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Re: Getting around the firewire problem was Re: filmscanners: Best film scanner, period!!!

> The public has been very well brainwashed with respect to computer equipment.
> Not only do people not find it odd that they are expected to junk their
> computers every year or so and buy completely new hardware and software, but
> they've actually been convinced that this is the way things are _supposed_ to
> be.  And yet, if this same situation existed with anything else--even other
> high-tech goods--it might incite people to riot.

It's kind of funny that I am taking the devil's advocate stand here,
because I'm known on all the lists I write to as a very staunch defender
of consumer rights, and I also have often complained about the
environmental and social costs of toss away equipment, and the computer
industry's strategy of making equipment obsolete. I have commented years
ago that if the same strategy used in computers was used with phones or
radios or TVs, there would be a huge backlash.  Heck, until a few years
ago, a 50 years old phone would work without modification on the phone
system. Seventy year old AM radios still work with today's broadcasting! 
But coming from Europe, you should also remember that when a choice was
made between a color TV broadcasting system compatible with B&W or a new
one which made all previous TV's obsolete, Europe went with a new
system, (PAL) and the US and Japan and a few others went with NTSC which
was compatible, and PAL has been a far superior color broadcast
signal.  So, short time pain led to longtime gain.  

I also have some of the oldest equipment (still in use) of anyone I know
who does professional work with their systems.  In fact, before any of
this came up, I wrote the text to a seminar on computer art (written for
novice level) which I gave yesterday, and I'll quote part of it:

"Computers have come a very long way since I first started.  They are
more powerful than ever, less expensive than ever, and easier to use
than ever, and now is a great opportunity to do computer art without
huge equipment costs.

But I don't sell computers for a living, so if you already own a
computer, I'm not going to tell you that you need a new one.  As I said
before, I was making computer graphics 15 years ago, and I doubt if any
of you are using a 15 year old computer right now."


However, I'm trying to be fair here, too.  The computer industry is in
major evolution mode right now.  They are working by the seat of their
pants in many areas.  They sell stuff that ends up becoming dead ends,
stuff they never get to work right, and stuff that is eclipsed within
months. Also, all immature industries are working in a collapsed time
frame due to a mixture of advancements, thousands of companies working
of similar concepts, and the need to beat the competition on release of
products.  Back in the late 1800's and early 1900's, the exact same
thing happened (on a much smaller scale) with cars, and cameras
equipment.  There was no agreement on placement of features (even the
brake and gas 'pedal' (in some cases a lever) location changed with 
different models), with cameras what size film, what size lenses, etc,
etc, were all in flux.  Even in recent years whole camera systems have
been deemed obsolete by major companies like Canon, who changed their
lens mounts several times.  And how many lenses fit multiple camera
manufacturer's bodies?  In the computer industry their is an "attempt"
at standardization (I'd agree, it is often not obtained).  How many
different film format standards have come and gone?  Visit a used
'thrift' shop and see all the cameras that no longer have film of flash
bulbs made from them.

You are basically demanding that an autofocus lens not only fit your
Leica, but work as an AF lens or that your camera use DX coding because
it is now on all 35mm film cassettes... let's see you upgrade to either
of those without buying a new camera.  And, BTW, while you may have the
benefit of not having to change your camera to take advantage of recent
film technological improvements, film manufacturers and photo labs have
spent hundreds of millions of dollars to keep you in current film and
processing, to remain competitive, and there are tons of old photo
manufacturing and processing equipment that have been discarded.

Look, I don't particularly like arguing this side of the coin, because I
do think the computer industry, both software and hardware, have been
remiss in dealing with upgrading in a fair manner, and I do resent the
fact that equipment becomes literally worse than worthless (sometimes
you have to pay to get rid of it) in so short a time span.  Further, I
support people whom, like myself, continue to use older equipment and
"make" it work for them. Heck, I used Win 95 until a few months ago!

BUT, and this is a big but (not butt, mind you! ;-)) I do not expect the
most recent features or peripherals to necessarily contain legacy
backward capability, and I do understand that it doesn't make sense to
expect manufacturers to add considerable addition expense to a product
to accommodate a small percentage of their user base who can't or won't
upgrade their 5 year old machines.  And right now, five computer years
is 30 or more in photography or cars, or...

> Sorry, but there aren't any changes that would cause me to "save money."  The
> cheapest way to use my computer is by not changing anything at all, and so
> that's what I do.  I long ago learned--after decades of dealing with
> computers--that the most stable and reliable computer system is a system that 
> never changed, and especially never "upgraded."  This is true for desktop
> systems, it's true for handheld systems, and it's true for multimillion-dollar
> mainframe computer systems.

Well, I wish this were true, but Windows often is self cannibalizing
anyway.  And yes, you are correct anyway.  Make your system dedicated,
like your radio is, like your television is, like you oven and stove
and car and microwave oven are, and it likely will function more
reliably.  But most people use computers with changing expectation. 
They are designed to be "upgradable" exactly because of both rapid
evolution and the fact that they are meant to be amorphous. A
computer can replace a radio, television, slide projector, camera, video
editor, sound studio, musical instrument, typewriter, adding machine,
calculator, book, cash register, inventory control system, etc, etc,
depending upon the peripherals and software you add.  Try to make your
Leica camera do anything but record pictures or your washing machine
bake bread.  Heck, until recently (Japan has just released one) all 
attempts at making a washing machine and drier combo have failed 
either in design or marketing.

> The weak link is in Nikon's marketing strategy.  As a result, I do not have a
> LS-4000, and they do not have my $1700.

And they are not, apparently, marketing it to you, either.

> As I've said, if Nikon marketed camera equipment in the same way, regularly
> making older equipment obsolete, Canon would have squished the company long 
> Nobody pays Nikon prices and then tolerates obsolescence a few years later.  
> same is even more true for companies like Leica.

Exactly, Canon makes much more innovative products, so that is the 
corner they are winning on.  They recognized that Nikon's reputation 
(although not necessarily still earned) for reliability was hard to 
topple, so they enticed Nikon owners by developing new technology in 
cameras which Nikon cannot incorporate due to being locked into their 
lens design, etc.  And it has worked, because a lot of Nikon owners
have moved over.  Certainly a percentage of Nikon users remain loyal
for the reasons you allude to.

However, I'd like to see you make the cable releases that works on my 
Nikon FE, and just about every other camera that uses a manual cable 
release, for that matter, work on my Nikon F801 which uses an electronic 
one that Nikon charges about $160 CAN for. ;-)

OK, that's it for me on this thread.  Back to overpriced, buggy 
scanners ;-)



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