Planned Obsolescence

in #hardware5 years ago


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Hello Friends, as some of you know from my Introductory Post one of the works I do for a living is repairing computers.

This week something very curious happened to me and I want to share with you, so in case that you have this hardware installed on your computers take the necessary steps to put your important information safe.

First a little definition.

Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design and economics is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete (that is, unfashionable or no longer functional) after a certain period of time. The rationale behind the strategy is to generate long-term sales volume by reducing the time between repeat purchases (referred to as "shortening the replacement cycle"). Source Wikipedia

This week came to my repairer shop 4 computers with the same symptoms, problems booting the OS and the famous blue screen of death in Windows, what I did was try to do a clean install on the hard drive to see if simply it was an error of the OS, but as always first I try to backup the information of my clients with a very useful tool called Hirens Boot is a versatile LiveCD for backup and other types of repairs, the case was there was no way to reinstall the operating system or backup any information because the hard drive had serious trouble reading or writing information, it just got stuck and did nothing.

Yesterday while talking to my wife about some of the repairs that were made in the week, I searched the bad hard disks that we changed and I notice that these 4 computers had installed the same model of Hard Disk and that over a period of 1 week all had damaged in the same way.

Here is the model of hard drive so that in case you have installed on your computers, make sure you backup your important information in some other drive, as the saying goes "One cautious man worth by two" I don´t think that these 4 Hard Disks that are the same model and year of manufacture have been damaged by coincidence, in fact I think a great example of what we call Planned obsolescence.

  • Brand Western Digital
  • Model WD5000AAKX
  • Capacity 500 GB
  • Manufacturing 2011

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I think the advice "make sure you backup your important information in some other drive" applies pretty much universally. Backup is important, very much so. Hard disks (as well as SDDs) can die any time, laptops gets stolen, mobile phones usually neither survives a laundry cycle nor a Man-Over-Board-situation, etc.

I'm doing some bitcoin trading on LBC, and every now and then I'm approached by customers that have been hit by randomware (or, more often, computer repair guys/companies helping out some customer that has been hit by ransomware). I really hate supporting such criminality, but I'm also too pragmatic to say "no" when someone tells me that this is the reason why they urgently need bitcoins.

So please - back up, back up, back up!

I follow your work day I like what befriend @ oecp85, excellent pors. I appreciate your time and the beautiful words that I dedicate my post

Thanks my friend.

One of the first items with planned disintegration was the light bulb.

About 100 years ago some business man decided more money by making products that fail over time . . .

Consider this light bulb . . .

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/a13220/the-worlds-longest-burning-light-bulb-has-shone-for-110-years-17441176/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centennial_Light

now-a-days washing machines, fridges etc are all designed to fail after so many preplanned hours of use.

This auto destruction is seven years based upon the average number of hours of normal useage.

That is why buying extra product protection is wasting money, the product has such a low chance of failing you are simply giving your money away . . .

With the light bulb, there was a industry cartel.

In a perfect market situation, the "planned disintegration" doesn't quite make sense. If you buy an item from brand A and it breaks after X years (and the customer would have expected it to last for longer), then the customer is likely to chose brand B when buying the replacement.

Of course, the "perfect market" doesn't exist. I've been having massive problems with leaky water tanks in my boat, it really doesn't make sense but I keep on buying exactly the same brand, in the short term it seems easier for me to just replace the faulty parts with replacements that fits in with the least amount of work.

I think we should apply Hanlon's razor here, there may be non-malicious reasons for those hard disks to fail all at once.

Hi @tobixen, yes maybe we can apply the Hanlon´s razor here, but only call my attention the fact that they are identical hard discs that were damaged in the same period of time is really suspicious.

I think it's not the first time such incidents have happened, and I think I've read that it's important to mix hard disks (at least from different production lots, if not from different producers) when setting up a RAID.

EDIT: googled a bit and found this one: http://www.johndcook.com/blog/2009/01/05/rai-failure-probabilities/