I am just old enough to remember when there were electronics & appliance repair shops in most towns, even fairly small ones. Cities had one per neighborhood (more in big neighborhoods). They fixed all manner of household appliances and electronics - toasters, TVs, radios, blenders, washing machines, refrigerators, lamps, whatever.

Even back then people complained about planned obsolescence...but the timeline to obsolescence was a fair bit longer.

There was a time, even long after the ][e, when Apple was not so repair-phobic. Mac LC's, Quadras, Performas - remember all those? - and even PowerBooks could be taken apart & repaired at component level. For a while they tried to be like the PC hardware world, with add-in cards for everything. But even then they aimed to be the only supplier of those parts. The brief period of "Apple clone" hardware is mostly forgotten. Apple was early on all about controlling their whole ecosystem. As was IBM - remember MicroChannel architecture, and PS/2 connectors? But for hardware, Apple moved more and more towards secrecy and control, and IBM towards 'industry standards' and embracing clones that ran their software (and later Microsoft's), and the rest is history. The fascinating part to me is how many times back in the day - meaning, before the iPhone era - Apple shot itself in the foot and somehow survived.



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John Schinnerer

A generalist in a hyper-specialized society. "How we do what we do is who we are becoming." - Humberto Maturana