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> I'm mad with a chip stop working for unknown reasons because it was designed to.

I understand that you're angry about your HP printer not working, I also agree that the 'protection' measures in printers are ridiculous, especially on ink cartridges. I also agree that planned obsolescence is terrible for the environment, as are business models like those for inkjet printers, where the device is given away for nothing just so they can sell you overpriced ink refills.

I was just pointing out that sometimes it makes sense for replacement parts to be really expensive, even more than the original product, and that enforcing a law that would prohibit such practices would be counterproductive, not to mention that it would be very hard to implement in practice.

For one, how do you even calculate the real value? If you'd have a device that is intended to last a long time (as we would all like), say 20 years you can't just take the amount of dollars you paid originally. You'd have to take into account inflation, changing plant and labour costs etc. This would quickly get messy, and, IMO, would not produce much final benefit.

Having said that, I think we're on the same page, I would also love to criminalise making products that are designed to fail after a certain amount of time.

But this is also super hard to legislate. For example, how do you tell malicious intent from bad design? If my car becomes uneconomical to repair after 100,000 miles because the chassis starts to rust, how do you know whether the manufacturer designed it that way to sell me a new one quicker, or because they made a mistake?

It's easy to tell when they specifically program a microcontroller to stop working after a certain date, and I think that such obviously bad practices should be outlawed. But as a design engineer, I can tell you that it's super easy to design things to fail in much subtler ways, so that it looks like it's a simple mistake. Especially since making your design last longer usually involves adding features like strain relievers on cords etc. This costs money, and you can easily pretend that you're "saving costs for the end consumer".

I think that, after the most basic right to repair legislation is in place, "soft" practices, like encouraging people to buy stuff from companies that have real warranty programs, and which advertise their "built to last" business models would be much more effective than trying to legislate away every aspect of repair.

I love how some outdoor equipment companies (Osprey, MSR, Cumulus) handle this. They sell really expensive stuff, but with excellent after-sales support, and openly encourage people to send products in for repair. Of course this would be very hard to implement in a "tech" environment, where the USP is usually "newer, faster, better". Although, as Bunnie Huang said, with the slow-down of Moore's law, we may slowly be reaching the point of a "heirloom" laptop. I'd love to see that one day.




>we may slowly be reaching the point of a "heirloom" laptop. I'd love to see that one day

Not if the screen's glued in and the battery's not removable.




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