Author Topic: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets  (Read 5102 times)

Offline Solar

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A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« on: December 16, 2015, 07:21:39 AM »
I really can't fault these kids today. They have grown up in an age, that about the time something breaks, it was most likely outdated anyway and needed replacing.
Why replace a wheelbarrow, when you can buy a tractor? That really is what this amounts to, speed and productivity, the time one spends repairing something that can be be replaced cheaper than the time/mpney spent repairing, not to mention, it's still outdated when you're done, makes no sense at all.

Sadly, he has a point.....



Young people are 'lost generation' who can no longer fix gadgets, warns professor
Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering, at the University of Manchester, is giving this year's Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.

Young people in Britain have become a lost generation who can no longer mend gadgets and appliances because they have grown up in a disposable world, the professor giving this year’s Royal Institution Christmas lectures has warned.
Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering, at the University of Manchester, claims that the under 40s expect everything to ‘just work’ and have no idea what to do when things go wrong.
Unlike previous generations who would ‘make do and mend’ now young people will just chuck out their faulty appliances and buy new ones.
But Prof George claims that many broken or outdated gadgets could be fixed or repurposed with only a brief knowledge of engineering and electronics.
This year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are entitled ‘Sparks will fly: How to hack your home’ she is hoping it will inspire people to think what else they can do with common household objects.

Ideas include using a magnifying glass and shoe box to turn a mobile phone into a rudimentary projector; how to use tin foil to make too small batteries fit correctly and how to turn a bottle of water into a lamp.
Prof George said: “We’ve got a lost generation that has grown up with factory electronics that just work all of the time.
“All of these things in our home do seem to work most of the time and because they don’t break we just get used to them. They have almost become like Black Boxes which never die. And when they do we throw them away and buy something new.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11298927/Young-people-are-lost-generation-who-can-no-longer-fix-gadgets-warns-professor.html
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Offline walkstall

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2015, 08:31:19 AM »
I really can't fault these kids today. They have grown up in an age, that about the time something breaks, it was most likely outdated anyway and needed replacing.
Why replace a wheelbarrow, when you can buy a tractor? That really is what this amounts to, speed and productivity, the time one spends repairing something that can be be replaced cheaper than the time/mpney spent repairing, not to mention, it's still outdated when you're done, makes no sense at all.

Sadly, he has a point.....



Young people are 'lost generation' who can no longer fix gadgets, warns professor
Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering, at the University of Manchester, is giving this year's Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.

Young people in Britain have become a lost generation who can no longer mend gadgets and appliances because they have grown up in a disposable world, the professor giving this year’s Royal Institution Christmas lectures has warned.
Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering, at the University of Manchester, claims that the under 40s expect everything to ‘just work’ and have no idea what to do when things go wrong.
Unlike previous generations who would ‘make do and mend’ now young people will just chuck out their faulty appliances and buy new ones.
But Prof George claims that many broken or outdated gadgets could be fixed or repurposed with only a brief knowledge of engineering and electronics.
This year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are entitled ‘Sparks will fly: How to hack your home’ she is hoping it will inspire people to think what else they can do with common household objects.

Ideas include using a magnifying glass and shoe box to turn a mobile phone into a rudimentary projector; how to use tin foil to make too small batteries fit correctly and how to turn a bottle of water into a lamp.
Prof George said: “We’ve got a lost generation that has grown up with factory electronics that just work all of the time.
“All of these things in our home do seem to work most of the time and because they don’t break we just get used to them. They have almost become like Black Boxes which never die. And when they do we throw them away and buy something new.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11298927/Young-people-are-lost-generation-who-can-no-longer-fix-gadgets-warns-professor.html



Hmm...  Why spend 200$ or more on something you can fix for 2 to 5 $.  No only that it the challenge.  My kids learned a lot helping me fix things.  Each one of the kids got a tool box of there own when they turned 15.  Yes even our 2 girls.  :thumbsup:
A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.- James Freeman Clarke

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession.  I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.  ~ Ronald Reagan ~

Always remember "Feelings Aren't Facts."

Offline Solar

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2015, 09:47:57 AM »


Hmm...  Why spend 200$ or more on something you can fix for 2 to 5 $.  No only that it the challenge.  My kids learned a lot helping me fix things.  Each one of the kids got a tool box of there own when they turned 15.  Yes even our 2 girls.  :thumbsup:
I think his point is morer along the lines of electronics.
However, like a new Dewalt drill, you can buy a drill and battery cheaper than just a battery by itself, or parts for a worn out Dewalt cost more than a new one, so why bother fixing what you can replace cheaper and without effort of repair?

We are quickly becoming a disposable society.
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Offline Dori

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2015, 09:50:44 AM »
My dad was always trying to fix things.  I remember him with his soldering iron at the kitchen table.  I think the one thing he hated more than having to buy something new, was to have to call a repairman. 

He grew up poor, the oldest of eight on a farm.  Mom thought of him as what you would call a penny pincher, but growing up with nothing can make you that way.
The danger to America is not Barack Obama but the citizens capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency.

Offline Solar

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2015, 10:18:17 AM »
My dad was always trying to fix things.  I remember him with his soldering iron at the kitchen table.  I think the one thing he hated more than having to buy something new, was to have to call a repairman. 

He grew up poor, the oldest of eight on a farm.  Mom thought of him as what you would call a penny pincher, but growing up with nothing can make you that way.
I was raised the same way, we never called on someone to fix anything, and I followed suit my entire life.
But as you said, being on a budget tends to make one very frugal, something I'll never shake, even now when I can afford it.
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Offline walkstall

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2015, 10:18:20 AM »
My dad was always trying to fix things.  I remember him with his soldering iron at the kitchen table.  I think the one thing he hated more than having to buy something new, was to have to call a repairman. 

He grew up poor, the oldest of eight on a farm.  Mom thought of him as what you would call a penny pincher, but growing up with nothing can make you that way.

So did my wife,   :lol:  But after I retired and we were out for 6 to 9 months a year she said she was happy I was a penny pincher.  As we could do what most people could only dream of doing. 
A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.- James Freeman Clarke

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession.  I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.  ~ Ronald Reagan ~

Always remember "Feelings Aren't Facts."

Offline Dori

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2015, 12:01:48 PM »
I was raised the same way, we never called on someone to fix anything, and I followed suit my entire life.
But as you said, being on a budget tends to make one very frugal, something I'll never shake, even now when I can afford it.

I'm the same way.  Even when it comes to buying groceries.  I lived on a strict food budget for so long, I can't bring myself to splurge in expensive food items.
I'm always looking for deals and then I stock up on them. 

I even turned junk into a creative hobby.  I would rather buy a great piece of old furniture and refinish it, rather than spend what they pass as quality today.  I have some great pieces, including accessories like lamps I've rewired. 
The danger to America is not Barack Obama but the citizens capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency.

Offline kroz

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2015, 01:24:05 PM »
I think the great depression made most of our parents very frugal!  They learned to become a jack of all trades.  They had good old fashioned horse sense and ingenuity!

As my parents aged I had a difficult time getting them to spend their money.  There was nothing they wanted more than a large bank account and a basket of assets.  That was the ultimate success to them.  The numbers on the sheet of paper made them sleep soundly at night.

Offline walkstall

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2015, 01:34:29 PM »
I think the great depression made most of our parents very frugal!  They learned to become a jack of all trades.  They had good old fashioned horse sense and ingenuity!

As my parents aged I had a difficult time getting them to spend their money.  There was nothing they wanted more than a large bank account and a basket of assets.  That was the ultimate success to them.  The numbers on the sheet of paper made them sleep soundly at night.


I can remember when I was a very young pup.  My parents had 150.000$ in the bank and the house was paid for.  People did not understand why they would not buy a bigger house.  Now in this day and age that is not a lot of money. 
A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.- James Freeman Clarke

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession.  I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.  ~ Ronald Reagan ~

Always remember "Feelings Aren't Facts."

Offline Solar

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2015, 01:40:55 PM »
I think the great depression made most of our parents very frugal!  They learned to become a jack of all trades.  They had good old fashioned horse sense and ingenuity!

As my parents aged I had a difficult time getting them to spend their money.  There was nothing they wanted more than a large bank account and a basket of assets.  That was the ultimate success to them.  The numbers on the sheet of paper made them sleep soundly at night.
Same here Kroz, I tried everything to get them to take a cruise, travel, buy a farm and relax, they could have afforded it after saving for nearly 80 years, but nope, they'd have no part of it, they loved being debt free and didn't want the extra taxes.
To this day the taxes on their little house is only one 300+ dollars a year, thanks to Prop 13 and the Jarvis Gahn Amendment. :cool:
I've yet to sell the house, waiting for Cruz to take office for when the economy catches fire.
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Offline quiller

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2015, 11:15:49 PM »
My dad was always trying to fix things.  I remember him with his soldering iron at the kitchen table.  I think the one thing he hated more than having to buy something new, was to have to call a repairman. 

He grew up poor, the oldest of eight on a farm.  Mom thought of him as what you would call a penny pincher, but growing up with nothing can make you that way.

My father was born in 1920 and throughout his childhood lived in places without electricity or indoor plumbing until he was about age 15 and his sharecropper parents finally got their own farm. Growing up with nothing brought him his own successful franchise grocery business and then two more retail businesses. Growing up with nothing also taught him how to retain good help: his staff moved with him, from store to store.

Offline Hoofer

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2015, 11:14:39 AM »
I constantly challenge my kids (20yrs and younger), to investigate and try to fix, first.
When the fridge went out, they said, "It's so old, it just gave out."   I took an OHM meter, found the compressor was good, located a new start/run relay, and a year later, we have it filled with bacon we're curing - works just fine, $12 fix, shipping inc.

Furnace quit - it's +15 years old...  found the draft blower had fallen apart, found another one on Ebay, it's working just fine.
I have this hatred of weed-eaters, they are so cheaply made and cost a week or more of wages... I bet we don't get 100 hrs out of them before the carb is screwed up.  My boys are learning how to fix them.

A neighbor bought a new air compressor, his 2yr old, 2hp Harbor Freight unit quit.. suddenly, so he gave it to us.
1.  low oil, but, there was enough to keep it from getting ruined... no prob.
2.  Overload breaker was worn out, it'd heat up and trip after a minute.  I found one of similar size, adapted it all to fit, and it's actually the best little compressor we have.  Breaker was less than $10.

Friend of mine manages a big data-center, always throwing out servers...
The HP servers have a nice power supply, rated for 47amps @ 12VDC.  They are very well filtered, and have a very high efficiency rating.  Voltage is a little low...  but, adding a 330ohm resistor in the right place, and it does 13.6VDC - just right for some of the common batteries, and about 95% of the 12vdc stuff I run... including a really compact, but robust Bosch Drill.  When the battery went out on it, I pulled it apart (3 batteries, 4 vdc ea.), one was bad, the other two are backups for my portable radio.  One of HP power supplies is running the computer I'm composing this msg on...

When I was 12yrs old, I got poison ivy so bad, I figured I'd be in bed most of the summer.. instead of bailing hay.  wrong!  My dad said, 'your older brother is a good welder, he's gonna teach you, and then when something breaks, you can fix it while we eat lunch.'  With no formal training, I've learned (the hard way) how to weld Cast Iron, Stainless, Aluminum in body positions a sexual deviant would be proud of.  Hated it at the time, but, I sure learned to appreciate a GOOD welder - and own a stick and 2 wire units.  Now I just hate getting the electric bills, trying to teach my boys the art of welding... and understand why my dad hit-the-roof when I jacked up the electric bill over $50 one month.

35 years of marriage, my wife doesn't mind me bringing "stuff" into the house, dining room table, living room floor...  Provided the gas has been drained outside first.  And... she likes the smell of Hoppies #9 gun cleaning solvent!  Funny how the bloodhound always howls when we kiss - still haven't figured that one out!  If you're a single guy, and kinda handy when it comes to tearing something down and fixing it - yes, there are still a few gals out there that like Hoppies #9 cologne.

All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

Offline kroz

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2015, 11:31:53 AM »
I constantly challenge my kids (20yrs and younger), to investigate and try to fix, first.
When the fridge went out, they said, "It's so old, it just gave out."   I took an OHM meter, found the compressor was good, located a new start/run relay, and a year later, we have it filled with bacon we're curing - works just fine, $12 fix, shipping inc.

Furnace quit - it's +15 years old...  found the draft blower had fallen apart, found another one on Ebay, it's working just fine.
I have this hatred of weed-eaters, they are so cheaply made and cost a week or more of wages... I bet we don't get 100 hrs out of them before the carb is screwed up.  My boys are learning how to fix them.

A neighbor bought a new air compressor, his 2yr old, 2hp Harbor Freight unit quit.. suddenly, so he gave it to us.
1.  low oil, but, there was enough to keep it from getting ruined... no prob.
2.  Overload breaker was worn out, it'd heat up and trip after a minute.  I found one of similar size, adapted it all to fit, and it's actually the best little compressor we have.  Breaker was less than $10.

Friend of mine manages a big data-center, always throwing out servers...
The HP servers have a nice power supply, rated for 47amps @ 12VDC.  They are very well filtered, and have a very high efficiency rating.  Voltage is a little low...  but, adding a 330ohm resistor in the right place, and it does 13.6VDC - just right for some of the common batteries, and about 95% of the 12vdc stuff I run... including a really compact, but robust Bosch Drill.  When the battery went out on it, I pulled it apart (3 batteries, 4 vdc ea.), one was bad, the other two are backups for my portable radio.  One of HP power supplies is running the computer I'm composing this msg on...

When I was 12yrs old, I got poison ivy so bad, I figured I'd be in bed most of the summer.. instead of bailing hay.  wrong!  My dad said, 'your older brother is a good welder, he's gonna teach you, and then when something breaks, you can fix it while we eat lunch.'  With no formal training, I've learned (the hard way) how to weld Cast Iron, Stainless, Aluminum in body positions a sexual deviant would be proud of.  Hated it at the time, but, I sure learned to appreciate a GOOD welder - and own a stick and 2 wire units.  Now I just hate getting the electric bills, trying to teach my boys the art of welding... and understand why my dad hit-the-roof when I jacked up the electric bill over $50 one month.

35 years of marriage, my wife doesn't mind me bringing "stuff" into the house, dining room table, living room floor...  Provided the gas has been drained outside first.  And... she likes the smell of Hoppies #9 gun cleaning solvent!  Funny how the bloodhound always howls when we kiss - still haven't figured that one out!  If you're a single guy, and kinda handy when it comes to tearing something down and fixing it - yes, there are still a few gals out there that like Hoppies #9 cologne.

Great story, Hoofer.   You are a good Dad and Hubby.  I bet your family really appreciate your wisdom and skill.  They likely brag to their friends... "There isn't anything my Dad can't fix!"   :biggrin:

Offline Hoofer

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2015, 10:14:13 AM »
Yeah - my kids complain, I practically have to kick-them-in-the-rear, and smack them in the chops to get their butts in gear - at least TAKE A LOOK!

We got a Whirlpool Front-loading ultra efficient washer, uses less electricity, a third of the water, etc., maybe it does.  Well, with a big family, that thing is running most of the daylight hours.  There is this little pump, been replaced 1 time so far, and probably going to be replaced again - Grrrrr....   Why are we washing DOG BLANKETS in the people clothes washer?!?!?!?!   That HAIR has to go somewhere, and the teeny-tiny pump isn't designed for doggie-fur-balls.  We have hoses and it's 70 degrees outside, heck it's raining, just hang it on a tree!

Gave the job to son #1.

3 days ago.

... waiting ....

clothes starting to pile up.

... waiting ....

Dad's pile of clean pants for work getting low ...(translation), if dad can't go to work, you don't eat, the house is cold, your computer goes dark. (now we're getting personal)

... waiting ....

Dad reminds son #1 Christmas morning, did you look at the washer YET...?

Son #1 disappears into the basement.  an hour later, "looks like it's working again."

I ain't even gonna ask what he thought it was, we got pants to wash.  Knowing him, he probably took the wet vac, pulled the washing machine hose out, and sucked the water out.  Give him an "A" for resourcefulness, and "F" for finding and fixing it.  Can't complain, he's got a lot of "me" in him, and his mom still likes me, so I better be nice to him.
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

Offline Hoofer

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Re: A lost Generation, no longer fix gadgets
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2016, 06:00:31 PM »
Well, the Whirlpool Duet washer is 13yrs old now, and the plastic control panel is starting to crack and wear out.

So, I went online to look for the front and back plastic panels, the electronics seem fine.

It's not everyday you sink $600 into a washing machine, but, with the water & electric savings on 10 people - calculated to 3.5 years payoff in savings.   #1 son's clothes got smelly enough, he broke down and took it all apart, figured out it was just the plastic panels.

Everywhere - they're on-sale, $600 minor improvements, but heck, it's been a great machine.  non-sale price was $800.

Poking around online, and found the parts, easily!  $284 & $187... ouch!   throw in a couple of $17 pushbuttons and knob - now we're well into the $500 dollar range.   sigh!   At 5 loads a day, 6 days a week, for 13 years = 20,280 loads.   It's a good machine... I ain't ready to give up on it yet...  If that control panel has to rest on top of the machine to run, it will.   Wish the plastic wasn't so darn brittle!
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

 

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