Karl`s PC Help Forums

Young people are lost generation who can no longer fix gadgets, warns professor.
Katzy - 30-12-2014 at 18:54

I watched the Christmas lecture, given by this lady:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11298927/Young-people-are-lost-generation-who-can-no-longer-fix-gadgets-war ns-professor.html

She's right, of course. I remember, when I was younger, everyone along the street used to bring me their record-players, tape decks, wirelesses (as they were known, back then) and all manner of things, for me to repair.

But, there are a couple of problems, with that, now. Often (Mostly?), it's actually cheaper to buy a new one. Plus, of course, today's stuff is all digital and sealed-unit stuff, which is impossible to repair without a load of specialist tools.

Pity. I have an old Sony "Tapecorder" (An open-rell tape-deck), which is almost as ancient as I am and the thing still works as well as it ever did. But, of course, I've repaired it loads of times. Believe it, or not, I can still get some bits, for that, from Sony UK.

People never used to buy a new TV, when it died, coz the local repair man could usually sort it out, in a couple of days, at the most.

How long before we run out of the "rare Earth" elements, that current technology is using-up and ditching, too? Often, just because it isn't the latest "thing"?

How come mobile device recycling isn't big?

I have to say that I quite despair of the current "throwaway" culture. My computers are all second-hand, or built from other people's throw-aways and I'm, actually, quite proud of that.


marymary100 - 30-12-2014 at 20:17

Yes. There was a shop in a nearby town which used to fix things and they went out of business because people stopped wanting to fix things.


LSemmens - 31-12-2014 at 00:03

I, too still have a couple of old reel to reel decks. One (A Sony TC630) needs new belts, rollers and heads, but I am still to throw it away (I've had it for nearly 50 years.) and the other, a Thorn which takes pride of place in the lounge room, hasn't been powered up for a couple of years, though.

We do live in a throw away world, even cars are almost not worth repairing once they've gotten a few years old.


Katzy - 31-12-2014 at 11:17

You might get lucky, if you contact Sony, Leigh.

I sent them a mail, yesterday. Apparently, they till have some bits in stock, for old machines, like ours. :)

You never know....


John_Little - 31-12-2014 at 15:21

Our friend's ex was a TV repair man. Inherited the business from his father. No work at all. Apart from retuning teles for old people.


Chrno - 31-12-2014 at 18:37

Hi End electronics are not often thrown away. The majority of those pieces are resold. It's the mainstream consumer products that have development a throwaway culture - and for good reason. The cheaper the product, the less purpose to repair when the damage has totaled the device.

You don't find Klipsch, Bowers & Wilkins, or Velodyne speakers in the garbage. You don't see McIntosh amps thrown away. You don't see Technics turntables in a bin, or a Sony ES CD player tossed. Rarely do people who build their own computers pitch them. Pioneer Kuro TV's never get thrown out. The throw away culture I am convinced is limited exclusively to the things that people aren't educated on, and the cheap consumer market.

i.e. Bose, Sanyo, Vizio, Apex, Vivitech, RCA, and GE. Not to mention all the off brands and white-van brands out there.

ETA: I have fixed Kenwood amps, refinished damaged Klipsch and JBL speaker cabinets, replaced capacitors on amp boards, rebuilt computers, rebuilt CD players, fixed turntable rotors, built speakers, and built crossovers. This professor I certainly hope is not speaking of my particular generation, because he'd be wrong. There are a lot of people my age who have done the same.


Katzy - 31-12-2014 at 23:03

She does say it's the younger generation.

I, too, still repair some things, coz I'm ancient and the "Make do and mend" philosophy is still strong, for me. I even stand old sauce bottles over new ones, to get the last drops out, still. Sadly, my tenosynovitis prevents me doing more, with regard to repairs. :(

The thing that gets me, is the current lust, almost, to have the latest device, even though there's squat wrong with their current one, just to keep up with the Joneses, as it were.

The old one? 99% of them just get binned. I only throw things away when they really are totally buggered, even now.


marymary100 - 31-12-2014 at 23:44

I have three old laptops sitting in a cupboard that just died over the last 4 years. Mostly battery/charging issues. The charger was 89 for one of them and the internal battery for another was similarly priced. When you factor in that it might not be the only problem, people go for new.


LSemmens - 1-1-2015 at 00:59

You are correct, Chrno. Sadly, people seem to think that MP3 is the highest form of Audio. That said, with my hearing, it is....:(


Chrno - 1-1-2015 at 01:48

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
You are correct, Chrno. Sadly, people seem to think that MP3 is the highest form of Audio. That said, with my hearing, it is....:(


Indeed.

I was using FLAC before it was cool. I also prefer Vinyl to CD and Digital. A good turntable will never sound as good as a digital copy.


LSemmens - 1-1-2015 at 06:46

I'm with you there, I still have a lot of my old vinyl and an old Dual turntable, again, it's more than a couple of years since I've used those. My main observation would be that amplifiers and enclosures seem to have improved whilst the "old" recording technology seems to have gone by the by. Flac, whilst the best of a bad lot is, IIRC, still a digital mechanism where analogue can record the original with the associated harmonics that tend to get lost in the digital age. The only thing I don't miss, is the hiss and pop of older media.


Chrno - 1-1-2015 at 08:22

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
My main observation would be that amplifiers and enclosures seem to have improved whilst the "old" recording technology seems to have gone by the by.


That's not exactly true. Cabinet enclosures have largely stayed the same by spec. They've only changed materials used to line those cabinets. Older amplifiers are largely sought after for their ability to produce clean power. Pioneer SA and SX amplifiers are some of the most sought after amplifiers on the market - selling for between $600 and $3000 - between 25 and 70% markup from MSRP. There's a reason for that - less technology involves more focus on the amplifier itself, and less on flashy features that don't enhance sound profiles any.

Speakers are about as advanced as they will likely get. Most use the same principles as they did in the 1960s and before. Larger the driver, better the sound. Heavier the magnet, the higher the drive. We'd have to make advances in physics before those things can change and really improve.


LSemmens - 2-1-2015 at 23:29

Good points, Chrno. However, I am amazed (loose term here) at the quality of sound produced by some of the bookshelf speakers compared with the larger units of my youth.

That said, if someone were to offer me a set of old Klipsch units, I will fall over myself getting them before they changed their mind.


Chrno - 3-1-2015 at 06:52

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
Good points, Chrno. However, I am amazed (loose term here) at the quality of sound produced by some of the bookshelf speakers compared with the larger units of my youth.

That said, if someone were to offer me a set of old Klipsch units, I will fall over myself getting them before they changed their mind.


Most of that is acoustic mimicking. The largest offender of this is Sonos (Bose does this with their cubes too, but it's more obvious when stacked next to something decent). Such things can reek havoc on your amplifier over long terms and cause hi-pass tinnitus. (between 17.5kHz and 24kHz). It's why many prefer responses AOB 22kHz in a speaker. The other thing that comes into play is port placement. A speaker that's front ported and on a wall is going to sound much different from a rear ported speaker on a wall. Simply moving that speaker out 6 inches could be the difference between being humble and shaming a speaker.

Most people today don't even pay attention to numbers like that. No one cares about SPL or sensitivity. That's why so many complain of having tinnitus. Poor acoustic design has always been a thing, and it's rampant today thanks to Dr. Amar Bose.


LSemmens - 3-1-2015 at 09:12

Exactly! I am well aware of placement and design. It's a pity that most, myself included do not have the money, or space to set up a decent listening room.

I suffer from Tinitus, but not as a result of poor listening habits, I've had it ever since a drunk parked on top of me at 100Kph. Not much I can do about that, sadly.


Katzy - 3-1-2015 at 12:45

Vinyl, actually, has a wider dynamic range than CDs do. If you have a good turntable and the record's not scratched, it'll sound better than a CD.

I remember having a conversation, about that, in my old house.

To stop the bickering, I put both a CD and a record on, at the same time. Both being The Dark Side Of The Moon.

I kept fading, between the two, asking them to decide which sounded better.

When they'd all decided "That one!", I simply lifted the stylus from the record and, of course, the sound stopped.

Their faces were pictures. :D


marymary100 - 3-1-2015 at 13:06

Good test. :)


LSemmens - 3-1-2015 at 13:10

I love it Katzy!!!


Chrno - 4-1-2015 at 05:32

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
Exactly! I am well aware of placement and design. It's a pity that most, myself included do not have the money, or space to set up a decent listening room.


That's where some audiophiles get split up. I'm of the camp that believes a high quality system can be had under the $20K mark and a good one can be had under $5K. Others...well...they're nuts, and I never want to meet one of them that'd drop over $100K on a system personally.

Quote:
I suffer from Tinitus, but not as a result of poor listening habits, I've had it ever since a drunk parked on top of me at 100Kph. Not much I can do about that, sadly.


Ouch...sorry to hear that!


Katzy - 4-1-2015 at 12:28

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmensI suffer from Tinitus, but not as a result of poor listening habits


Mine is. FAR too many loud gigs. :)


Chrno - 5-1-2015 at 22:08

Quote:
Originally posted by Katzy
Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmensI suffer from Tinitus, but not as a result of poor listening habits


Mine is. FAR too many loud gigs. :)


+1 - but wouldn't be as bad if I had used something other than a boombox next to my head. lol