Advice for tape drive repair / maintenance

Jules Richardson julesrichardsonuk at
Thu Dec 21 16:11:15 CST 2006

Alexandre Souza wrote:
>> "I have always wished for my computer to be as easy to use as my
>> telephone; my wish has come true because I can no longer figure out 
>> how to
>> use my telephone" I said that after a frustrating attempt to use a
>> "feature-rich" telephone sometime around 1990. I'm sure the sentiment
>> wasn't original, and probably not even the overall phrasing; someone must
>> have thought of that before me.
>    My (insert preffered expletive here)! All the phones works the same. 
> The features are added, you can choose not to use them.

Yes, but they're *there* for a lot of products, whether you want them or not. 
If they're not there, and are optional extras, and you pay an additional fee 
for them if you want them, fine.

But that's not how a lot of products work - given an idea of target cost for 
the final product, development funds have been split up accordingly in order 
to realise the product; some will go to core functionality and others will go 
to the 'features'. Net result is that people end up paying for bits they don't 
actually need, and/or the core product isn't as good at its core job as it 
might have been because some funding went to the 'extras'.

Computer software, by and large (to bring it back on topic!), appears to have 
gone the same way - in the old days separate software did one job only, but 
that seems to be less and less of the case these days (even Linux-based 
solutions aren't immune; it's becoming a real pain to sort out the bits you 
personally need from the bits that you don't).

Hardware thankfully is resisting a little better; you can still mix and match 
the bits in your PC / Sun box / whatever according to your own personal 
requirements. There do seem to be a few manufacturers who are trying to change 
this, too.

>    My phone is a kind of PDA. I keep my contacts on it, some photos, 
> music and games, and I feel like it.

Which is great, and I'm not saying that you shouldn't be able to. But people 
should be able to pay for what they need, not the all-or-nothing approach 
which is often forced upon us.



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