Is it time to give tech a break? (A coffee break, that is)

Image via Thinkstock
Image via Thinkstock

Upgrade technology; don’t just replace it       

By T. Dale Hughes, Contributor

Replace this. Buy a new that. How about making more technology that’s easily upgradable? Recyclable! How about technology that can be readily marketed to a wider area of users who want or need it? Why can’t we simply put new batteries in rechargeable products? Or make products that accept different types of batteries (alkaline, nickel, lithium, etc.)—batteries we can purchase from the dollar store.

A lot of products, like Apple, are not meant to be exceptional at a particular task. Instead what’s offered is a Swiss-Army-knife type of good that is decent at many things. I lobby for more upgrades to existing platforms making what we already have perform better.

I bought my first iOS product primarily for music. It’s okay, but the quality was a pale shadow compared to the Amazon Fire phone or even a Sony music player. And what happened to my iOS when Windows 8.1 came along? iTunes didn’t recognize it. But the same iTunes did with Windows 8. It’s a scam! Anytime new tech comes out, it seems to include bugs, bugs, and more bugs.

What about easy upgrades, like the cooling systems in laptops? Hello HP, are you listening? You use the same major cooling parts in over 200 laptop models. How can all those products—with a vast range of low to high performing CPUs—possibly need the same fan? Oh you can have it replaced, and often at Best Buy for a paltry sum of about 150 smackaroos. Instead of offering an easy access door, like for RAM—a $5 part— we must shell, shell, shell, and shell out some more for what is exorbitant labour. HP must have known how much students love to hand out money. And for those of us willing to dismantle the chassis to do it ourselves, try getting that part locally. Even HP says they don’t have it. For the DIYers amongst us, let’s make existing technology better, more user-friendly, and affordable. There will be less waste, and focussing on existing platforms reduces research and development costs significantly, lowering prices.

What I’m objecting to is unchecked, greed-oriented consumerism. If by some marketing magic Best Buy channeled funds towards health and wellness, then I’m all for it. But we all know that isn’t happening. And the $5 HP makes on my fan isn’t going to cut it. Then again, buying an entirely new computer to replace the one that overheated will.