Note: this article was originally supposed to be published earlier today, but I forgot to schedule it.
I hate it when things break. Often it seems like things break at the least appropriate times - when you need them most - doesn't it? Most of the time when something of mine breaks, it feels like there's a great need for it to work right now, and that usually leads to the impulse to replace the item right away. In some cases, this can be the correct course of action, but there are lots of things that can be repaired given patience and careful observation. This has plenty of benefits, not the least of which is cost savings from the replacement of the item, but in the case of electronics and other high-tech products it also prevents possible waste and mishandling of valuable and hazardous natural resources. Because of planned obsolescence and the ever-intensifying push to make goods more and more "affordable", many electronic and mechanical devices are designed without durability and longevity in mind. Most of the time this means that the lowest quality components that meet the minimum specifications are used to build a product, even if it means the product's effective lifetime is cut frustratingly short.