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Computer Blog - thebroadroom.net: Tech over the long run
Disclaimer: all of the following is purely from personal experience. TheBroadroom.Net urges you to use your own instincts,
common sense, and willingness to take risks when applying any of the information below.
Tech over the long run
posted by Colleen Shirazi,
Monday, January 30, 2006
at 3:29 PM (Pacific)
Well, I'm set to buy a new device. I'm researching it on the Net.
A few things occur to me as I do so. #1 is that buying a big name brand item, on the assumption that that means anything, is not a good idea.
I found that out from the Kodak DC4800 camera. How could you go wrong buying a Kodak camera? Isn't that like buying Kleenex tissue or Scotch tape?
That model was not cheap when it came out. It retailed between $500 to $600.
Now...with the "love 'em and leave 'em" mentality of what we call "tech," it is a rather decorative paperweight--supposedly.
There's nothing wrong with the camera. It works. Produces nice pictures too.
As long as I was using a Windows 98 computer, and staying in the U.S., the sole gripe I would ever have had with this camera would simply be that other cameras have more megapixels and take better close-ups, and are, in a word, smaller.
Discovering that Windows XP does not support that Kodak model, was a shock. Discovering that you can't charge the battery (which is no longer being made--use a compatible) overseas was another shock. Discovering that Kodak no longer supports this model (which is four years old) was a third shock.
The most I got out of Kodak was that they used to sell a separate charger. The charger worked overseas. Finding this charger would be possible (given the Internet) but not easy (in terms of finding it in a b & m store).
To be fair, computers used to cost $2000. Something that you paid $2000 for, should not have to be thrown away after three years.
So, I have changed how I see all this "tech." It is relatively easy to buy a big brand name product. It is easy to find a good product at a good price. But what about next year?
Now, I tend to look carefully at the warranty offered on the product. It's hardware; it is highly unlikely to break down. I have a Windows 95 computer, circa 1996, that needed repair only once (to change the sound card). It works fine. It starts up fine, everything in it works; however it's unusable. So, for hardware products, the warranty tends to imply more that the manufacturer will (?) support their product--when said product is more than two, three, or four years old.
I go to the manufacturer's website and poke around. I'm looking for drivers and updates...and mentions, for gad's sake...of their "older products."