punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

I am not against technology, but...

... some places tech just doesn't belong.

I love computers. I work with them every day. I love electronic, circuits, and hope there's never an apocalypse where I have resort to crude mechanical things. That being said, there are some places where tech does not work.

If it involves water, high vibration, of brutal environments... I don't want any complicated circuitry to be a part of it. This is always TOUGH to explain to salespeople when I want a washer, dryer, or dishwasher. I don't want a washing machine that has a digital readout and 50 settings for various stains. I don';t want a "smart" dishwasher. It's not that I am intimidated by them.


Let me tell you what I mean. The longest-lasting washing machine I ever had was 30 years old. Finally, the motor just died. I had a dryer where I replaced the heating coil for a mere $30. I had a stove that was probably 25 years old before it died due to a short circuit. The "digital replacements" I balked at, but seemed to have no control over, did this:

My current replacement range has a light that says when a burner is on, and when the top is still warm. Two years after the warranty expired, the computer that tells when the stove top is still warm got stuck in the "on" position. So now it always thinks the stove is on. I have to put my hand over it to see whether it is or not, and guests at my house are often fooled and thing "man, when will the range get cool enough to rest something on?"

I ordered a low-end, high powered dishwasher. They didn't have one, but "upgraded me" to a high-powered digital one for no extra cost. The first dishwasher broke 6 months into ownership. The computer was stuck in the "demo cycle" which meant it didn't actually pump water, but pretended to like it was in a showroom. They sent a repairman. Still didn't work. They sent another guy. Still didn't work. They replaced the sensors. Still didn't work. The computer was more expensive than the dishwasher, so after months of not working, they replaced the entire thing. Last year, the top rack stopped pumping water because it thinks I asked it to. And the computer panel fell apart because it was made from a membrane that wasn't designed for more than a few years of casual use. I can't reset it.

Let me tell you something, the dishwashing computer had all kinds of settings. High-temp, power scrubber, pots-and-pans, dishes only, and "auto-sense" whatever the heck that means. There are more, I just can't recall them all, and the panel is worn away, anyway. I really only need a few settings, like "hot water, cold water, heated dry, no dry, and drain." I find it hard to believe, given the structure of a dishwasher's twirly spray mechanism, that it could "auto-sense" anything beyond hot/cod/wet. I know how a dishwasher works. It sprays super-hot water, combines it with really alkaline soap, and then dries your dishes with a heater. Food bits go into your garbage disposal. The only improvements upon this are more powerful sprays, hotter water, and maybe more spray nozzles, which are all mechanical things. A computer is just some fancy doo-dad that will break down because it's being constantly shook, exposed to water and steam, and then goes from cold water temp to possibly 200 deg F steam and dry heat. Circuit boards, especially cheap ones, WILL DIE. That means a 25 cent chip will make a $700 Kenmore dishwasher USELESS.

I ordered a low-end, manual washing machine nine years ago. Bare model. Only one dial. Still works. I have no confidence in any washing machine that does something different for grass stains than it would for goats blood or fish poop. Again, all I want are hot, cold, spin, no spin, soak, and how long to wash. Cheapest model Kenmore at the time. It works GREAT. Will probably last until 2025.

Computers in cars? Given the complexity of today's cars, I am okay with this. Antilock breaks, OnStar, fuel sensors, and other things are awesome improvements. But for a humidifier? Screw that. Especially the ones like mine where the "humidity sensor" is on the humidifier. Come on, man, of COURSE it registers more humid than a few feet away. Oh, but the computer cuts off.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Tags: dishwashing, housework, it, tech, washing
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