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Planned Obsolescence
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Akos Janca
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:59 pm    Post subject: Planned Obsolescence Reply with quote

Hi,

In this long thread I've read a sentence in a post:

Quote:
I don't for one minute think option 2 is correct either although some companies do definitely design their products not to last.


Unfortunately, it seems to be true sometimes. A very interesting documentary comes to my mind titled The Light Bulb Conspiracy (The Untold Story of Planned Obsolescence). It's about a one-hour film by Cosima Dannoritzer from 2010. It was aired by Arte TV.

Short trailer here. I couldn't find the English version online, but the full-length German dubbed version is here. Facebook page is here.

For the record, I'm not saying Korg or other MI manufacturers are involved in this, at all. (Hence the off topic theme.) But what about the makers of off-the-shelf PC parts?
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billbaker
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as computers are concerned I'd say that the dynamic is not one of planned obsolescence as much as it is acknowledgement of the state-of-the-art as a moving target.

Could lightbulbs be set to self destruct? Probably, but it's most likely a function of material choices. You could make them to last way longer with different materials, but it might be cost prohibitive -- and selling "hundred year" lightbulbs is self defeating for any company that plans to stay in business. What? I can sell this guy one lightbulb, then wait until his great grandkids need one and I get to sell another?

Why make a "hundred-year-computer" when technological progress has bypassed most units before they even roll off the assembly line?

Two or three upgrade passes is the most you can expect, then it's time to buy a new computer... and it's worthwhile to do so based on the increase in productivity and capacity, speed, economy, energy use.

I've been around long enough to have seen the whole gamut of computer tech, from the very introduction of PC's and Macs when I was in my 20's.

In those days the very idea of a mullti-terabite drive, RAM by the gigabite, and high speed modems was a fantasy. Now you can get that for under $500 at COSTCO. A freaking thumb drive can hold several thousand floppy discs worth of material - and I can remember having to load multiple floppies in order so that a program or OS loaded correctly (got a Trinity?)

So yeah, I can see where sometimes there's a readily foreseeable end to a company's support of "obsolesced" gear.

It leaves little room for customer loyalty when they feel like they've been left behind and severely under-appreciated. But without that cycle of renewal we wouldn't have seen the progress we have.

Yamaha is probably kicking themselves that their DX-7's haven't all died yet -- they're still out there chugging away nearly 40 years on now.

As am I.



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Bald Eagle
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last time I had an M3 in for service to replace a joystick there was a problem obtaining the part. The service tech gave me an earful about how Korg as well as others did not provide proper support for any length of time after discontinuing a product. With this type of planned obsolescence you are eventually forced to purchase something new simply because you can’t get your system repaired any longer. I think all the major players do this, some to a greater extent than others.

There is also another type of planned obsolescence that just bugs me and that’s the artificial crippling of available technology. For example, is the CPU in Kronos really capable of delivering 512 notes of polyphony and could it handle more insert effects? Is the functionality just being held back for the next future synth that we have to rush out and buy in order to play the next karmafied super combi or support 20 synth engines?

It’s all part of doing business so I guess I can’t complain too much, it’s just that some companies have a more subtle way of doing it. I would happily continue buying the next latest and greatest synth if they would at least provide a conversion mechanism so I could easily bring along all of my existing programs and combis. Even with a PC I can still manage to get the old DOS programs to run if I have to.
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Sharp
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The last time I had an M3 in for service to replace a joystick there was a problem obtaining the part.


I'm convinced that none of this will matter in the future because 3D printers will be so dirt cheap, everyone will have one. You will probably be able to download a JoyStick from our download section here and print one off.

3D printers have already started to fall massively in price. A few years ago they were the price of a BMW. Now you can get them for in around 1,000 Euro.

Give it 10 years, they will be dirt cheap.



Regards
Sharp.
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Ojustaboo
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I believe it goes on more than people think. The whole retail economy largely relies on it.

When I was young, we only ever had one refrigerator that I can remember, only ever had one oven and I can only ever remember one Vacuum cleaner.

We originally had a twin tub but that was replaced with a front loader washing machine and again, it might have been repaired, but was still there until the day my mum died.

Even her TV, I replaced it for her in about 1994 for one with a remote control as she still had the original colour Sony TV that was bought around 1972, it was still working fine, had a dial to change the channels on.

Compare that to my house, hi tec stuff aside.

I've lived in this house since 2000. Our second dishwasher has died, not going to replace it this time.

We are on our 4th washing machine in 13 years. The last one we only had for less than two years when the bearings started to go. My wife took out an extended warranty, the service guy (I'm not using the word engineer) came out, spend 5 secs listening to it and simply said he would write it off and get us a replacement under the warranty, its too much work to fix.

None of these washing machines were that cheap (not the most expensive but minimum about £400 ($620) each)

We are on our second refrigerator and that is going to need replacing soonish.

My widescreen CRT TV (Phillips, wasn't very cheap) started acting up within 4 years of ownership.

My Sony Bravia Flatscreen TV isn't 3 years old, sometimes the HDMI ports play up, it was one of the first smart TV's with internet access and we were promised all sorts of apps

Not one extra app materialised, it just had a very few basic apps supplied with it such as weather, clock etc. Sony bought out various apps such as facebook for their newer models but made it clear on their site that they had zero intention of doing so for their older models (mine was about 8 months old at the time)

We are on our 3rd vacuum cleaner since moving in 13 years ago (and we mainly have wood floors)

We are on our second oven.

Now compare my family in the past 13 years with my mums as I was growing up, spot the difference?

The whole retail electrical white goods market etc would collapse if we weren't replacing things every few years. The whole reason we have huge out of town retail parks with huge white goods stores is that they rely on us regularly changing them. Why would a company make something that's going to last 20 years, make it easy to repair etc when they could sell it slightly less and make one that will be lucky if it lasts 5, knowing the customer will have to go out and buy another.

Considering most white goods companies in the UK are owned by a very few bigger companies, they have a good chance of getting your money whatever brand you buy.? And I say UK, not one company in the UK actually makes washing machines in the UK any more.

In fact more often than not, they simply chuck their brand name on particular models made by a third party for marketing reasons.

In the UK for instance, if we look at washing machines,

Electrolux own over 50 brand names (although not all of those are for washing machines) such as Zanussi, AEG, Tricity Bendix and things like John Lewis (retail store in UK) own brand.

Candy own Hoover, Zerowatt, Kelvinator and others

Merloni own Aristin, Indesit, Cannon, Thorn, English Electric, Creda, Hotpoint, New World, Philco and many others

Between those three they own almost all washing machines and most are owned by just two.

But if we bring hi-tec into it, it gets completely silly. Having to use authorised repair places rather than say take it to the local electrical repair shop.

I went through 3 ps2'S (and I look after my stuff, air flow all around, vacuum out vents etc regularly etc), my PS3 died in January this year, was one of the next on from the originals (couldn't play PS2 games on it), was the fat version. I now have the PS3 slim.

I thought I had got away with the red ring of death on my 360 but that eventually died after a few years with the problem, although MS still offered to fix it for free as it was a known problem (you listing Korg Smile )

My original Xbox mind you is still going strong (although doesn't get much use now)

I guarantee that 99% of everyday users could make do with office 95 and I doubt even then many would use hardly any of its features.

I bought myself Adobe CS4 suite in late 2008. It's now 2013, they are on CS6.

Sure there's a few things I like about the newer version but there's nothing that is going to want me to upgrade from CS4, it does everything I want. Well almost, I was sent an CS6 illustrator doc recently and my CS4 wouldn't open it.

I realise companies need to evolve and make new products, but we reach saturation point and I think we've almost reached it with a lot of things now.

For the average user, their PC bought in the last few years will run everything they throw at it. Why should they upgrade to windows 8, even if it wasn't slated in the press (I like it personally). Companies complain about declining PC sales that's simply because a few years ago, people found their PC's crawling along and wished it went faster, now most are happy with what they have.

Many have moved to tablets, those that have their ipads or androids, many aren't going to upgrade every other year, especially with the cost of things like the ipad.

You will of course always get the designer name crowd, the people I simply cant understand that pay a premium to advertise a brands product for them, they will always want the latest must have item.

And you get the tech freaks and I'm a bit like that with my PC. I spend so much time on it and I'm heavily into gaming hence when I upgrade parts every 3 - 4 years, I always spend a lot on something that in 3 years time, is still going to be perfect for almost everything I throw at it, but I'm not the normal average PC customer that goes down the road and spends a few hundred pounds in the local superstore.

We've (wife and me) now reached a point where we don't see the point in paying a lot for good quality goods as the quality never is good any more. Why pay £450 for a washing machine when we can pay £200 for one that does the same and will probably last just as long.

Our last kettle cost £5 from our local supermarkets value range. we've had it for about 7 odd years, its working 100% fine.

Our toaster, I paid £40 for and within a year it's total crap, 4 slice toaster where I have to turn the toast over to get it evenly brown, next time I shall buy a value toaster too.

The only things I care about quality is my TV (in that I want it to have a good screen) and my monitor for the same reason. Hence if those died, I would buy high end ones that come with 5 year warranties etc.

Most of the above mentioned purchases were in no way cheap, but also none of them was anywhere near the cost of half the price of my Korg Kronos.

Whether Korg would do this, who knows. The thing is, with the birth of soft synths, something like the Kronos will probably be the last purchase for many many years for a lot of people. After all it can sample any soft synth I want. For those that use it at home and don't gig regularly, I cant see much point of ever having to fork out that sort of money again.

Did they deliberately cripple it, I don't think that was exactly the case and I realise that things have moved on since the Kronos was being designed. But they could have put a much more powerful motherboard and CPU in for not much more cost at all.

And if they had, we could have had quicker loading times, less note stealing etc.

They could have used 64bit allowing us to use a lot more RAM.

I've compiled Linux from scratch many times, adding 64 bit support is not hard.

Looking at my Kronos, when it's out of warranty I might look at a way of allowing the screen to tilt. I realise they needed to save on costs, but I believe this could have been done again very cheaply.

But lets role on 4 years.

The new Korg Super synth is released,
64 bit op system,
file names as long as you want,
up to 32Gb RAM (I'm presuming they will still be behind enough not to use the latest motherboards that can accept 64GB etc)
Tiltable screen
User upgradable RAM and SSD
Ipad (or whatever flavour of the month is in) compatible editor

Now most if not all of those things could have been put into the original Kronos at very little cost. But I bet if they released the above, within months, the Kronos forum will be as quite as the M3 one is now and the new super synth forum will be where everyone is hanging out.

So whether they deliberately held things back, who knows, but from a business point of view it sort of makes sense for them to do so.

I however think they've reached the point where they should simply sell a super Kronos with off the shelf parts that anyone can shove any MB in they like (ok an authorised service centre can) or at least a broad range picked (and regularly updated) by Korg, as much RAM as that MB will take and Korg simply sell updated OS systems every year and new addon synth engines.

And maybe from time to time sell an improved keybed version or one with more buttons/knobs, but still make the op system for both versions etc.

That to me would be a sensible approach and I've gone way off topic, so I'll shut up Smile
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Ojustaboo
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sharp wrote:
Quote:
The last time I had an M3 in for service to replace a joystick there was a problem obtaining the part.


I'm convinced that none of this will matter in the future because 3D printers will be so dirt cheap, everyone will have one. You will probably be able to download a JoyStick from our download section here and print one off.

3D printers have already started to fall massively in price. A few years ago they were the price of a BMW. Now you can get them for in around 1,000 Euro.

Give it 10 years, they will be dirt cheap.



Regards
Sharp.


Wonder how long it will be before someone makes a giant one that can print out a house Smile

Very interesting future ahead
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Bald Eagle
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ojustaboo wrote:

Wonder how long it will be before someone makes a giant one that can print out a house Smile

It's already been done ...
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/3D-Printer-Homes-housing-printing,16620.html
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Ojustaboo
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. I want one (printer not the house)
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Ojustaboo
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can even print yourself an army Shocked

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/04/fully_3d_printed_gun/
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Joe Gerardi
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ojustaboo wrote:
Can even print yourself an army Shocked

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/04/fully_3d_printed_gun/


Don't ever try it- making a gun illegally is a nasty prison stretch. Without being a legally certified firearms manufacturer, it would be a bad thing to do.

But more to the point, that's not a printed gun- that's a printed gun frame. The barrel will still need to be steel. This one isn't, and I doubt it's really any kind of functional weapon.

..Joe
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axxim
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a couple of years, you will have such printers at home. They also will have different refills such as tomato concentrate, pulverized dry meat, flour, synthethic cheese, oil, water and several flavours and so you could print your own pizza. With the additional attached oven you will enjoy your own creation in less than 15 minutes Wink
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Ojustaboo
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe Gerardi wrote:
Ojustaboo wrote:
Can even print yourself an army Shocked

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/04/fully_3d_printed_gun/


Don't ever try it- making a gun illegally is a nasty prison stretch. Without being a legally certified firearms manufacturer, it would be a bad thing to do.

But more to the point, that's not a printed gun- that's a printed gun frame. The barrel will still need to be steel. This one isn't, and I doubt it's really any kind of functional weapon.

..Joe


This guy fired it without a steel barrel

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22424315

Just in case you cant assess that site from outside the UK

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/05/06/shots-fired-from-world-first-3d-printed-gun/
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Sharp
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe Gerardi wrote:

But more to the point, that's not a printed gun- that's a printed gun frame. The barrel will still need to be steel. This one isn't, and I doubt it's really any kind of functional weapon.

..Joe


It says in the link the only non-printable part was the firing pin, which is nothing more than a Nail. So it's most certainly a functional weapon. So is a Telephone book if thrown hard enough.

No doubt though a "Big Deal" will be made of this. Rolling Eyes

Regards
Sharp.
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loki878



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Printer really looks nice actually Razz
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Spheric El
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still have an Atari ST set up with my Casio FZ10m sampler.
What an experience - the comp is like driving a vintage Rolls Royce. Don't change gear to fast and respect it's limitations and it's the tightest, most reliable computer in the world (sort of). It's a pleasure to drive.
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