Having literally grown up with the computer industry in my profession, there are certain things I’ve come to accept as given. But not everyone has had my experience. Recently, a friend of mine who is relatively new to computers told me he wished he had never bought one, because no matter what he buys, it becomes obsolete within a few years—forcing him to fork over yet more cash for the latest and greatest technology.

My reaction at first was to wonder why this surprised him. When I thought about it, however, it made perfect sense that he should expect the usefulness of products, especially relatively costly products like computer systems, to extend beyond those few years. I wasn’t sure I could argue with his charge of “planned obsolescence” against the technology industry.

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