Zen And The Green Art Of PC Maintenance

How much is enough?

From eWEEK Europe UK:

In an earlier column, I publicly named and shamed myself for my rampant addiction to shiny new kit.

This guilt over tech consumerism had been boiling under for a while but the iPhone 4 launch proved to be the gadget which gave the camel a nasty case of lumbago. No more being sucked in by the Jobs distortion field I told myself. From now on new tech will only be purchased to replace devices that have gone to the great tech museum in the sky.

Given all the furore around the iPhone’s antenna issues, the decision to out myself turned out to be a pretty good one. Being an early adopter is always a risky strategy given the penchant of Apple and others to beta test their new kit on the live market.

So I am feeling rather smug and sustainable at the moment knowing I dodged the antenna bullet, saved some cash and avoided consigning another bit of kit to the waste-stream (albeit with a short stop-over in my bottom drawer).

Dodging The iPhone 4 Bullet

But there is a but. Even knowing all about the antenna issues and Apple’s potentially duplicitous behaviour is shipping the iPhone 4 with a fault in the first place – I still want one. The desire for shiny new – precious – things is hard-wired I suppose, and eventually I will succumb. But I am adamant that won’t be till my existing iPhone 3GS is beyond repair. So in a strategy which I guess is tech addiction’s equivalent of a nicotine patch, I bought myself a shiny new case for the old model and also downloaded Apple’ latest iPhone OS update. Hey presto – a new iPhone or something very close to it. The outside looks different and so does the software.

This tactic of modification rather than upgrading could be seen as the IT equivalent of the car body-kits and silly transfers that teenage boy-racers are so keen on. Slapping a new spoiler on your Nissan Micra is not as satisfying as owning a new Golf GTi but it helps to satiate the upgrade demons.  Moreover, improving or modifying existing kit might sound like a pointless diversion but it is actually closely allied to a more fundamental approach to electronics, domestic appliances, and even cars – repairing and reusing them for as long as possible.

For more go to: eWEEK Europe UK

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