Planned Obsolescence: The absurd practice of designing products with a limited lifespan in order to maximise profits.  Based on the notion that infinite economic growth can be balanced by the finite resources of the planet.

My Macbook is dying and, while waiting for a replacement, I wanted to resurrect it for long enough to do this post and a video and explain why I’ve been slow getting back to people who’ve been kind enough to comment.

Like many, I despair about the way new products seem to have obsolescence built in and the way manufacturers are making it harder and harder for their machines to be repaired or upgraded.

For example I’m ordering a Mac Mini as a replacement, not because they are good (having dropped their four core processing ability) but because it’s the easiest/cheapest option.  The RAM on the new Mac Mini is soldered onto the motherboard, so you are unable to increase it at a later date (or use cheaper third party RAM instead).  Also new cables are needed as Apple seem to love changing these as often as they can get away with, forcing everyone to buy ridiculously expensive new adaptors etc.

It’s all very aggravating.  I might be able to reluctantly accept the fact that these companies are (cynically) trying to maximise profits, but what really annoys me is the waste of resources this approach involves.  What are we meant to do with all those old computers and redundant cables?

The same seems to be true of a lot of car designs these days and, whereas in the past, repairs could be done at home and various (if not all) parts of the car could be replaced…now it’s not so easy and there is nothing manufacturers like more than for you to throw away the old and buy the new model instead.  By comparison my Land Rover is now 28 years old and going strong.

I don’t see why a computer manufacturer can’t offer a sort of standard box to which RAM, processors, etc can be snapped into place, so that we only have to throw away/replace the part that is redundant and not throw ‘the baby out with the bathwater’.

…or rather I do see why they do it and I don’t like it.  I may have bought another Mac this time round but I feel increasing resentful about Apple’s treatment of its original customer base and when a good alternative turns up (and one day it will) I’ll switch….and I’ll never look back.