How to Prevent Computer Obsolescence Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

How to Prevent Computer Obsolescence

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Why throw a perfectly good paperweight away?

In the opinion of this Researcher, computer obsolescence doesn't exist. The concept that anything so wholly useful at one time can become no more than a $2000 paperweight two or three years after you bought it is nothing but a vile myth. Some computer manufacturers would like you to believe that the old hardware and software won't work any more as soon as they have developed something bigger and better1 and that is how they make their money. If consumers didn't replace their computer equipment regularly then there would be a limited market.

Here are some suggestions on how to retain your computer for as long as possible:

Stockpile Software

So what if you can't run Office 2000? If you still use Office 95, who cares? IBM PCs, circa 1985, can still be used successfully with IBM Writing Assistant V1.01, for example. Most modern software is about achieving the last one percent of usefulness. As long as you have applications, games and operating systems to run them all, upgrading is simply a luxury.

Don't be Swayed by Advertising

Advertisers try to convince you that Windows 98 is more fun, but Atari's 'Dig Dug' can be more fun than Windows' 'Minesweeper'. It is implied in the advertising that a Pentium III can make the Internet more fun but an extra 50MHz of processor speed doesn't make your modem any faster. Computers in coloured cases? Pure aesthetics, and you would probably have more fun painting the chassis yourself.

Don't let advertising tell you what to believe. Every PC can be useful and fun. Not all games need a 3D accelerator and you may find that your essential applications run quite well on a 486. See through the hype and hang onto your old computer for a little longer. Most people upgrade because they want the newest gizmos, not because the old computer has outlived its usefulness.

Buy Quality Peripherals

Peripherals that run with your system may become obsolete but, if you bought well-made products, it won't matter. This is almost the same thing as stockpiling software. If you can't buy a new printer for your computer what does it matter if the old one still works? For example, dot matrix printers still work and refill ribbons are much cheaper than inkjet or laserjet cartridges.

Don't Throw Out Your Old System When You Buy a New One

If you don't appreciate your old Pentium 90 any more then maybe someone else would. No matter how out of date you think your computer is, someone somewhere will want it.

It is awful to see computers go to waste. They are just too useful to throw away.

1And usually more expensive.

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