Saturday, January 7, 2017

Past time or time expired?

In 2011 or thereabouts I bought a solar powered clock synced to the atomic clock in Denver. It was digital and had the day, date, temperature and relative humidity as well as the time. As I recall, it was expensive at $25. I could have just got a clock with a dial for about $4.

Recently the clock display has been somewhat strange with the temperature, humidity, day and date showing clearly. The time, however, has not been displaying. All I can think is that the clock has broken. I tested the rechargeable NiMh battery and it was at 90% capacity. The clock has never been dropped. It has always been on a desk.
As can be seen, there's definitely something gone wrong with the clock. It's definitely not caused by abuse and not by cold either. LCD displays do freeze but this hasn't frozen. Besides the temperature needed to freeze an LCD display is far below the temperatures normally experienced in South Carolina.

I keep coming back to the same thing, namely what appalling value for money most of this electronic wizardry represents. Over the past decade I've been through...
Two laptops (haven't replaced the last)
Five tablets (the last is still working)
Four wristwatches (the cost of replacing the battery is usually greater than the price of a new watch).
8 phones - they just are junk, which is why I now refuse to spend more than the absolute minimum on them.
A microwave that died after just 3 years use.

When you think of the money blown on all this electronic garbage and on services for it, the amount is staggering. People wonder why I have not put any provision in my bus to charge electronic devices. The fact is so much electronics are complete garbage and not only that but they're expensive; expensive short-lived toys.

I am reminded of my dad's scorn for electronics. When something electronic didn't work he'd say something like. "What do you expect, it's electronics". Really and truly he spoke the truth. I am reminded of this at work with the strange things that the work bus gets up to. Yesterday for example it was making strange beeping noises, the fuel gauge was fluctuating wildly while the vehicle was just ticking over, there was a strange clicking noise and interior lights dimmed then went bright alternately.

I am so glad my bus is fully mechanical. There are no electronics to worry about. Even so, the ABS system has a short circuit. Being largely electronic free has advantages. I pay $15 instead of $50 on my phone each month. I do not pay for TV nor internet, merely using available connections.

Today winter arrived. There was a light dusting of snow that covered the ground. That melted fairly quickly. It was bitterly cold. Trying to drill holes was no fun and I gave up. The carbide drill bit arrived yesterday and made no impact in the steel I was drilling. It's almost as though the steel is unusually hard. Still, I have just 10 holes left to drill. After that its drilling into the steel of the bus which is a known quantity. I wish I knew what grade of steel I'm dealing with from the hillbilly bed frames. It could be time to cut two new angles rather than keeping blunting drills on stuff that seems impossible to drill through.

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