When I was a lad, the most complicated thing likely to be found in a house was a wireless or a television.
Things like toasters were hot elements that you leaned the bread against, so the only thing to go wrong with them would be the element burning out. If you plugged a kettle in, it would happily boil away until it melted.
Nowadays of course, everything is mini-chips and micro-chips and even your toaster is likely to be communicating with NASA while it toasts, and your kettle probably has more computing power than Apollo 11.
There are two downsides to this.
One is that everything is more likely to break down, and if it does break down, no one has a fucking clue how to fix it.
They moan about the waste on this planet, yet everything seems to have become disposable. If something breaks down, it is cheaper to chuck it in the bin and replace it. It is even cheaper occasionally to buy a new printer for the computer rather than fill the ink, because the new printer is cheaper than the ink cartridges.
I have a yoke that I bought about tree years ago. It’s one of those printer/scanner/photocopier/fax yokes, and I have found it to be incredibly handy.
I use it for faxing my arms dealer and photocopying blackmail notes. I can scan obscene photographs and print off porn.
I use it for printing things.
Last night the fucking thing broke down. It’s a very simple fault – it just won’t switch on. In the Good Old Days, I’d whip the back off and replace a fuse, but these aren’t the Good Old Days. I tried to see if I could fix it but it has those little bastard screws that don’t have a proper head on them, so I can’t open it. It’s probably something simple like a broken joint, or it could be some damned microprocessor that has gone up in smoke. I don’t know.
I did a lot of research. I checked on-line to see if there was any solution to this, and I also checked prices to get someone to fix it for me.
The upshot of my research is that it is simpler and cheaper to replace it.
All this happened at a time when I received a document in an email that I urgently have to print off, sign and fax back to the sender.
I’m not paranoid.
Life really is out to get me.