Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Unrealistic expectations.

I woke up thinking about electrical items this morning.
Bear with me, and you will see why.

I had to buy a new TV recorder this week. The old one was bought in 2012, and had recently stopped working properly. I hadn’t suspected the device at first, and thought the problem was TV reception in this country area. You may recall a recent post where a young man in a local shop gave me some good advice that cured the problem.

But that cure didn’t last long, unfortunately.

After having to retune the box numerous times in one week, followed by its complete failure to work at all on Wednesday, I knew there was only one solution. I had to buy a new one. I went off to the same shop, saw the same young man, and he happily showed me the selection. When I expressed some doubts over his recommended model, as I had never heard of the brand name, he allowed me to play with one, connected to a TV in the shop. After ten minutes familiarising myself with the device, and remarking how it operated in a similar way to the old one, I decided to buy it.

Handing over Β£190, I was very pleased to have been able to see it working, and to discover that it was one third of the size of its predecessor, and had double the potential storage too, with 1 TB available.

Of course, once I got home, I found that the old one had decided to come on after all. Had it just been teasing me? I left it on that night, and waited to see if it failed again. Sure enough, the picture began to break up around 10 pm, so I knew that the new one would be going into service the next day.

I am pleased to say that it came with a comprehensive instruction manual, and one that was actually easy to understand too. In a few simple steps, it was set up, and working well. I hope that now I have typed that sentence, it doesn’t decide to get me back!

As I sorted out the old one, ready for disposal, I wondered about why it had suddenly started to work erratically. I realised that it was more than seven years old, and had been on pretty much all day, every day for all of those years. The hard drive had been spinning more times than I could ever have imagined, and the recorded programmes had been stored, watched, and deleted on a daily basis. And this had cost Β£200, in 2012. That is around 2,555 days, working out close to just 8 pence a day. On balance that old Humax was pretty good value, considering what else you can get for 8 pence.

Yet I expected it to carry on working, for some reason.

As I settled down to configure the new recorder, I concluded that my expectations had been unrealistic.

43 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

  1. 8 pence here and 8 pence there and pretty soon you are talking real money! (To paraphrase Evert Dirkson who thought in larger increments). But you are right, thought of as a daily use fee, it is reasonable. Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story, Pete. My parents (both have since passed) were both frugal, and my dad, in particular, never believed in getting rid of anything. When we celebrated their 50th-anniversary with a party, their four boys put out their original toaster as kind of a symbol of this. That got me thinking about the company that made the toaster. I got online and discovered they were no longer in business. Apparently, they made their appliances a little too well. Ha-ha!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I bought my PC tower (Asus) in the fall of 2013. The DVD drive failed shortly thereafter, but the rest of it still works. I kept the old Envision flat screen monitor, which I purchased in 2002. It still works beautifully, even though it’s on practically all day long every day. Since we don’t subscribe to cable or satellite, and haven’t bothered with a broadcast antenna, our TV is basically a living room dust collector. On rare occasion (a few times a year), I’ll fire it up to watch a DVD. But it’s not like I don’t embrace the latest technology. After all, I do have a cell phone. It actually works pretty well for phone calls!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I confess to being addicted to certain very good TV dramas, and being able to watch films of course. So the TV is definitely a necessity for me. Good to hear your PC and monitor are still going strong though.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I suppose what it all means is that… one never truly buys electronics but rather you are buying a piece of “technology”, which comes with the idea that it’s service life is dictated by the introduction of new technology and not from use or over-use. In other words, if you purchased your first box in January of 2012 then you needed to replace that old antique by June of 2012 to stay within current technology. That fact you never replaced the museum box until June of 2019 speaks more of your denial of welcoming new technology with open arms rather than submitting to the old and outdated notion that anything you buy should at least last as long as your mum’s Electrolux canister vacuum cleaner.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You did really well, lasting 7 years.

    Printers. They are the demon spawn of the computing world. Seldom needed in the home, but always seem to go bad when needed. I turned my printer on the other day, started to print something, and it just shut off, dead. I paid $69 for it three years ago. Bought the 2 year warranty for it, the warranty ended a month ago. Now I could buy a new power pack for it at $34-$43 or buy another one. If the replacement power pack doesn’t work, then it is the mother board for the printer.

    I opted to just break down and buy another printer. Sad this is, I have another set of ink cartridges for this printer, and you can’t find this printer any more.

    I’m glad you’re fixed back up, and can watch the TV now Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ron. I bought a basic printer, second hand. It was still boxed with all the cables, and cost just Β£10. (Instead of almost Β£50 new) I have it set to print only in black and white, and just use it for forms and documents. It is the same make as the PC (Hewlet Packard) so it is always recognised. And it is connected by a cable, not wi-fi, so always works.
      I save money by not using a colour cartridge, and I am never tempted to print any photos either, as a couple of decent size prints used up almost all one cartridge.
      I now agree that seven years for the PVR was more than acceptable. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was young, it was usual for everything to break down on a regular basis, and need repairing. But these days it seems to always come as a shock when that happens.
      Thanks, Robbie.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sometimes those gadgets just give up on us. I have two cellphones and a tab. The cellphones were gifts from Nissa. The oldest one gave up on me last night. No matter what I do, it won’t charge. Josef suggested that I just maintain one and use the SIM card for a lesser sophisticated phone.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The hard drive is the most common fault on these things as its one of the few moving parts. And as with the proverbial rolling stone, the less time it spends stationary the longer it will last. Mind you hard drive problems are normally cliff edge affairs with complete failure occurring. If it failing after a period of time in operation it could well be a heat related problem, a dodgy joint on the circuit board. Problem is you would be charged more to fix the problem than the replacement costs, mores the pity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I investigated the possibility of repair, but it would have been fairly expensive, and only guaranteed for three months. Plus we would have not had a PVR for weeks, until it came back. I think it earned its purchase price. πŸ™‚
      Cheers, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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