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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Repair guy complaint



It's a common complaint among shady tree mechanics that you can't work on new cars anymore. Unfortunately, that applies to an awful lot of stuff. Much of our modern world has “no user serviceable parts inside.”

When I was a very young kid I remember tube testers in hardware stores. You could bring in your radio tubes and test to see if they were good. If they failed, you could buy replacement parts. Radios could be fixed. Sure, new radios are much cheaper and use a lot less energy. However, those old tube radios had a certain deep mellow sound that modern electronics just don't capture.

TV repair guys were a thing. My lovely wife's uncle used to be one. Times have changed. A guy I know had one of those really huge and expensive flat screen TVs. It had a display problem. While it might have been possible to repair it, the cost as almost as expensive as a new TV. As for myself, I buy smaller cheap ones and cross my fingers.

All electronics have pretty much become non-repairable disposable items. With that in mind, I still will open them up to see what's inside. It's surprising how often the problem is a simple internal fuse, bad switch, or disconnected wire. When I get modern electronics up and running again, people think I'm some kind of a wizard. Sadly, all too often the problem the problem is deep inside some circuit board buried in the innards and well beyond my abilities. At least I'm willing to try.

I feel bad for kids these days. They are growing up in a world where nobody gets their hands dirty repairing something. It's a waste of time to even try. That's a shame as repairing things is a great way to learn problem solving. You discover that you have some control over your environment. The age of tool using primates may be coming to an end.

-Sixbears





6 comments:

  1. Progress requires change, but not all change is progress.

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  2. "At least I'm willing to try. I feel bad for kids these days. They are growing up in a world where nobody gets their hands dirty repairing something. It's a waste of time to even try. That's a shame as repairing things is a great way to learn problem solving. You discover that you have some control over your environment. The age of tool using primates may be coming to an end."

    So true. The tool users (repair men) are often considered shamens / witch doctors, called upon when a disaster is at hand. I remember a VCR that was giving us problems. When opening it up, it turned out that the switch was pushed so often, it shifted in chassis where the button was held back by part of it. Shift the chassis back - fixed. Just a simple tension adjustment.

    Its becoming a throwaway society, just when recycling is becoming more the rule.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The best recycling is being able to fix something and keep using it.

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  3. My son used to love taking things apart to see how they worked. I think he still does. Unfortunately today it almost impossible to repair things yourself. A friend and I took apart a 1984 Mercury Capri engine and rebuilt it. Can't do that on cars these days. Too much electronics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At some point we are no longer the masters of our technology, but slaves to its whims.

      Delete