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Old 13th Jan 2019, 1:33 pm   #61
Scimitar
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

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I'm actually an anti fashionister. The bean-counter led downgrade of products has been gradual and systematic and I've worked out jeans (etc) from the 80s are made a lot better than the stuff these days. I scour ebay for new old stock. Problem is, occasionally my late 70s early 80s "look" temporarily flickers back into fashion. It causes me immense consternation while it lasts
Oh yes. The lad in Halfords was most taken aback when asked to show me the least fashionable bike in the shop! I wanted to see one with proper mudguards, handlebars and Sturmey gearbox.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 1:41 pm   #62
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

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I'm actually an anti fashionister. The bean-counter led downgrade of products has been gradual and systematic and I've worked out jeans (etc) from the 80s are made a lot better than the stuff these days. I scour ebay for new old stock. Problem is, occasionally my late 70s early 80s "look" temporarily flickers back into fashion. It causes me immense consternation while it lasts
So am I. In fact there is nothing introduced in the last 30 years that I actually want (and think would improve my life). There are plenty of older, properly made, repairable things that I want.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 2:10 pm   #63
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

Correction BH not PM [post 55*]. I was at the wrong end of the day there!

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Old 13th Jan 2019, 6:02 pm   #64
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

Clothes are to keep you warm and cover the furry bits up.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 6:47 pm   #65
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

I have heard things like this repeated many times: 'There is more processing power in a scientific calculator than in the Apollo 11 guidance computer'. Clearly this doesn't tell the full story and is more of a dinner table sound-byte than anything we should be stunned by, but it does create a feeble link to this point- The frequently planet-unfriendly practice of introducing processing where it isn't required. Aircon, refrigerators, automotive ancilliary management systems, washing machines etc., it's all seems a massive job creation nightmare gone horribly wrong. I just think that some of this misplaced development money and effort could be thrown at medical equipment, where it's really needed.

As for inane plastic pals like Alexa or Siri, I would be happy to let the likes of Colin Furze near them with a hammer.

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Old 13th Jan 2019, 7:49 pm   #66
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

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The frequently planet-unfriendly practice of introducing processing where it isn't required
Like light switches and central heating, some of the people I know revel in turning them on/off from their "mobile". I am wondering if I don't comply with a "plastic pals" suggestions (hardly likely I won't have one) will I be an outsider.

"I have a digital light switch", all mine are, two states only, finger controlled too.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 8:00 pm   #67
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

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... In fact there is nothing introduced in the last 30 years that I actually want (and think would improve my life) ...
Are you saying that this place is making you unhappy (Tim Berners-Lee started the world wide web in 1989) ?

EDIT: I think that tetraethyl lead only disappeared from petrol within the last 30 years too.

Cheers,

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Old 13th Jan 2019, 8:08 pm   #68
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

What can I say?

Axexa, siri etc... They are NOT my plastic pals, and they are NOT fun to be with. Douglas Adams' view of Sirius Cybernetics was prescient, as he seemed to fear.

Colin Furze would attack one of those irritants with a ramjet not a hammer. I'd applaud.

Modern jeans are a laugh. Just fall apart, but the holes are fashionable! The holes are cold! outdoor work for me means an old pair of jods and a pair of neoprene muck boots (some modern things ARE good). Not exactly fashionable but warm comfortable and rugged.

I'm not in favour of things just because they are vintage or because they are modern. Era doesn't matter, I just want GOOD.

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Old 13th Jan 2019, 8:48 pm   #69
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

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What can I say?


Modern jeans are a laugh. Just fall apart, but the holes are fashionable! The holes are cold! outdoor work for me means an old pair of jods and a pair of neoprene muck boots (some modern things ARE good). Not exactly fashionable but warm comfortable and rugged.

I'm not in favour of things just because they are vintage or because they are modern. Era doesn't matter, I just want GOOD.

David

I think modern jeans are designed for wearing while sitting around in in front of a screen, not for actually moving about in. There are some echoes the the past though. The recent trend of jeans with the crotch down by the knees reminds me of a pair Mum bought me from Woolworths in the early 70s and I have a pair from the 80s with "fashionable" holes in the knees for creosoting.

I couldn't agree more about things being good. I will take the good things from the present - fast internet connections, LED lighting along with durable good stuff made yesteryear.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 10:22 pm   #70
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

And men's clothing seems to be significantly more durable, as measured in terms of wash-and-wear cycles, than women's clothing (which seems to be designed to last only until the next change of fashion). Yet my boyjeans from the turn of the millennium are still perfectly wearable.....
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 6:54 pm   #71
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

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I'm not in favour of things just because they are vintage or because they are modern. Era doesn't matter, I just want GOOD.
I'm in favour of things that are "good enough" in some circumstances, but I certainly wouldn't want to go back to depending on 1960s/1970s cars that wouldn't start in cold weather/rusted before your eyes, coal/coke-fires to keep 'warm' by, dim 40-Watt incandescent bulbs, entertainment from medium/long-wave-onlly radios, phone booths, manual washing-machines, nylon shirts, leather footballs, floppy-discs, newspapers....

The older I get the more I appreciate my technology-containing modern creature-comforts! Specially when they're vastly better in terms of convenience, efficiency, affordability and availability.

"Good" is in the eyes of the beholder - but also in the wallets of the bill-payers. Making stuff 'repairable' for those who want to do so but in the process pushing-up the price by 10% for everyone is not the path to popularity or business success.

[Example: a couple of decades ago one UK-based PC-manufacturer whose name began with the letter 'V' had a range of 'business' PCs that were designed to be highly-modular: you could easily replace the power-unit, HDD, graphics-card, CPU etc - the idea being that you could upgrade your machine when after a couple of years it started to lag behind what the latest models could achieve. An interesting sales-ploy - I warned ny clients against it because these PCs were significantly more-expensive - but some fell for it and soon found that the faster HDD really meant you needed a faster CPU to handle it, and then fitting a 100Mbit/sec Ethernet card didn't give you the throughput-boost you expected because the bus was getting swamped... and then you gave up on the idea and bought a new Compaq].

Give me fast, cheap and disposable!
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 8:12 pm   #72
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

Computers certainly seem to be a major example of what gets dumped rather than upgraded. Several years ago I would pick up and renovate old PCs, monitors and printers, adding more RAM etc, but eventually nobody wanted anything that was more than four or so years old. To get them even approaching a usable spec for the latest windows would have cost more than the units were worth.

Look at the millions of perfectly good CRT monitors that ended up dumped when flat screens came in. That seemed to happen overnight. At least with PCs you can stick some more RAM or a new HDD in, but there comes a point when the only OS that an old system will run is some version of Linux, and even then not too well, so in the skip it goes. I am pleased to say my last desktop PC was with me for almost ten years before it was replaced with a refurb unit costing less than 80 notes with the latest windows on. However, I don't know anyone else who had a PC that long. Laptops especially seem to get replaced very quickly. I have three or four in the workshop gathering dust, rejected repairs - a couple have bad power input jacks - access/disassembly alone would have means too much costly bench time.

Things haven't changed much with new tech. The other day I picked up a cheap Android box in a second hand shop which was from circa 2013. When I connected it up I found there was some software that would not update because the OS was too old. As far as I know, there is no way to upgrade the OS - seems like the new stuff is even worse than the old.

Then there's the stuff nobody seems to want even if it works. I have a pile of 1990s era CRT tv sets, the sort with black plastic cases. Street finds. If I'm honest I'll probably only use a third of them for audiovisual art projects and will probably have to dump quite a number even though they work - I suspect their monetary value is pence, only the odd retro gaming types seem to buy them. A case of not old enough to be really vintage, not new or attractive enough for the masses! So my point is, even if things are repairable, that alone is no guarantee they won't get dumped - people are too obsessed with the look of 'the new' and fashion / gimmicks at times.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 9:27 pm   #73
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

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Look at the millions of perfectly good CRT monitors that ended up dumped when flat screens came in. That seemed to happen overnight.
Yes, in part driven by "Carbon reduction commitments" - several of my public-sector clients were being pushed hard to reduce their electricity usage and replacing a CRT monitor that drew 250Watts by a LCD one that only took 40Watts was a big and quantifiable 'win' when scaled across 2500 users. HM Government even provided special 'greening' funds to enable this shift.

Most PC CRT monitors didn't have HDMI or DisplayPort connectors, which meant they didn't play well with newer PCs. And then there was the growing need for larger screen real-estate. A pair of LCDs doing 1920x1080 fit side-by-side nicely; the CRT-equivalents don't.

TBH I'm not sad to see the back of CRT computer monitors: the bigger ones [Trinitron and relatives like Mitsubishi's Diamondtron] were a pain to lift!
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 10:45 pm   #74
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

Someone once said to me 'crumbs, if you're scrapping that, it must be REALLY broken!'

If an item is beyond redemption but has a few goodies remaining, these goodies are removed for DIY projects, the rest/leftovers recycled as per the usual channels.

I still have CRT tellies, though now relegated to the man-cave. The Sony Trinitron I bought new in 1997, costing nearly 700. I still have the original remote, instructions, guarantee card etc, and all the packaging. Who knows, in 50 years from now it may be worth 4.52

I also donated my early-2000 XP desktop machine (which I assembled/configured myself) to our work recently, for a legacy job, still working great.

I guess there will always be some survivors of the modern age(?) I never thought Betamax or piano-key VCR's would be collectible, but then, my father said Cortina's would never be worth much, yet we saw a MKIII GXL just like his, for 35,000

That said, we cannot keep it all, and yes, the Trinitron monitors/TV's are quite heavy.

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Old 15th Jan 2019, 2:04 am   #75
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

I have got an ex NHS Samsung 17 inch flat screen that was being chucked out because the power bricks used to keep blowing up. They are 12 volt and 3 amp.
I found a short wave radio transmitter power brick at the flea market for a fiver and it has sat in a dark corner running hardly more than ambient temperature even if left on 24/7 for about 8 years.
It is a 15 pin VGA only but with a bit of setting up it gets a pretty good definition.
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Old 15th Jan 2019, 10:45 am   #76
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

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If your ever in Tenby and you want your shoes repaired call in to my old mate “Dai the boot” in the market, he’s been going since days of old. He reckons he’s got uncollected boots belonging to Nelson
'I've come to collect my boots' When did you bring them in? '14th May 1978.' Aghh yes, found them. They will be ready next Monday..
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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 6:05 pm   #77
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

I've been having a lot of fun over the last few years repairing DVD recorders. FS Monitors and digital set top boxes that are still in use in NZ. Caps have got so cheap now that you can recap the low voltage side of the chopper power supply board for very little cash and that is where 99% of the faults I've found reside. As for CRT our main television is CRT as is a spare Monitor - when they give up the ghost they will probably be dumped. The only problem I see with this non throwaway style is the amount of stuff you accumulate - and where that spare item is located. Yesterday for example the wooden toilet seat broke into 3 pieces and I KNEW I had a spare plastic once stashed for just such a problem, but could I find it?? No way! so there was a quick and desperate repair done on the wooden one which seems to be holding.
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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 6:44 pm   #78
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

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If your ever in Tenby and you want your shoes repaired call in to my old mate “Dai the boot” in the market, he’s been going since days of old. He reckons he’s got uncollected boots belonging to Nelson
'I've come to collect my boots' When did you bring them in? '14th May 1978.' Aghh yes, found them. They will be ready next Monday..
Haha that reminds me of when I worked at Rumbelows in the late 70s, the stock answer to repairs and spare parts was … yes it will be in Friday!!
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 6:22 pm   #79
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

Andrew just rang from the shop asking my opinion about a 48" Samsung LED TV that another dealer was passing on 'because they couldn't get the back off'. Before you start laughing, I warned him that it's no mean feat to do this. There are no screws at all. You slide a metal spatula in at the lower right making sure you miss the screen tabs, ease the case apart as far as you dare, then run your plastic paddles along the seam. The case splits with a worrying crack.
Then getting it back together is a challenge. The ones I've done didn't quite go back 100% but there's so little clearance between the screen and the front bezel that you daren't squeeze too hard. It's not just us - I hear Samsung main dealers are just as apprehensive. We have to get the customer to understand the screen might get cracked despite our best efforts.
The last one I was asked to look at had distorted sound. I took one look, made my apologies and advised them to buy a soundbar. Some things just aren't worth the stress!
And this on a top-of-the-range TV. Are they encouraging a throw-away culture?
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Old 7th Feb 2019, 7:04 pm   #80
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Default Re: Changing the throw away culture, BBC News

The snap-on TV cover phenomenon from Glyn is the total opposite of what happened to me the other day in respect of Mira Showers. One of the flexi hoses from our shower pump had to be changed due to corrosion of the copper pipe in the end, while doing this job i took the chance to change the weepy mixer cartridge, being surprised to find that not only was the cartridge available, but a rebuild kit with seals filters and grease was available for those wanting to recondition.

Mira's prices seem to indicate that they don't particularly want the expense and hassle of dealing with odds & sods parts customers, i say this because NSS, their authorised dealer, had the genuine cartridge available at 80 less than Mira's price..
Where parts are discontinued there is frequently a cross-reference to a supercession part that should be satisfactory. I hate plumbing, but this made the job almost bearable.

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