I absolutely believe the story about the touch screen maker who quietly admitted that their screens are made to last just four years. I believe, but can't prove, that there is a matter of planned obsolescence involed in this. I am typing this comment into a 2005 model Compaq Presario computer. When I recently took it in for repairs, the tech asked me, "Why are you bothering? You could get a new machine for just a little bit more." Therein lies the problem. Why should electronics manufacturers build devices that can last 20 years when people are tossing their computers after five years to buy the latest and greatest? I could give many reasons for keeping computers for ten years or more (the main one being I don't like to reinstall software and copy data onto a new machine), but I don't think most consumers of electronic products would agree with me.
I like the idea of having universal support to swap out your own electronics. With all of the new electronics being integrated into cars you would think a plan would have been in place to replace the worn out touch screen/entertainment components.
Good points, TJ. You're right about the Made for Monkeys postings. Nearly all of the complaints with new white-box appliances are with the electronics. It's the control boards that are always getting fried, usually within the first two or three years. This does not bode well for cars as automakers keep packing in more and more electronics.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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