Last February I gave a new Ultrabook portable computer to my wife as a birthday gift. Soon after we started to use the Toshiba Ultrabook, it started to fail to light the display (a touch sensitive 12.5" display that slides towards the upper part to reveal the keyboard (like some old cellphones) and then turns up to achieve a Lap-top like position. It was designed like that to be used as a Tablet or convert to a Laptop.
It turned out that the mechanism that passes the signals to the display is faulty, and breaks down soon. This is a case of BAD design, since the flexible cable that conducts the signals to the screen is always used every time the computer is opened or closed, so that it soon fatigues and fails. I've seen other, much more costly units from Dell that have a totally wireless transmission of signals to the rotatable screen, that probably solves the fatigue problems completely, but the cost is more than twice. And the Toshiba unit is a very good computer aside from the screen problem: connected to a 20" LG brand LCD TV trough a MIDI cable, the results are very good since the Solid State hard Disk is tremendously fast and the little computer performs much better than a large desktop unit supposedly more powerful. It has a Core i5 processor and 4 GB RAM, but the performance is incredibly fast, it is a pity the design is flawed. I haven't yet taken it to service as I am using it with the external monitor perfectly, but I can see that even repairing the damaged link it will still be susceptible to fail again soon (unless I keep the screen fixed to prevent the flexible harness from fatiguing again!. Monkeys are hard working at Toshiba! Amclausssen.
You cite the exception; not the rule. I had a Toy truck and it had a marvelous KISS drivetrain and dash low on breakable amenities. Heck, the sierra tangos riding around in the middle east with an arsenal of RPGs and plating in that cute lil'back bed love those things. They're like VW bus. Carry alot, go forever and mindless to fix. May be the very reason the car makers don't want to make that variety, bad for sustainable market.
Toyota's have indeed progressed over the years in reducing the amount of horribly engineered devices. Their truck series, especially their Tacoma SR5s, are built to last and have been 'adopted' by the military for use on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
I think it should be clear to the speculative gray cells that cars with huge battery arrays have built-in obsolescence will not drive the manufacturers to build with longevity as a design goal. More of the bells and whistles like phone interface, USB connectivity and wireless will be unsupported in a decade. How can we expect them to build hardware that will last beyond 20 years when the software and firmware and hardware are obsolete way before. I have a 1996 GMC vortec engine and no dealer or service has ever said, "we've got a software patch for that." So I"m expecting my 2011 center console LCD touch control screen to be unsupported likewise. Built Ford tough is a slogan not a future.
I've come to the conclusion there are two types of people. People that use and throw away and those that use carefully and fix when things fracture. There are hybrids of these types but the car industry is based on disposal. Search on "vintage car auction Nebraska" ; even the dealers knew and know it.
Way south of the border, in Australia. We have some of the highest UV levels on the globe. I spent 1 week walking around Singapore in a T-Shirt and had no sunburn yet here I get sunburnt in 15 minutes from about 10 in the morning until around 4 in the afternoon. Believe me, most foreign made cars have perishing plastic here.
Looks like this License plate reads '09, and the date of image I captured was 2010. So, even as a 3-year-old picture, it still depicts at least a 34 year old car! For more fun memories, go to www.oldparkedcars.com
That's very interesting! You say, "south of the border", and so I assume your in the subtropical or tropical climate. Well, we're in FLA, NOT EXACTLY the coolest or driest area either, and our 2008 CAMRY w/ apprx 85K miles is doing OK mechanically & aesthetically. No major OR minor problems to report, EXCEPT that darn air dam under the front bumper. It keeps getting caught on those pesky concrete parking lot stop barriers. WHY CAN'T TOYOTA change the design or something so that the inadvertent action doesn't cause it to become dislodged from the mounting???
JimT: AS Bob Hope often ended his shows, "THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!" Yes!, you hit the nail on the head.... that is a foto of my old CELICA, except mine was a burnt orange exterior paint w/ a saddle tan interior color. In fact, it seemed that TOYOTA went through great pains to make the interior plastic the same color as the interior cloth (headliner, seat material, etc.), producing a very bland & boring result. While this was NOT my first new vehicle, it was a huge disappointment after about the 2nd year of ownership. The gasket I referred to in my previous post is the large gasket which surrounds the opening for that hatchback. IF the accompanying foto is current, then it's a testament to the wonderful climate in Washington State.... that a vehicle can survive for almost 40 years & be in the condition that this one seems to be in...... Looks like all it needs is a good washing, some light rubbing compound & a BLUE CORRAL wax job, and it will be ready for the show circuit.....
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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