Letting Go of Old Technology, Expanded

Chief Geek here. Let's talk. We actually got a fair amount of inquiries from the last post, so I wanted to take a few moments to expand on what I had said, regarding the Great Debate of "Repair v. Replace." It's not a popular attitude, but I feel it needs to be said.

There comes a point in everyone's life when you simply have to let go. With technology, it's even more so.

We understand that if you buy a computer over 10 years ago for over $1,000+, you're going to want to hold on to that for as long as you can. But as I often say to clients on-site, there's a reason you don't see Model T's out on the highway.

Not a day goes by where we're not asked about someone's Macbook Pro from mid or early 2010 or older, and in many cases, we generally tell people that it's not worth the cost to repair. Yes, even though we heavily support the iFixit Manifesto, sometimes there comes a point where it's no longer in the owner's interest to repair.

Technology does not age well. Parts degrade, things break down. It is the natural progression of life toward entropy. With that said, we have a very strict policy in regards to working on "Old technology." Simply put, we recommend against it, especially if you are a business.

Why? If you have a car that is 20 years old, you'll find that parts are significantly harder to come by, and in that regard, incurring much higher maintenance costs. The same applies to computers, but cut that age and half.

For example, yes, you can get a replacement battery for your laptop from 2008, but why would you want to? If a battery is using outdated technology, it will not, and many cases cannot, hold the same charge that it could years ago, as rechargeable batteries do degrade.

Past that, there's no legitimate reason a manufacturer like Dell, HP, apple, or any other computer maker will want to keep making/supporting those products. Their main job is to sell you items, not to keep the old ones going. So no, you're not going to find any parts available that are brand new for your Compaq Presario from 1998!

Essentially, you may as well take cash out of your wallet, and throw it down the toilet.

It's not only hardware, though! If you're in 2017 -- which, in case you missed the memo... -- and you're running Windows XP, you're going to have a terrible time. Most new hardware like printers, video cards for gaming, some mice/keyboards simply aren't going to work. And if they DO work, it'll likely be in a severely limited or weaker method of operation. You can't jam a V8 engine into a lawnmower, no matter how hard you try, and it's the same idea here. What's worse, if the maker -- in this case, Microsoft -- no longer supports the software with updates, guess what? Every bug, every glitch, every weakness will remain as it is. FOREVER. You can bet that hackers love unsecured, outdated, unpatched systems. It's like a playground, especially if you're storing client or personal information on it.

While I personally am not happy at the fact that we live in a disposable society where E-waste is high, when you can purchase a brand new laptop for a quarter of the price, and x10 the efficiency and power? Why would you want to keep the old machine limping along? It's just smart math.

We support the idea of being in control of your devices, regardless of the manufacturer, yet there comes a point where it's simply not cost-effective to maintain that laptop from 2010 or older. Servers, however, are a different story. Those are devices that are made to last over a decade or more comma standard laptops and desktops, however, or not.

In the end, we provide a service, and we will gladly provide that service to any clientele, on any system. However, we're also in the business as a consulting firm. We're here to help you save money, or to make your system or your network, be it home or office, as efficient as possible -- sometimes, you just have to let go.

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