Old hardware doesn't have to be obsolete

posted by Jeff | Thursday, September 5, 2019, 10:07 PM | comments: 0

Android 10 came out today, so I updated my phone once I was done for the day. I haven't quite had it for two years, but I seem to recall it shipped with 8, so I'm glad that it's current. Unfortunately, that's not the case with stuff as it gets older, and I'm kind of annoyed with that.

First off, I went to get the Lego Powered Up app to put on Simon's iPad, because it controls all of the new train models. I went to install it, and it couldn't because it doesn't support the version of iOS on it. I wasn't paying attention, but it looks like it stopped updating the OS quite awhile ago. This iPad came out in 2012, so yes, it's 7-years-old, but so what? The thing about computing devices is that, computationally, they tend to last way longer than they did back in the day. This is especially true for tablets and phones.

While I'm picking on Apple, I also flattened our aging first iMac, as it's getting close to 10 years now. It's been on Simon's desk for years, but since I built a desktop I wanted to pass down my 2015 iMac to him. I couldn't update that older iMac to any remotely recent version of MacOS, and that's super annoying. That computer is still viable considering almost everything you'd do with it these days is in a browser anyway. If you don't develop software or play games in 4K, you don't need a ton of hardware. (And soon, you won't need it even for those tasks.) Stop making stuff disposable!

I complain about Windows and all of the baggage it still carries, but I hilariously still use QuickBooks'99 to keep the books for the business, so there's something to be said for that. We don't have to throw away technology all of the time. Phones aren't making any serious improvement year to year. Computers last five to ten years. I think this unnecessary upgrade cycle is forced by the companies who sell the gear and our irrational consumerism. That's gotta be legit if me, the technologist, feels that way.

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