Wasted opportunity

For a while, desktop personal computers used to be "PC Compatible".

This compatibility meant that if a component failed, a compatible component could be purchased and installed.

For example, if the power supply failed, the compatible replacement would be the right size to fit in the space where the failed unit was removed from. All the holes for the securing screws would line up, and all the power cables would have the correct connectors to plug straight in.

Compatible parts were not substandard counterfeit parts, on the contrary, the part might be better quality than the original.

All parts of a PC Compatible desktop were available in standard sizes, including the chassis/case which housed all the other parts.
The result was a computer which could be continually repaired (if it failed) and made to run indefinitely.
As long as the computer was only required to do the task it was originally bought for, everything was fine for the owner of the computer.

Not so good for the manufacturer though. Two major problems exist with this situation.

The computer owner can buy spare parts from anywhere, and the manufacturer gets nothing.
The computer keeps working and the manufacturer does not get to sell the owner another computer for a long time, if ever.

Manufacturers want to keep selling more products and make more money.
They build items to only last a few years, and change designs regularly so there is no compatibility. Parts needed for repairs have to be bought from the manufacturer at inflated prices.
The high price of parts make repairs uneconomical so the item is thrown away and a replacement purchased.

This is what manufacturers want, but is it environmentally friendly?

Would it not be better to make items easy to maintain and repair with parts compatibility across similar manufacturers.
If computer manufactures can do it, so could washing machine manufacturers and many others.

How much waste could be reduced if a simple repair prevented another otherwise serviceable item with a multitude of usable parts going for scrap?




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