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@Richard - app decay is a major problem. I've had apps that I've paid plenty for that are no longer available and, of course, free ones that I rely upon come and go all the time (more fool me for relying on free apps). Same is true of things that are built-in. I hate the new Apple Notes which, of course, ties you to iCloud: the one and only reason the old version was worth having was that it could use any IMAP account for storage. As I mentioned, we don't own our devices any more. The same is even true of cars. When they rely on a complex ecosystem of operating systems, other apps and cloud services, the control is in the hands of the seller (or whoever buys the seller), not the purchaser, and we only ever have a licence to use them. Even Linux boxes suffer a bit from app decay, though to a much lesser extent, especially as they are far more likely to use standards that do not change anything like as fast, and that usually remain backwardly compatible. For the record, I still use an iPad 2 from time to time, and it is so far fine. The iPad 1 gathers dust, the iPhone 3 lost its screen, and the iPhone 4 is without a SIM right now but was OK last time I checked, a few months ago. The hardware is still fine but, indeed, the range of apps that run on them is diminishing all the time.
@Viorel - I too had a first generation Intel MacBook Pro (circa 2006 I think) that died early this year and is only dead now thanks to cats: it hadn't got operating system updates for a while, but it was trundling along nicely with nothing more than a new battery and upgraded hard drive in all its nearly 10 years of operation till cats poured water on it. I still have a working Asus laptop from around 2003: its batteries (in days when batteries were replaceable I always used to buy 2) are both down to 5 minutes, and it would die if subjected to Windoze, but it runs Lubuntu very happily, if a little sluggishly with its 768MB of RAM and first generation Celeron.
@Oscar - yes, it's a good app, though it's another cloud-based system that could be yanked or changed at any time, and the DPT-S1 doesn't support it. I'll have another try at the iOS app - I found it OK a few years ago but I don't trust Mendeley with my data, especially now it is owned by Elsevier. I think Zotero is a safer, if rather less slick, option.
Jon Dron yesterday
First the history. :-) I have a Radio Shack TRS-80 4P that I upgraded the drives to double-side panasonics the day after I bought it. It still runs and all the software still works. :-)
I have a Toshiba laptop - my first Toshiba laptop. Still has Win95 and I long ago turned off updates. I keep it because it has a REAL RS-232 port on the back that I use to talk to my galss furnace and annealer via RS485. It's currently on my side desk as a serial test device as I cannot get my son's Zaurus to communicate with my Raspberry Pi 3 via serial. The PiDP8 (PDP8 copy that uses the RPi as it's engine) is running Multos right now and I need a serial terminal to connect a second user. The Zaurus is reliable and portable (and I have the serial cable for it). It was last used to do the initial configuration of a Sun Sparcstation V440 in 2005 which only allowed serial console.
As for devices, you are correct. My phone does work as a phone and a texting device - something my old Nokia would not do well (text, that is). It's the apps that annoy. All the map applications quit last year and now the Navionics only works via wifi. Hard to use at the dive site.
As for Linux, I'm not so sure. I just did a big installation using VirtualBox on my PC in order to build a reservoir simulator from source. It worked on Ubuntu 14 but not 16. Turns out someone (expletive's omitted) allowed a broken beta package of a critical library to make it into the release version of 16!
I'm also running with updates turned off as the latest set of Ubuntu 16 updates destroys the unity desktop. Real fun doing an update only to end up with nothing but a blank window. It's been a known problem since U12. As much as I love open source, sometimes letting these folks loose on so-called stable builds is not the best action plan.
Even the latest VirtualBox update from the grand master of the buy-up, Oracle, has had problems. It's hard to embrace open source when it can't keep itself running for more than two weeks!
Of course I long ago turned off all Microsoft updates on my Win 7 box. Far to dangerous to let Mickeysoft tamper with things once it's obvious they no longer care, and only want to force Win10 on the world.
My 2005 Macbook Pro is still running, but without a battery. The installed one died, so I bought a replacement from Asia. It lasted two years then suddenly expanded. I noticed when the mouse/trackpad cursor developed a mind of it's own. Took out the (then) removable battery and all was well. It's been running that way for the past 3 or more years. Of course it cannot be upgraded past Snow Leopard but that's not really all that bad.
My 2012 Macbook Pro is still running and 'updateable'.
One could argue that it's the way with all things computer, but I know many people that are still getting adequate server life out of Linux or BSD running on old 386, 486 and Pentium boxes.
Richard Huntrods yesterday
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