interesting article in the new york times recently. it bemoaned the fragility of the iphone, but more to the point, it spoke of the lack of durability of our electronics. we depend on them, and increasingly we are being asked to rely on them for more and more of our daily activities. this is a problem. humans, by nature, are not the most docile of species. we fight. we love. we love to fight. we fight to love. we are known to be careless and clumsy. even the most graceful among us have had a mishap or two, a broken glass and that sort of thing.
ultimately, we all – universally – accept that accidents happen. because they do. in the blink of an eye, that gadget you shelled out over $1000 for is broken on the floor because you bumped your coffee table.
our retro consoles are celebrated because they have endured the ultimate test: time. the original nintendo still functions today, over 25 years since it was first shipped. by contrast, even sony had admitted that its ps3 only has a lifespan of under 10 years. the xbox, on the other hand, lasts a mere five.
i guess i am in a reflective mood over my sadness over my blackberry’s failures. i’ve mentioned several times on this blog that i wish i had an iphone, and have had my blackberry for about a year and a half. all talks of games aside, it has begun to fail me at its core functions. at a party over the weekend, i was trying to bring up a search result, but had to abandon the query since the page was ‘too large for the device’. this was after 5 minutes. a year ago, it gave the same answer but at least had the decency to be faster. it looks pretty, despite its scratches, but it’s noticeably slower.
my conclusion? fashion has trumped function. my blackberry LOOKS good, its black and silver colours looking sleek and sexy, but has almost reached the point of being useless to me.
this is exactly the conclusion the new york times has reached. read the new york time’s ‘Electronics Designers Struggle With Form, Function and Obsolescence’ article – does this apply to your life?