Demise Of The Fixed-Line Home Phone

The landline is ringing. A saxophone riff from a Men at Work song plays in my head (‘who can it be now?’). Despite my better judgement, I pick up. It goes something like this. (Pause) “This is Nicole from Australian National Broadband. We have been trying to get in touch with you as we are soon going to disconnect your landline, Press 1 now to speak to a technician.” I don’t press 1 and after…

Continue reading

One person’s rubbish another’s treasure

During a recent stay in a Brisbane bayside suburb, a kerbside rubbish collection was in the offing. You could tell by the untidy piles of trash lining the footpaths of suburban streets. On my daily dog walks, I became aware of a steady stream of cars with trailers doing the rounds, beating Council trucks to the treasure. Scavenging from kerbside collections is a time-honoured tradition. Whole generations have furnished their share houses with the kerbside…

Continue reading

Planned obsolescence strikes again

On Tuesday I joined the queue of people at the local computer shop, all clutching laptops, smart phones or PC peripherals suffering from planned obsolescence syndrome. Some of these items may still have been under warranty (joy). But in the case of my four-year-old Toshiba laptop, the optical drive, the fragile looking tray that slides out to take CDs or DVDs, had carked it. It failed just as I finished burning a 58 minute video…

Continue reading