The Right to Repair

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Right to Repair

  • Good editorial, Steve. NIH Syndrome is extraordinarily strong where I work. I appreciate the link you gave to the Wikipedia article on it. I've never seen such a strong resistance towards adopting anything from the "outside" as what I witness here. The Wikipedia article makes me realize that there's several reasons at play. And that going from one person to another, they might not all incorporate the same reason. It becomes a problem when what we must produce is so complex that it would take 5 or more years for us to do it. Not being able to use either a whole software solution or adopt bits and pieces from something like APIs, etc. just hurts.

    Rod

  • This is a subject that has irked me for years.  Software companies not allowing you to fix the issues in their software.  And more recently, with the addition of the subscription based licensing, now they have you on the hook for a yearly fee to keep using their product, and receiving the updates for it.  It is bad enough they are doing this with business software, but it has trickled into consumer software, so having to pay a yearly bill to keep antivirus up to date, or keeping personal banking software at the latest versions.

    A recent purchase in my life has been to replace a bed with the newest model with lots of bells and whistles, and the salesman guarantees that the app for your devices will be working 20 years from now, but I wonder when there will be a charge to keep it working, and it is not something that you can fix yourself.

    I am a DIY guy, and I do everything around our property.  It doesn't matter what the job, I am fixing or building something.  I maintain our vehicles from changing oil, to rebuilding the engine.  And I expect the auto companies will be charging a yearly subscription to keep the software the vehicles use up to date, and you will void your warranty/subscription if you attempt to do the work yourself.

  • I hear ya, Ray.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • Doctor Who 2 wrote:

    Good editorial, Steve. NIH Syndrome is extraordinarily strong where I work. I appreciate the link you gave to the Wikipedia article on it. I've never seen such a strong resistance towards adopting anything from the "outside" as what I witness here. The Wikipedia article makes me realize that there's several reasons at play. And that going from one person to another, they might not all incorporate the same reason. It becomes a problem when what we must produce is so complex that it would take 5 or more years for us to do it. Not being able to use either a whole software solution or adopt bits and pieces from something like APIs, etc. just hurts.

     

    Or one of my favorites when they're willing to buy a solution but then end up spending as much time customizing it instead of using what's available out of the box you might as well have just built it from scratch anyways.  Congratulations you just ended up with something that took as much time and effort as buying a solution and building one but it still doesn't do exactly what you want and now a lot of the built in stuff also doesn't work.

  • I used to be pretty much a DIY guy in my younger years, but now not nearly as much.  The last time I can remember working with a commercial software package that could be self-maintained was probably about 1972 working for a large corporation that used a large personnel/time-keeping/payroll package in flat-file based COBOL - can't recall the actual software vendor.  The vendor supplied periodic updates in the form of source code patches and we also did inhouse modifications to the source code.  I maintained a pure vendor version to which I applied their updates, and then to which I applied our in-house modifications.  It was all based on the source code line sequence number that could be replaced or added, often by branching out from and back to the mainline.

    While I do like to sort-of be in control and have the ability to modify both computer code and other types of products, I do understand the resistance by vendors to allow modification of their systems.  Of course one big concern is warranty and guarantee legalities, and the complex support issues that arise.  On the other hand, I have also felt folks who develop products and services should also be required to actually use the same in order to experience the same issues faced by customers.

    I do still have commercial software that I have used, some for nearly 40 years, that continually cause me to face frustration of having problems and short-comings that I cannot rectify.  On the other hand, I have a piece of computer hardware that serves well the needs that I have, and of which I would like to purchase a second unit.  Unfortunately the device is discontinued and I am having problems finding another new one.  I can easily purchase 'refurbished' units, but then am faced with unknown conditions, no warranty, lack of support, and no future upgrades.  This is exacerbated by fairly outlandish prices for the units that are available.

    In another situation, I have a small application I really like that is based on an Access database using, I believe, the 2003 version.  Now I'm retiring the Windows XP system it runs on,  but cannot move the db to any Access I have running.  My only option is apparently reinstalling sequential versions of Access and trying to get them to upgrade the existing database and matching that to the various versions of the application hoping I can find a more up-to-date match of the OS, the Access version and the application.

    At my age and being retired with an aging skillset, I have to consider all of the options to try to find the right tradeoff between doing my own 'repairs' and possibly sacrificing some of my satisfaction and convenience.

     

    Rick

    One of the best days of my IT career was the day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.

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