|Re: An example of a company which stands behind its products|
Message #15 Posted by Reinhard Hawel on 9 Jan 2000, 12:43 a.m.,
in response to message #14 by Dave Hicks
I always wanted to build my own calculator (seriously, maybe a HP 10 series clone?), but because of the expected volume it would be very likely, that it would be a hand-built solution. No, I wouldn't take too much transistors, but it's rather sure, that you have to keep a considerable stock of parts in the electronics business. I guess it would be really hard getting an i486 or a Pentium 60 today, same with the microcontroller I'd use for building a calculator.
What I really wanted to point out, was that in example a HP 9100 has surely cost as much (or more) as an IWC in the late 60s.
I must admit, that the comparison was strange somehow, but why don't give them an example which is a real challenge. 30 years would be a little much, but I wonder what the HP guys do with their spare parts when the 5 years servicing period is over. Do they throw them away?
Especially the availability of the battery packs could get a problem.
I even thought about producing some of them, but making a form for producing them is extremely expensive, so that this would be a commercial project with a surely bad (for me) end. Unfortunately I can't afford that just for fun, maybe I'm into the business, when some crazy guys begin bidding $100 or more for a simple battery pack :-)
The next interesting question is what they do with the measurement equipment. Do they end service for a device that cost $100,000 five years after end of production ? I doubt that. There is a number of installations, that rely on HP calculators or now, Win CE machines.
Such things can be a real problem for commercial users or can get rather expensive to replace. Think of a HP 85 with a measurement system - any hardware change would cause an immediate replacement of all the software - A new and costly project for replacing a machine where a simple chip or transistor could be dead.
Maybe this is the chance for technically skilled collectors to earn some money from the large companies :-)
Generally engineers don't want to change working systems, even if they are working for 20 years or more. When the developers don't work for the company anymore, this could be even dangerous !
I wouldn't expect a 30 year service for the HP calcs, but 10 years would be ok, maybe with smootly rising prices every year to cover the expenses of keeping the parts on stock, keeping _qualified_ personell (the guys, who find all these things, if somebody wants it), ...
Not to deliver spares after a certain time is a rather bad policy, unimportant, which field of business we look at.