If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It is a saying that’s been around for long before I was born. (I looked up the age just to make sure.)

I’ve lived much of my life with that maxim in mind. Usually it has saved me time and money. But when it comes to the advance of technology, does that statement still apply?

Technology requires continual upgrades. If your computer is like mine, you probably receive an update notice every month or two. These are usually helpful upgrades. Although sometimes they seem to be more of a pain because of the time required to learn and implement. However, that’s a discussion for a different post.

Today I want to speak about what happens when technology breaks down.

Two years ago a phone technician referred to my computer as a “vintage model.”

Vintage, eh? That’s a good thing. Right?

My computer has been a faithful machine. So faithful in fact, last year when I took it in for a minor issue the technician complimented me that it still ran and did everything it was supposed to do. “Most computers this age are no longer in service.”

I was thrilled with his compliment. I had taken good care of my equipment. I had not abused it. I had not taxed it unduly. I left that day feeling relieved and proud.

Silly me.

In August my “vintage” computer gave up. No, it wasn’t a spinning wheel of death. It was the dreaded gray screen—you know—like the cement slab of a grave marker.

When I took it in, the kind technician did what he could to resuscitate it. Then he gave me the dreaded news. They no longer fixed computers the age of mine. In fact, they could not even get parts to fix it.

However, if I did find someone willing and able to fix it, the cost could be one third or even half the value of a new machine. And then what? If it had another problem, I’d be out more money to fix that.

Vintage, eh? Turns out when referring to technology, vintage is not a compliment.

I felt frustrated. I felt grieved. I felt sticker shocked!

Yes, I was actually depressed. And it wasn’t just the money to buy a new one. It was all the other items I would need to buy to upgrade everything else that came with my first computer.

Technology had changed so much that my hardware backup connection was out of date, too.

In order to transfer data I had to “daisy chain” pigtails from my backup system to my new computer. Apparently the numbers of links in the chain are somewhat equivalent to the number of new computers or new backup systems I should have purchased in the past eleven years.

It wasn’t just the cost or the upgrading or the frustration of losing a faithful friend. It was the learning curve for all the new ways of doing things. It would take time to learn—time that would take me away from my true work. All that work that technology was supposed to make easier to do.

Technology advances so quickly. Every three to five years so much has changed that unless we keep up our machines, peripherals, and other equipment, they may not work.

My backup system has 1 TB of memory. I purchased it one year after my original computer. At the time, 1 TB seemed like overkill. The salesman insisted 1 TB was necessary. Now, the new computers have 1 TB of memory onboard. See how much as changed?

Here’s what I plan to investigate for the future:

  • How much longer until my backup plan is obsolete?
  • What new knowledge and skills do I need to develop?
  • When will the current model of my new computer be considered vintage?
  • USB ports on computers may be history in 3 to 5 years
    How many pigtails will I need in a daisy chain to keep my USB peripherals working then?
    What technology do I need to upgrade now to make the future transition easier?
  • If I’m suspicious that some part of my current technology is nearing the vintage
    I may opt to fix what isn’t broken.

Yes. You read that right.

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It may not be as helpful a maxim as it used to be. When considering the advance of technology, perhaps my motto needs an upgrade, too.

How’s your computer? What have you found helpful to keep up with the learning curve? What technology blogs or sites do you recommend? Tell me in the comments below.

Until next time . . . Travel Light,

© 2018 SuZan Klassen

2 thoughts on “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

  1. I hit “Help” often on an upper bar somewhere. Then I try to understand what it means. A tekkie told me you need a new computer every two years–and he wasn’t trying to sell me one!

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