Open Thread Update: When Tech Goes Haywire

Last time I detailed my experiences and frustrations with tech that gives out before my need for it does and when the hardware fails…and boy, I’m not alone!  The post (the original is below) led readers to bring out the long knives for troublesome tech.

The appropriately named reader JA Bitter sets the stage with this overarching comment.

“I dislike Windows 10 and now Windows 11 is coming down the pike, stop it already! Now my Iphone 7 is going to become a brick early next year, When will techies notice that not everyone wants or needs the latest or faster models.”

I hear ya. And JA is not the only one to call a smartphone a “brickphone.”  (Read on.)

Reader Bella detailed an ‘all out assault” by her technology including a long battle with a wonky motherboard, an HP printer, and experts whose only solution is “Buy a new one.” Check her out in the comments.

And speaking of phones, Pat details an issue that will be more pressing as time goes on. I love Pat’s observation that a smart phone is a brick phone – because when the technology become obsolete that’s what your phone becomes.

“I am a proud flip phone user and really don’t want to switch to a “brick phone” (my term for smart phones). However I am finding that I am being forced toward needing a smart phone. I recently parked in a city parking garage and found that I needed to photo and scan in my car license plate to pay. I didn’t have that capability on my phone and had no one with me. In addition, I came back from the concert and had a $25 ticket! I also wanted to attend another concert but they only sold “virtual tickets” which require a smart phone than can display a barcode.”

He ends, quite reasonably, by saying “I just don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for a phone I will break or lose, and a phone plan that I won’t use most of the time.”

Rose Marie Wilson mourns a PFS database program and a few other readers offer solutions – that’s the spirit!

Katherine Tracy reserves her ire for HP printers and their sneaky ways.

“HP sends printer “updates” w/o user notification that quietly disables the printer from recognizing 3rd party (refurbished, compatible) ink cartridges (such as from Cartridge World or eBay). This means users are forced to purchase expensive OEM cartridges.”

…and she offers a few solutions  Fight the power, Katherine!!

Mark O’Brien also has an issue with phones.

“Got a fairly simple flip phone. Now some texts say can’t download…I turned off the text feature on my phone but texts keep coming and there no notification to those senders that I’m not getting their texts so I’ve missed appt (Kaiser automatically sends appt reminder by text)  And that’s just texts, don’t get me started on computer issues!”

Lastly, Reader Barbara is looking for some tech help and support with the financial aspect of technology, and our Techspert Jonathan offers his advice.  Read his comments below.

We’ll keep this open so you can continue those comments.  Meanwhile, below is the original post that started it all.

Tech Goes Haywire!

 I’ve got two terrific programs that are both on life support and I refuse to give up on them. I have an old school tower running Windows XP specifically to keep them running:  Kiplinger’s Simply Money (the best financial package ever made) and Daytimer 2.0 (the best address/notebook/contact database/calendar program ever).  The day I figure out how to move them to a newer computer and get them to print again I’ll be a happy camper.

This morning I lost about a half hour because my printer decided it didn’t like the way I put in a new ink cartridge and refused to play.

A friend of mine is on a first name basis with Microsoft tech support because her laptop has been hiccupping non stop.

My late husband, a programmer, created a tracking program specifically for me and my PR business.  It was awesome and a terrific enhancement to my productivity.  About a year after he died the laptop that housed it went down completely, and beyond repair.  I had the data backed up but the source code was gone. It was like losing him all over again and I cried for a week.

Technology Terror

Technology has infiltrated our lives, businesses and yes, even our emotions.  There’s a line of sympathy cards when you lose a pet. How about when you lose a program?

How about you?  What technology have you lost – and really miss – either from non-support by the developer, or by devices that no longer support it, or by mishap?   Let us know in the comments!


Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at