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If Computers were Dishwashers...

 
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heiowge
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject: If Computers were Dishwashers... Reply with quote

Imagine a company who make kitchen appliances. They come up with a device that washes dishes for you. There are existing “dishwashers” out there, but they're either very expensive or just not available.

They convince kitchen fitters to fit one of their new dishwashers in any standard kitchen. It takes off and becomes global.

Problem is, the dishwasher is flawed.

After a few months one of the arms inside becomes loose. It starts not to do as good a job as it used to. Eventually it unscrews and flails about smashing plates. Rather than rethink the dishwasher, the company say you need to upgrade to a newer model. This one is bigger and better. You might have to move an few things, like the sink, to fit it in, but that's ok.

Things are rough settling up the new model. Sure, it washes dishes again, but it takes longer. And you had to have a bigger water-pipe installed to make it work properly.

Then after 4 or 5 months it happens again. Dishes are getting smashed all over the place. The company says it's not their fault really. You should have bought better dishes or one of these new “dish screens”. The dish screen is a large cumbersome screen that stops the arm flying off. It takes up about a third of the space inside the dishwasher but that's ok since it costs about a third the cost of the dishwasher. Oh, and it lasts about year before you have to replace the screen at your own expense.

Newer models come with the screen built in for free, but after 3 months, you'd better pay for it in full or an engineer will come and remove it.

Having forked out for this big monster that is less efficient, costs more and has regular replacement parts to buy, the company finally does something better.

It makes a newer model. This one doesn't break plates as easily (although it still can), uses slightly less water than the last one and looks nicer. And it fits in the same space. All is well with the world.

So the company say “That's not right! People should be buying more of our dishwashers!” So they go back to the drawing board. They design something that would give Dr Seuss nightmares. Sure, it looks like it could be impressive, but why do you have to load the dishes in from the hallway? It takes you 3 weeks to find the off switch (which you missed because it was labeled “on”). The various settings are hidden in concealed panels that would have fooled the cast of CSI.

But it's all OK, since it costs a fraction what the last one did. The one that actually worked. The one you can't really get anymore because it's OLD.

So what are the alternatives? There are several.

One company sells a machine that cleans the plates in a very fast efficient way. But it costs 5 times the cost of the rival's best machine. Oh and you need to buy plates from them as the old ones you used don't fit. And new cutlery. And pots. And a different type of powder is needed. That only they make. And if you break anything minor (like the cutlery tray), the whole thing has to be taken away to be repaired. You are not capable of replacing one from spares, which they won't sell you.

They release a new one every 6 months with a new coat of paint. They expect you to replace it at a cost of several thousands of dollarpounds because you wouldn't want the neighbours to see you had the old one, would you?

Another company makes a new dishwasher that is super whizzy, but you can only clean plates you borrow from them. And if their plate service goes down, you'll have to cope with eating off the floor.

There is another group who make dishwashers. They come in a variety of styles, colours and shapes to fit your needs. They wash dishes perfectly and rarely break unless you start messing with them. Spares are easily available and they have a thriving community who will help you if you want to add super whizzy bits to it. They are free and are happy for you to get your mates to ask them for a free dishwasher as well.

There are 2 main drawbacks. Firstly your favourite cooking pot doesn't fit too well. The company assure you that this is being worked on and a pot-friendly version is just around the next corner. Secondly, you have to collect and fit it yourself. Based on these issues, you will never bother and will put up with the plate smasher, the gold plated ego-boost or the machine with the invisible plates.
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Ram
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They don't make things like they used to... Mircowave oven still going strong, 27 years old, dishwasher about 15 years old both from the same company... If it ain't broke don't try and fix it Razz
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towy71
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am the dishwasher in my house, my needs are simple; lashings of hot water and a bowl at a decent height, as to microwave SWMBO won't have one in the house
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wyliecoyoteuk
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dishwashers, bought one from a planet company, lasted 6 months before it flooded the kitchen and wrecked our newly laid laminate floor.
Second one from a german company worked superbly and lasted 8 years, replaced with one with a 5 year guarantee, (despite which they phoned us once a month for the first couple of years trying to "upgrade" us to an extended warranty. In the end, exceptional rudeness and descriptions of how rubbish their product is at washing dishes put them off) but doesn't work as well, so when it fails, will go back to german company.

I would be worried with a 27 year old microwave, as the seals are only guaranteed for 5 years max, so you have possibly been irradiating your kitchen for the last 22 years.
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heiowge
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our microwave has a hole in the bottom the size of a sausage. Cool
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wyliecoyoteuk
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that sausage must have been hot!
Do you need the sunglasses to prevent your microwave vision scorching the screen?
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heiowge
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't joking... Cool


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towy71
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

heiowge wrote:
I wasn't joking... Cool

That item has just failed my visual PAT test! £30 or so will buy a new one Rolling Eyes
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Ram
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

towy71 wrote:
heiowge wrote:
I wasn't joking... Cool

That item has just failed my visual PAT test! £30 or so will buy a new one Rolling Eyes


I wouldn't pat it either, it'll probably fall apart.
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wyliecoyoteuk
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

towy71 wrote:
heiowge wrote:
I wasn't joking... Cool

That item has just failed my visual PAT test! £30 or so will buy a new one Rolling Eyes

Not to mention the food hygiene standards.
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guy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main hazard with leaky old microwaves is peering at them to see how your food is doing. You don't need to look at the hole, any part of the machine will do.

I once had a work colleague who was partially-sighted and even with strong specs he could hardly read. A part of his career had been spent developing radar systems which worked in the microwave spectrum. He spent so much time peering into microwave power circuits that he cooked his corneas and developed cataracts. When I knew him, they had been removed. His world was literally just a blur.

The damage is cumulative, which means that spending ten times as long peering at a power level a tenth as much will do the same damage.

Chuck out that rusty old thing right now and go get a new one - or if that's not possible, eat cold food a while. You are luckier than you know, that you can still see to type your posts.
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Nuke
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This very much reminds me of the graphic car analogy comparison between Windows, Linux, and MacOS in Neal Stephenson's essay "In the Beginning was the Command Line"

http://pauillac.inria.fr/~weis/info/commandline.html.

If anyone has not read it, you should do so. It is a great read and often quoted. Here is part of his comparison between Windows and Mac :-

"The big dealership [Microsoft] [rushed] a moped upgrade kit (the original Windows) onto the market. This was a ... contraption that, when bolted onto a three-speed bicycle, enabled it to keep up, just barely, with Apple-cars. The users had to wear goggles and were always picking bugs out of their teeth while Apple owners sped along in hermetically sealed comfort ..." ...

The only issue I have with Stephenson is his reference to Eloi and Morlocks (from H.G.Wells' "The Time Machine"). There is a huge and deep philosophy to be got by thinking about Eloi and Morlocks - the two basic types of people which in the future of "The Time Machine" had evolved into two different races. Stephenson rightly says that most Linux users are Morlocks and most Windows users are Eloi, but goes on to say "Morlocks insist on good coffee and first-class airline tickets, but that's no problem because Eloi like to be dazzled and will gladly pay for it all". That is not my experience. Present day Morlocks write operating systems and run power stations, but it is the Eloi celebrities and Cranfield Management graduates who get to go first class.
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guy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HG Wells' society was a very simple binary model. When Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World, he had a more complex society graded from alpha plus all the way down to epsilon minus, around 15 levels (a bit like the number of colours you get when moving from an Amstrad PCW screen to a Sinclair Spectrum). Grades were based on intelligence, determined by the State for each fetus as it grew. Only the alpha pluses had any real personal freedom.

I'm sure *pple and Micros*ft would have loved that, though they would be miffed were they to discover that the alpha pluses chose to use Linux.

He didn't say who drank the most coffee.
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flashman_andy



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If my computer was a dishwasher, all arguments would suddenly end in my house.

A hushed silence would overcome the lips of my wife and we could perhaps move onto more productive and passionate things such as arguing over our favorite flavours
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