They just don’t make things like they used to

After reading this and commenting that “My trusty no-name Taiwanese CRT monitor took over 10 years of smacking and soda spilling to die. Now I’m getting a crappy LCD that’ll probably die in like 3 months. They just don’t make things like they used to.”, got me thinking about just that. Are the things made today “superior” to the products of yesteryear? The monitor in question was in fact used for about ten years, with plenty of harsh treatment, such as when I slapped it in anger after loosing a game.

But it isn’t just monitors,  hardware, or even computing related products in general! It’s everything. From lowly toasters to the latest 70-something inch television sets, they don’t make things like they used to. For example, I know someone who still uses their circa-1987 television and it still works (somewhat) fine. Will todays TVs be able to last ten years never mind twenty one years? It seems that today everyone wants the latest (and not necessarily) the greatest, bringing with it exorbitant price tags.

And even on the software front there are prime targets for this. Games. Everyone wants flashy graphics, not caring about the underlying story or even the game play itself. If it ain’t 3D,  can be run on older hardware, doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and sequels are just ploys to make more money (I’m taking ’bout YOU E.A.), people just don’t want to play it. I still play one of my favorite games of all time, Chips Challenge (on a some-what related note: since it’s a Win16 app, I wouldn’t be able to run this on x64 versions of Windows. So when I finally do decide to use more then 4GB of RAM it’ll probably be Linux, or maybe a Windows port of WINE?), and like it. It may be old, it may not be the most technically innovative game, but it sure as hell was cool, like other early 90’s games.

And on a totally unrelated note, the upgrade WordPress did a few days ago sucks.


3 Responses to “They just don’t make things like they used to”

  1. Don_HH2K Says:

    The laptop at the bottom of that post I made is vintage 1989, complete with an Intel 386SL CPU and 8MB of memory. The laptop that’s hosting the site I made the post on is vintage 1997 with a P2. The 386 is in perfect condition; the P2, well, not so much. That brings us to now, the vintage 2006 laptop that’s already in worse condition than the 1997 laptop.

    We were using an old 13″ Emerson TV set downstairs up until recently. That thing was my grandmother’s, and it was old enough to not be cable-ready. Since then we’ve had two TVs in the same spot, both of which were used (and free) but nonetheless were made well after the Emerson set. We bought a Toshiba set at a sale Best Buy had a few years ago, when they were cleaning out their stock of 480i tubes to make more room for LCD and plasma HDTVs. It’s been upstairs for about four years now, but I’ll be interested to see how much longer it lasts.

    And I think our toaster is from the late ’60s or early ’70s…

  2. MetKiller Joe Says:

    It is true that products these days are less reliable in general then those of yesterdecade (my Honda Acura Integra has 205+K mileage and it still runs, albeit a few hiccups; my CRTs do exactly what they should… they are also about 15 years old).

    Though this is true, we are also seeing a new type of consumer:

    “I want the best of EVERYTHING… NOW!”

    This happened because everybody thought that an economy such as the US’s would never falter in solidarity. Truth is, when you buy the best and greatest, it will be expensive. Credit cards are not a well of money that banks magically refill for the consumer, but that is how they were treated.

    This type of demand drove a lot of innovation and made research prosper, but the downside was that production on a large scale had to be made very flexible to make creating better products every month plausible and profitable. You cannot make a factory that processes wheat make digital cameras and not have side effects; this is an extreme example, but you get the point: durability and other things that are not noticable in the LONG TERM are ignored because people buy things for the SHORT TERM now adays.

  3. The Internet seems so dead lately. « STOP Error Says:

    […] size was about… 500KB, while this year from October 27 till now its only 123KB. As I wrote in an older post, people want the latest flash crap. They’d prefer AIM or MSN to IRC. And web forums to […]

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