April 19, 2011

Breakthroughs vs. Breakable: A High-Tech Dilemma

I sat at my mechanic's for 3 hours this morning, waiting for my brakes to be changed. While there, I was able to witness a small sample size of the common problems that bring people to their mechanic on a Tuesday morning. Many of these problems were computer-based. A sensor malfunctioning of some kind.

Recently, I've noticed that the buttons on my 15-year old alarm clock have gotten slightly harder to push. Its first defect. Yes, I know the technology is night and day difference. But my alarm clock is 15 years old and running. And I haven't gotten a laptop past the 3 year mark yet.

There is a constant desire for the latest and greatest technological breakthroughs. But with these new wonders come new malfunctions we didn't foresee. So, what about this idea?

What if a car manufacturer could more or less perfect a 2005 Honda Civic? It would run flawlessly for 250,000 miles with extraordinarily basic maintenance.

Would you buy this car? Or would you be mad that you couldn't control your windshield wipers via voice command?