Saturday, August 14, 2010

The wonders of modern technology...

Hmph, our computer is still broken, well, it got fixed and lasted a couple of days before deciding not to start again. It's only two years old.
Back in the 'olden days' things were made to last. My times have changed! I remember being at the grandparents house when they were getting new carpet- the carpet layer commented on how 'you don't see carpet like this anymore- this is the sort of carpet you get rid of because you don't like it anymore, not because it's worn out'- I asked how long the new carpet should last- 'oh, well we'd expect it to last about 7 years'. Highly unimpressive.
Every now and then (probably when something is broken) we have that 'quality' discussion. When is second hand best, and when is new best- and if it's new when is the more expensive but (one would hope) better quality option best?
I tell you what, I am so glad I took the latter when buying my Miele front loader 13 years ago- it was amazingly expensive (to me!) at the time but it still doesn't miss a trick. Our second hand gas oven hasn't worked- despite saying it was for LPG bottled gas, it wasn't (the plumber checked) so that was a waste of $100 when we were trying to save.
So now we are in the market for a computer (probably) and an oven. And we are not known for making decisions quickly so it might be time to drag out the BBQ. I think we should invite all the neighbours over to thank them for using there computers at times over the past few weeks!


  1. I hear you, Tanya. This issue has been grieving me a lot lately (and not just because of the personal inconvenience and cost of having things break). In our free market, manufacturers need to keep making, keep upgrading, keep selling us more things. So they make 'new improved' models (which don't last), pander to our desire for novelty, and our constant desire to 'upgrade'. I'm trying to opt out of this system, and like you buy second hand or very good quality new.

    Just last week, our 2-year-old, just-out-of-warranty oven shattered. Randomly. It wasn't even in use. After my wild-goose chase of calling around, I've been informed that spares aren't really made. We can get the glass replaced at a huge cost - the guy on the phone said 'you might want to think about just replacing the oven for that price'. I mean, come on!!! It is perfect, except for its broken glass outer door. What sort of insanity is this?

  2. I am also with both of you on this one - sometimes you feel like you are hitting your head on a rendered straw bale wall :). I also felt the pinch when we opted for the Meile washing machine but have also loved it's durability and quality. Vacuum cleaners are the perfect example of what you are talking about - we recently lashed out for a Dyson and I wish we had 3 vacuums ago (we'd have paid for it with the price of those 3)!

    Good luck deciding!

  3. Do you ever feel we are turning into our parents?

  4. It's such a false economy, isn't it? To buy something cheap and disposable. But increasingly I'm finding that it's often the ONLY option, unless you get something custom made. Even when you are willing and able to pay extra to refrain from chucking something in the landfill, it's sometimes next to impossible. So frustrating.

  5. It is awful isn't it? Making a purchase is like entering a lottery... will it last? will it work? will our children destroy it?
    You're so right. Things are made to fall apart so that we need another... it upsets me no end. And then when you make a purchase, and the salesperson has been telling you how great the product is until he/she gets to the till to take you money and then they start selling you an extended warranty inferring that perhaps the product ain't so great afterall! Awful.

  6. computers typically last about 3 years (well, laptops that is). I would recommend getting a 3 year warranty with whatever you get. If it breaks in that time, they'll come out and repair it.

  7. Hey Tanya,
    what a super-duper coincidence..... recently I was at a friend's place talking about gardens and I mentioned that I was planning to plant a couple of fruit trees. Just yesterday my friend's friend's friend (!) sent me a link to Yalca Fruit trees, so I hopped on the website last night.
    And I hadn't realised until just now that they're YOUR trees! I love how small the world can be sometimes....


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