Friday, August 26, 2011

Thoughts on the "Legacy Model" Point-of-View

Old Computer EquipmentImage by One Tree Hill Studios via Flickr
I was reading a TiVo forum recently, because all of a sudden I can't get the Rhapsody music service on my TiVo HD XL working and I wanted to know why.  In this forum I got introduced to a new term--"legacy model"--and it's definition...

When it comes to electronics, apparently anything over a year old is considered a "legacy model."  Even more disturbing is the trend of companies not supporting electronic devices over a year old.  So when a software update for Rhapsody was released about a month ago, TiVo decided that only its most current model, the TiVo Premiere, would continue to be compatible with Rhapsody.

I find this whole concept of "legacy model" to be somewhat disturbing.  I mean, I am a legacy model, a classic from 1965.  Which, by TiVo standards, means I have been long forgotten.  And forget about getting me any update!  I am stuck with what I have, whether it works or not.

All kidding aside, I find myself objecting to this new way of thinking.

For starters, it creates this insatiable appetite for only the newest and most technologically advanced things.  Suddenly, anything over a year old is worthless and obsolete.  Clearly the focus has shifted from trying to make what you have last as long as possible to dumping anything over 365 days old in favor of something brand spanking new.

My biggest fear is that this point-of-view will translate into a new way of looking at everything else in our lives.  

As a society, we already don't do so well with people that are less than perfect.  In fact, we have a pretty tarnished track record taking care of the elderly, sick and marginalized.  Something tells me this new way of looking at the value of something "old" isn't going to help at all.  I wouldn't be surprised to hear, "They are sick, old and broken.  We just need to throw them away and replace them with someone new."

In a society where we focus on things, I can see this happening.

So when I see someone express their disgust with this new way of thinking, I applaud them.  Heck, I even contribute to the conversation.  It is ridiculous to ask people to keep upgrading their products just so they can keep accessing the software related to them.  

The truth is we don't need to replace anything "old" that is working just fine.  What we need is a world where dynamic things like software and attitudes are backwards compatible, so that everything and everyone can participate and be included.  

It's time to take a stand and let the powers that be know that "new" isn't the only thing that has value.

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