Your stuff will break !

This isn’t really a prediction so much as a general point, both to consumers and to companies.

Ever since the end of life of windows XP we get a lot of people coming into the store to either replace their computer or upgrade to a new operating system. We currently charge 105€ for the license and 79€ for the Install. There actually are people thinking about doing it. Laptops with Windows XP preinstalled are usually over 5 years old. Windows 7 came out in 2009 and replaced windows XP fairly quickly on new computers.

Now here’s the point I’m trying to make: After 5 years you should consider your computer to be dead. You should not spend money on anything that you can’t move to a new computer. The license you can obviously use for all other computers you’ll ever buy (one at a time :p), but 79€ for installation (about $100) of an operating system for a computer that may very well break the very next day ? That seems like a fairly bad deal.

People keep thinking that the stuff they buy will just stick around forever. People think you buy a computer and that’s it. You now have a computer. When in reality it’s more of a continuing cost that they now have to pay. You buy a computer you really need to budget a new computer every 5 years, because that’s about how long you can count on it lasting on average. It’s even worse for a company. You get a new employee you need a new computer. When in reality you should be looking at it like a continuing cost. You need a computer every 3 years (sooner if you need it for programming, CAD, etc), you need a new monitor (or 2) every 5 years, hell you should probably replace the chairs at least every 10 years. Now with some numbers (computer $1k, monitors $500, chair $1k) you get a yearly cost of $500 for the computer, $100 for the monitor(s) and $100 for the chair. Or in a month you can budget $45, $10 and $10. Which means it’s less than $100 per month on all that stuff. Not really a big overhead at all. Even the up front cost of hiring someone isn’t actually that significant. A new employee probably costs you around $3k at least, you pay the same amount again and don’t have to worry about anything for 2 years.

Luckily computers these days aren’t really big ticket items anymore (unless you’re a serious gamer and want to have amazing graphics that you can ignore while actually playing (in most games you don’t have time to appreciate the graphics while playing)). It’s worse with other, more expensive items. People buy a car and don’t save up for a new one until it’s so worn down that you know it’s going to break soon. People don’t actually budget money for maintenance and repairs half the time. Some people don’t even budget stuff like gas, oil and insurance. So obviously your car breaks down at the worst possible time, you just bought a new TV, moved to a new apartment. Now you have to spend money to repair the car you really should have planned on getting replaced next year.

Disney Fastplay

I’m sorry if the Headline mislead you into coming here (I’m not), I really am (I’m really not). This has literally nothing to do with Disney.

I just appreciate Fastplay so much. And not just because the children lose their remote every 3 minutes. I’m just wondering why years after Disney made fastplay I still have to press play on the movies I watch.

Seriously, who in the world puts a movie into a dvd player that he’s not going to watch ? He’s going to want it to play I guarantee it.

Sourceforge

The most trusted name …. in malware ????

So as many of you know (yes I like to pretend more than one person reads this) I work in a computer store and I used to (I don’t much anymore) fix people’s computers. Fixing people’s computers in most cases means get the viruses and other malware off. So there are a few programs that I see all the time where I can just tell that the computer has a virus somewhere. Anything with the word ‘optimizer’ or ‘downloader’ in the name is an obvious candidate.

Anyone working in IT for more than a few weeks knows how that crap gets onto your computer. You download a program from a shady source, forget to uncheck the “Install more shady shit on my computer” checkbox and voila you’re good to go. And just as obviously anyone working in IT more than two weeks knows how to uncheck that box, or go to advanced settings (even if it’s greyed out). And I have obviously never had a program like that on my computer. Until a few days ago.

I was downloading Filezilla from Sourceforge, which is a fairly highly regarded ftp client. I’ve been using it for years without a problem as well. Somehow the filezilla homepage makes me download the thing from sourceforge, which really isn’t a problem. I trust(ed) sourceforge, and it’s really not regarded as a shady source for stuff. So then sourceforge makes me download some sourceforge downloader crap which slightly troubles me. I really shouldn’t have to download something to download something (legal, and free !). So I do go ahead and go to advanced settings in the installer to make it not install some shitty toolbar and mess up my internet shit. And then (!!!) without asking (!!!) it installs pc optimizer pro. Which starts running immediately.

This all happened over a week ago and I’m still pissed off about it. I will never trust sourceforge with anything. And I urge everyone to switch over to github or any other credible site to host your stuff. It really isn’t worth getting your potential customers all pissed off over something you don’t get any benefit from.