Can someone explain why an MP3 player I bought five years ago is the only one still working? Three others managed to fall apart and stop working within six months, and the most expensive died from brief contact with rain.

There was one other, the cheapest of the lot, which worked fine and possibly still does - but I lent it to someone who promised they're be very careful and not lose it.

Can anyone tell me why the microphone on a GBP5 headset is better than any of the six others which cost eight times the price? Or why the CD drive which came with this laptop stopped working after a month - and I replaced it with the seven year old drive from the laptop it replaced, which works perfectly.

If only there were some kind of pattern.


  1. It's like the more they try to improve on something and sell it quick, the crappier the product is.

    I still have an old cannon digital camera--about 6 years old that still works a lot better than my friend's latest, but very fragile, cameras. I've dropped mine so many times and it still works. My friend's Nikon Cool pix drops from the chair to the carpet and the lens broke! It got stuck!

  2. @Eroswings:

    Yes, it seems that things sell better when they're new or "improved" (=modified), whether or not they needed changing.

    Microsoft have a version of this problem - Windows XP works quite well enough, but it's not new anymore so they've got to rush out that latest overhaul...even when it's still under development.

    I've asked around about whether Windows 7 is selling - looks like it isn't. And the few people I know who've tried it...don't like it.


    She'd probably say we should forgive our computers.

  3. I believe it's called 'built in obsolescence'!

  4. @Camy:

    Hmmm. Deliberate obsolescence, unprincipled cost-cutting, or sheer incompetence?

    Probably all three, but there's always a place for incompetence in any business model.

    If there isn't one will be naturally created.

  5. It's the new 3G capitalist conspiracy, my dear Krapitano - creating more and more 'false needs' through excessive marketing, so that you go out and buy the latest gadget after six months because you feel inadequate without it.

    And just to follow up (these capitalists are VERY thorough!) they ensure the old ones expire after less than a year.

    The MP3 player you bought several years ago was clearly made in some socialist nirvana, like, erm North Korea? Go on - take a look inside, and I bet it says 'made in korea'.

  6. Jesus works in strange and mysterious ways.

    Actually I have no idea why but I was told I'd find some bubble and squeak here...

  7. @TEFL Sandyman:

    North Korea makes stuff? I thought it only made enemies.

    @Michael Guy:

    No bubble and squeak, sorry. I've got some slap and tickle, if that's any good?

    As someone said in the movie Nuns on the Run, "Lord you move in mysterious ways, your wonders to perform. But this one takes the biscuit."