When you buy a piece of equipment so robust and reliable that you forget what the maintenance was since the last time you did it.
I bought a Konica Minolta document center many years ago. It is a tank. Takes more floor space than our dining table. Swallows 3 entire boxes of printer paper (30 reams, 15,000+ sheets) and still asks for more. Holds 1,200+ self-seal envelopes and that weird legal paper we use for printing posters. Costs $1,200 to fill with ink. Hopper fed scanner, faxes, big internal hard drive, collates, staples, binds, puts on those spiral things you find on fancy office reports, creates heavy duty see-through covers, trifolds letters ready to stuff in envelopes, saddlestitches A5 and A4 booklets, you get the idea…
I’ve forgotten the last time we emptied the waste toner box. I cannot even tell you the procedure. I have to read up on it every time. We’re talking years.
I am currently stood in front of the printer, boxes (not reams, boxes) of paper next to me, reading instructions I wrote 8 years ago on how to load paper trays and in what order to load.
I’ve dealt with a lot of printers thru the years. Have generally & universally hated them. As I stand here I think, sure, loading this with paper is kinda annoying (mostly because of the sweat I am working up hauling three boxes of paper up the stairs), and sure, I am cursing my blessings, but why can’t more equipment be like this?
Why is my life made complicated by devices (not this printer) demanding my attention by tending to & even propping up their fragile existence on a semi-regular basis?
We’ve long been forcing consumers in to this cycle of obsolescence, even with big household purchases such as white goods, e.g. refrigerator, oven, dishwasher. This mindset of “good enough for a few years” seems to pervading all aspects of our lives now.
Phones, yes, sure. But why? Simply for the new shiny?
But refigerators? Yep. 3 to 5 years and replace it. We’ve got an old Frigidaire model, it’s still trucking after 23 years.
Ovens? Obsolete when the WiFi standards change on some. Our GE dual oven is finally ready to be replaced. After 37 years. Though I can still purchase all the parts for it if I have a mind too. A friend’s oven, a fancy model installed less than five years ago, with wifi and bluetooth and smart features, they don’t make even make some of the parts that recently broke on it. Want it fixed? Buy a new oven.
We recently bought a countertop oven, only one on the market with a five-year warranty. All other manufacturers had limited one-year warranties. Limited one-year warranty? Your product is so shit you won’t even stand by it after twelve months?
I bought a water filter almost four years ago. It has a ten year comprehensive warranty. Only thing I have done since owning it was wipe it clean, change the water filter, once, and reset it when a brown out occured.
Maybe I’m just getting old. I think we might be “manufacturing” a problem for our future selves.