.

Aside from the problem I have with adding an ongoing expense to my already tight budget, I prefer owning my software. I don’t like being entirely dependent on my WiFi connection.

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I remember getting a “You’ve Been Hacked!” letter from Adobe. The hack affected (depending on who you believed) between 38 and 150 million people. All of us have had our personal information stolen somewhere or other. Not only by Adobe. My bank got hacked. So did Walmart, Land’s End, and our local grocery store.

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At least our grocery doesn’t collect personal information from customers. It’s one of the few companies that doesn’t. In case you don’t already know this, the discount cards in your wallet are how the places at which you shop collect information about your personal shopping habits. So they can sell your data to marketing companies — the people who harass you with emails, phone calls, and junk mail. And scams.

Where’s our outrage, our demands for better service and security?

When my equipment stops working — which is once in a blue moon — I call the “Guy Who Fixes PCs.” He comes to the house.  Replaces the broken bits. Cleans out any viruses that have snuck past the anti-virus software. I give him money. He gives me a card with his cell number so if the problems comes back, he’ll come back and fix’em.

72-alien-102914_14 computer keyboard

Am I the only one who is in no position to dump equipment and replace it? I’m still in debt for the stuff I have. Moreover, I hate the throwaway society we are building and the mindset that comes with it.

Disposable is not a better way. It’s destroying the environment. Polluting landfills. Making an already profligate society ever more wasteful. We talk about green, but we don’t live green.

Once upon a time, Garry and I were working a ridiculous number of hours and started using paper plates. To avoid washing dishes. After doing this for a while, I found myself washing paper plates. I couldn’t bear throwing them out. It seemed wrong. I rediscovered the concept of re-usability. I had dishes in the cupboard. I could use them, wash them — and use them again! It was an epiphany!

Photoshop

We are turning into a world of paper plate users. Everything, from cars to computers to kitchen appliances are junk. When whatever it is stops running, toss it. Don’t even think about fixing it. Change your cell phone every six months. Toss the old one.

Somewhere on this planet, there is a giant, bottomless hole into which the garbage goes and it will never fill up, right?

Not.

29 thoughts on “TECHNOLOGY AS TRASH

  1. I thought in the future we were going to load up rockets with billions and billions of tons of our junk and shoot it into outer space. The universe is the world’s biggest landfill, after all. I guess the decay of the space program scuttled that pipe dream…

    My 2009 desktop and laptop, Vista OS and 2011 edition of Photoshop approve this post…

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    • I think we actually thought we could do that and in fact, I hear that space really IS full of floating garbage. Someone must have put a stop to it at some point. When those Others out there hear that we’ve been using the Universe as our personal dump, they might just get seriously pissed off.

      My 2014 Alienware PC doesn’t approve anything I do.

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  2. I agree. Waste not want not was a saying that was popular when I was a child. Now I am going through my junk and recycling stuff to sell at the market on Sunday. I love watching the show Call the Midwife, set in the late 1950’s – there was no rubbish – no need for a rubbish collection at all. Everything was used and reused and passed down. Clothes were made to last, darned if they got torn. But never thrown out – they were finally used to make quilts – woollen clothing was used as the batting. And the streets were so clean. Bottles were to be collected and handed in for money (I remember walking up and down the beach as a child searching for bottles to take to the local dairy and use the refund money for sweets or ice cream). Now our seas and rivers are clogged up with plastic bottles and bags.

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    • And when you recycle, it’s remarkable how little trash you have. Our “waterloo” are cardboard boxes. There’s no paper or cardboard recycling here, and every delivery generates boxes and more boxes. Everything we can recycle, we recycle … but without a town dump and a recycling program, that’s all we can do. Stupid, but that’s it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We live in an economy that sees growth as the only measure of success. Excellence is soon discarded for the new and supposed better even if it really isn’t better. Until they change that attitude, they will continually make changes for the mere reason to have something else to peddle to us. I have a cousin who still uses XP even though it isn’t supported and it still works for him. Actually, he probably is less likely to be hacked and he doesn’t have to put up with any of those updates because they aren’t supporting it now. I just doubled my RAM instead of buying a new computer. We opened up the bottom of the laptop and dropped it in ourselves. We have to stick with it if it works and not get caught up in this buy, buy mentality.
    Leslie

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  4. I’m as bad, if I use a paper plate, it gets used until it disintegrates and then it gets put in the stove for a firestarter. We live reasonably near an electronics recyclinhg center (Best Buy is amazing) and all our electronic stuff goes there, finally.
    If you use battery operated clocks, did you know that you can recycle the AA batteries that won’t handle the bigger stuff any longer, about one a year per clock? There’s a lot of juice left in them, and the clock never knows the difference.
    We have a saying here, ‘that’s a good cardboard carton, we might need that for something”…

    we also make a point of buying paper from paper products, paper towels especially, since Im a huge paper towel user.

    I agree about the upgrade stuff. My photo processing program of choice is the old and I do mean old Photodraw from Y2K. Now and then Microsoft gets a bit hinky about it and refuses me access to certain parts of it but for the most part I can’t imagine using another. Im making an effort to learn the Microsoft Picture Manager but it’s not pretty. If it works, why change it? Better is not necessarily better.

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    • I’m not going to upgrade — or try to upgrade — to Windows 10 for mine or Garry’s computers. I tried. It failed. I’m not doing it again. A computer’s ecosystem is fragile and I’d like these computers to keep running until I have at least paid them off!

      Windows is easier for me to use. I’m used to the structure, how things work. How to fix them if they don’t. To change systems doesn’t seem a great idea — for me.

      A lot of new software is NOT better. It’s a downgrade and seems to have less functionality than older versions.

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  5. We live in a disposable era- use paper and throw it out, furniture put together with glue not dovetail joints, reach a certain age in the job market be declared obsolete and throw them out- planned obsolescence.

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  6. I feel guilty about throwing stuff out too. I’m especially concerned about e-waste as our rural district does not have a recycling place that takes it. We do have a local dump but I don’t like putting things in landfill if I can avoid it.
    I’m always interested to hear about new products but I’m cautious preferring to wait until the people who must have the latest everything have tested them for me. When I’ve read enough favourable reviews I will consider upgrading but only when I need to. My computer is more than five years old and running Windows 7 which I like so I’m not in a rush to get Windows 10. It won’t run on this machine anyway.
    There are some things my mother did that I don’t do like darning socks.However, I have been known to make Barbie dresses out of discarded socks which is another way of recycling them.

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    • I donate any clothing that is wearable, either giving it to someone I know (it’s often pretty nice stuff) or the local Planet Aid dropoff. And if not usable, anything cotton become rags for the house, the shop, and cleaning up after dogs. It may not be a glorious end, but it’s not unworthy, either.

      I think that major Operating System changes don’t sit well with every system, especially those — like mine — with a lot of expensive, embedded software and specialized graphics gear. So … I’ll just wait. Maybe eventually I’ll have no choice … or maybe they’ll make a version of it that will properly work on my system.

      Meanwhile, because we have no dump or recycling in this town, I’ll try to limit my “contributions” to the endless hole in the world where all the trash goes.

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      • I do the same with clothing, anything good goes to the local “Op Shop”, the remainder, cleaning rags, dog bedding etc. Our parents were the “waste not want not” generation who lived through war and the Depression so while I don’t keep every jam jar and ice cream container that comes my way I do try to dispose of the ones I don’t reuse properly.

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    • My husband likes those ‘fat’ socks, the ones with sort of padded feet. Now and then I will cut a pair of those down and turn them into house slippers for me. They wear wonderfully, and they always fit. =)

      And yeah, we got the last Win7 out there, just before they closed the doors on it. With luck it will outlast us.

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    • I worry about it too … but I don’t know that we have ever really gotten much support from Microsoft anyhow. If it runs, we’re okay. I did try. I really did. Win 7 Pro ISN’T standard Win 7 and Win 10 crashed and burned on this machine.

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  7. Space: 1999 is a British science-fiction television series that ran for two seasons and originally aired from 1975 to 1977. In the opening episode, set in the year 1999, nuclear waste stored on the Moon’s far side explodes, knocking the Moon out of orbit and sending it, as well as the 311 inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, hurtling uncontrollably into space.

    The series starred Barbara Bain and Martin Landau. The plot showed that if we create waste we must dispose of it properly, not bury it underground until it explodes. This was a science fiction program but turned out to be true from point that our society is wasteful, thoughtless and doomed to destroy our own planet.

    Technology can be a wonderful tool but always follow the money trail when you consider that competition in the tech industry drives their need to constantly upgrade and improve the proverbial mousetrap.

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    • Pretty much everything going on in this world = someone’s profiting. So that goes for everything. Just follow the money and you’ll find the motives for whatever stupidity “they” are promoting. It’s ALWAYS about money and power. Always. And forever.

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  8. We pay online with the bank, the post, and everything else more or less. We have access from all computers to every account. I also am online with my british bank, although just to look and not to pay, but that is OK. I can draw money from a Swiss bank machine from that account if I want to, it just costs a little more. England still have cheques to pay, in Switzerland it is a dying operation, expensive and not worth the bother. I noticed in New York when I was there that evefything was throw away. I did not even find a shop where they had crockery. I was also wondering whether people actually cook meals today.
    Computers do not live forever, but I stil have my older Acer ready. We also have a computer man. He has his own company, but is very good. Of course you pay for his services, but he cannot live on air, . I don’t do upgrades either. I would rather wait and see what happens when the new thing comes along. I was really happy with my Apple, still am, but decided on Windows 10. I think about things first and eventually do it, but I don’t rush into it.

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    • Effectively, you have said what I’d say. I like paying online. I never thought writing out all the checks, finding envelopes and stamps was fun, even when it was the only way to do it, so when I no longer had to, I was very glad to give it up. I was an early online payment adopter and never had reason to regret it. These days, the surprise is when we CAN’T pay for something on line.

      I’m not going to upgrade — or try to upgrade — to Windows 10 for mine or Garry’s computer. Eventually, when we need new computers (which I hope is NOT soon), then we’ll deal with whatever comes. Right now, though, I’m pretty happy with what we have.

      Windows is easier for me to use. I’m used to the structure, used to how things work and how to fix them if they don’t. To change systems doesn’t seem a great idea — for me.

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      • Mr. Swiss was surprised and said I deal with Apple the same as Windows – no problem. I would add that I have not yet got the hang of the “numbers” programme, but one day when I have time, I will go into it in more deail. I do not need it so much. Our computer guy said I am the only one he knows that actually uses the tile system on Windows and enjoys it with no problem. All the companies he looks after use the classic shell upload.

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  9. I have an issue when “upgrades” require me to change my systems or equipment. Cox is getting ready to roll out a newer and better telephone system that only requires you to have an electrical outlet. I currently use only a landline with several remote units — the remotes now plug into electrical outlets, but the entire system must somewhere be connected to a phone jack. I don’t even have a cell phone, and I still use checks for most payments — no maxed out credit cards.

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    • We have a cell phone shared between the two of us, but it’s turned off unless we are traveling. We use our VOIP (cable) landline ($4.99/month) for everything else. I don’t like cell phones. When this contract expires, I’m going to get one of those burners to use for emergencies and get rid of the smart phone I don’t use anyhow.

      I stopped using paper checks when they got ridiculously expensive and mail delivery became intolerably slow and erratic. I pay bills online. It’s free and I don’t have to wonder if it was actually delivered. Or track it down when it disappears in the mail.

      I don’t feel superior about using or not using technology. I use what I like. I don’t use what I don’t like. Fortunately, we all get to pick and choose what works for us. I love choice.

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  10. Yolanda told me about a woman she works for who has five complete sets of dishes who only uses paper and disposable plastic plates!!! I wash and reuse the clear plastic plates I bought for a party where guests outnumbered my number of plates. Otherwise, I use my good (and only) dishes for every meal and every party. When it breaks, I buy another plate. Still cheaper than disposable. Yes, I occasionally use paper, but not as a general rule.

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    • My little contribution is I use all rechargable AA and AAA Eneloop batteries. I save the landfill from all the acid. I gave away the expensive porcelain dishes. I wash paper cups and reuse them until they are too beat up to go any further. I know I’m not going to save the planet, but little things make me at least feel like I’m trying. Especially in a town like this where we have no town dump or recycling, it really IS the least I can do. I feel guilty throwing stuff away that can be used for anything at all.

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