Reader Response to
June 2017 Editorial
on “Real Electronics”
The idea of computerizing
everything is all about squeezing more
money out of the consumer. Washing
machines and stoves used to last 30
Now, the computerized versions
last one to five years. Planned
obsolescence has reached new heights.
Publicly traded corporations are
required by law to be greedy.
I have been a ham radio operator
for about 50 years. I have radios from
the 1950s and 1960s that still work
fine. My new computerized radio will
not last that long!
Nowadays, most people are
carrying a tracking device with them
(smartphone), screens have TV cameras
watching the viewers, politicians say
things that are the opposite of the
truth. George Orwell knew what he
was talking about in "1984." The
Internet has its uses, but I don't want to
depend on it for everything. It will fail
Thanks Doug! I agree with most of
My primary computer for years
was a XP 32-bit machine running on
hardware that I built. I do not buy premade systems. I don't like the software
packages and I especially don't like
having only a recovery disc instead of
the complete OS disc.
I have built a dual processor MB
with Intel Xeon E-2603 v3 six core
CPUs running at 2.1 GHz. I have 32
GBs of RAM and I am running Win8.1
64-bit Pro. I finally hit a wall with XP
and I needed Win8.1, but it won't run
on my XP hardware.
This will probably be my last MS
OS. I will not use OSes nor software
that depends on a subscription service
and/or the Internet. These requirements
also open up your network and
computers to monitoring and data
If you would like to fix your system,
you will need to dump the OS and
reinstall everything from the ground up.
The problem is probably not a
hardware issue. More than likely you
have viruses, spyware, and trojan
Another big drag on system
resources is Norton and other so-called
multi-use utility packages. Norton will
slow a system that can run Win7 at a
decent speed by as much as 20%. Also,
it only protects against infections that it
has definitions for. You see, the
infection is already on your system and
your network before Norton can even
do its job. Oops! Not good!
The best protection is with a wired
router/firewall. Wireless systems are
inherently insecure as the bad guys can
sit outdoors with a laptop and steal
your data. Even if it is encrypted, they
still have a copy of it and now they can
take it and use a much more powerful
machine to break the encryption.
I am an electronics hobbyist,
retired master automobile technician,
computer technician, and a somewhat
competent programmer. I have seen a
lot of changes in electronics and cars
over the last six decades. I like being
able to fix things without having to find
a technician to do it for me.
I am also an electronics and
computer scrounger. I really enjoy Nuts
& Volts and drop everything else to
read it when it shows up in my
mailbox. I just wish that I had
subscribed to it sooner. God bless!
Richard R. Pope
Thanks for sharing your experiences,
Richard. I'm right there with you on the
subscription services. I keep an old
machine on my desk with out-of-date
Photoshop and similar programs that I
own on disc.
There are ways around the
subscription software model. For office
software, there is Open Office and
Libre Office. There is also Linux. I have
been running Linux on my Dell Inspiron
1545 laptop for over eight years. It is
on the third keyboard; I forget how
many batteries I have gone through. I
am also on at least my fourth hard
drive. It came with MS Vista — which I
never even booted.
I see little or no value in the
"Internet of Things." I have a few old
Tek analog oscilloscopes which are
definitely not Internet ready, but I can
fix them when they break. I do not
need my microwave or toaster
connected to the Internet.
The toaster pops when the toast is
ready and the microwave beeps. They
do not need a web page. Imagine a
hacker messing with your Internet
connected toilet — or shower.
I have a McIntosh amp (solid-state)
which I have fixed three times in the 30
years I have owned it. I also have a
Mac MX115 tuner preamp that is
halfway through a recap.
I am much more a "fixer" than a
"maker." I enjoy fixing these old things
and getting them working. It clears my
head after a day of writing software.
Mike McGinn KD2CNU
Hey Mike, I hear you. I enjoy
playing with the latest tech available,
I feel your pain! I tried Ubuntu
( 10. 10) when I was gifted an old
Thinkpad. It loaded and ran fine.
When I bought a new HP 15, the
first thing I did was to format over
Windows 10 and install Ubuntu
14.04LTS. I think I spent $15 for a copy
of Ubuntu Magazine just to get the
I installed Wine for the couple of
times I wanted to run a Windows only
James Lynes KE4MIQ
6 July 2017