Obsolescence....

I've just taken a call from a guy who bought a new system and wanted to use his old PS2 keyboard on his new USB only baseunit. He bought an adapter to convert from PS2 to USB and.........

I've just taken a call from a guy who bought a new system and wanted to use his old PS2 keyboard on his new USB only baseunit. He bought an adapter to convert from PS2 to USB and......... nothing. It won't work- and he's tried it on all sorts of different systems..

The thing is, it's the epitomey of Obsolescence. I've seen it with Apple kit as well (okay, so I ran an online Used Apple Mac store) and, as many of you know, Apple phased out SCSI support on 10.4. We'd get so many customers who'd buy old kit from us, just for SCSI support. The same went for switching from OS 9.2 to OS X. Many of our customers were loathed to as they'd have to buy £2000 of new software for their business and consequently, the second hand price of G4 Macs remained high for a very long time (they fell markedly last year, but still retain a high value 4 years after manufacture!).

What's the point to me posting this? We all know that obsolescence is built into everything don't we? Well, if you go into an Apple Mac store and ask for support for a 10 year old mac, you'll be told that you need to upgrade. If you want support for a peripheral not recognised by Vista, you'll be told to upgrade. It's almost become second nature to us to simply throw something away, rather than fix it- even if it did a job perfectly well. Now, isn't that just a waste of resources? I certainly think so, but it all boils down to keeping that cash flowing through the economy.

The downside to this is that from a recycling point of view, we're still not recycling enough. Old computers (even faulty) still hold an intrinsic value to the original purchaser. The machine would have cost upward of £400 originally and the owner would still see it as having that value. Strip it for parts, re-use components (if at all possible), but the owner won't send it to the graveyard just yet!