Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fail Awards: These Byte!

System Fail by DGBurns

Lately it feels like technology is kicking my butt. Every time I turn around, it seems like something is failing and needing either my time, my money or both. It almost makes me long for the simpler days of my childhood, when we didn't have computers, DVD players and appliances with motherboards.

No Longer Built to Last

Over the past week and a half our 10 year old Kenmore refrigerator has been dying. It seems the electronic brain can no longer maintain a constant temperature, so the freezer has been jumping between +20 and -20 degrees.

First, my hubby and I debated about repairing it, but we discovered that our family, friends and even Consumer Reports, don't recommend repairing a malfunctioning refrigerator.

So then we started pricing replacements.  Wow, I can not believe how much a refrigerator costs! Luckily last Friday, we found one we wanted, one that was highly rated by Consumer Reports, on sale. We even got a salesperson who sweetened the deal with an extra 5% off. But it still set us back quite a bit and we were forced to put off other needed purchases.

No Longer Compatible

My computer has also been acting up a lot lately. It seems my copy of Windows is updating itself frequently, sometimes twice in one day. All these updates are now interfering with some of the programs running on my computer.

For example, my printers driver suddenly stopped working, just when I needed to print out some medical records to take to a doctor's appointment. It took me over an hour just to download new drivers and install them. I hate it when these 'time-saving' devices waste my time like that.

Then I tried loading an older version of Adobe Acrobat back onto my computer and was told it was no longer compatible with my version of Windows. I couldn't find a fix or patch on any of the computer forums online and the only suggestion from Adode was to upgrade to a newer version, which would cost me $199 USD. Good grief!

No Longer Supported

Last year, we bought a DVD player with our tax refund to replace one that died. We splurged a bit and got one that could connect to the Internet and run things like Netflix and Amazon Instant Videos. Unfortunately, we weren't able to test these features right away because the box we bought required a cable connection to our Internet router.

After we figured out how to get the cable to the box, we were in for a nasty surprise...our model year 2010 box is no longer supported by the manufacturer LG.

Seems the 2011 DVD players have a whole new software interface for the Internet features, so the company is no longer updating the 2010 boxes to add new features as they become available. Of course the DVD manufacturer blames the different services for not making updates for the 2010 boxes, but I figure that's because the company is only asking for updates on their newer software platform.

I get it that over time technology becomes obsolete. I'm just shocked that our DVD player became obsolete in 6 months!

For all these reasons, and more, I'm giving my second set of Fail Awards to Kenmore, LG and Windows.

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