Author Topic: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES  (Read 10548 times)

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Offline farlander762

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NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« on: September 08, 2021, 12:33:17 am »
I hate them all. 

The dishwasher complains if it isn't level enough, or if the water doesn't get hot fast enough, and the stupid soap cup never opens right.  AND WHY DOES IT NEED TO SING TO ME!!!!

The washing machine also complains about water temperature, or a load imbalance.  The motor control wizardry seems to be too weak for the motor it's driving.  AND WHY DOES IT NEED TO SING TO ME!!!

The dryer has hell with the dryness sensor...GAAA!!!  That's it's one flipping job!!!

The refrigerator, oh the refrigerator...I hate it the most!  Two ice makers that never want to make ice, one of which can never decide if crushed or cubed.  The ice makers have heated tubes to keep the water from freezing on its way to the ice maker, and they fail.  IT even spits water from the door sometimes while being told to dispense ice!!  The control system can be deprogrammed down to some fail-safe state with a combination of button presses but can only be restored to full function by replacing the motherboard.  Somebody please tell me why I need a refrigerator with a motherboard???  It annihilates fruits and vegetables in days, I haven't found the setting to stop that.  It always wants its filter changed ($60 each).  It even had to have a door seal changed on the freezer.   Every systems seems to be tied to every other system by an under-powered power supply that is of course part of the motherboard.

I want my appliances dumb.  Real dumb.  Tired of this overpriced, under-performing garbage.   
 
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Online xrunner

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2021, 12:48:57 am »
Yea it's marketing, product differentiation - we gotta one-up the competition with some feature they don't have. But sure, maybe a line of super dumb appliances would be a way to do that eventually ...  :popcorn:
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Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2021, 07:52:55 pm »
You sound like that old Ozzy Ozborne reality show where he would get frustrated and confused by modern tech.



Everything has a microprocessor, been that way for at least 20 years! Don't like it? Wash your dishes in the sink, use an old washtub and washboard with a crank ringer and clothes line, and get an ice box.

You just wait till all the yuppie hipsters get their way and you have to pair your phone and subscribe to data farming to toast your damn bread.THEN, you can complain, untill then, RTFM! [/rant]
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Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2021, 08:28:13 pm »
Yea it's marketing, product differentiation - we gotta one-up the competition with some feature they don't have. But sure, maybe a line of super dumb appliances would be a way to do that eventually ...  :popcorn:

The one thing I do want brought back...the fully automatic Sunbeam toaster.
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Offline TimFox

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2021, 08:38:42 pm »
When my modern US made clothes dryer failed 3 months after the warranty ended, it was a trivial fault on the single digital board that contained the controls, processor, and display.  Luckily, contrary to my normal practice, I had purchased an extended warranty:  the normal cost to replace the board (not field-repairable) was roughly 2/3 the purchase price.  The “10 year warranty” prominently noted on the front panel only covered the stuff the company actually knew how to do, essentially the mechanical drive train.  I replaced the previous unit (same brand, but the company had merged into a different corporation) after 35 years, and the electromechanical timer/control switch was still original.  How smart does a clothes dryer need to be?  The old one had a moisture sensor that worked as well as the new one.
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2021, 08:49:11 pm »
You sound like that old Ozzy Ozborne reality show where he would get frustrated and confused by modern tech.



Everything has a microprocessor, been that way for at least 20 years! Don't like it? Wash your dishes in the sink, use an old washtub and washboard with a crank ringer and clothes line, and get an ice box.

You just wait till all the yuppie hipsters get their way and you have to pair your phone and subscribe to data farming to toast your damn bread.THEN, you can complain, untill then, RTFM! [/rant]

Whenever I see someone use the phrase "Ok boomer" I instantly think that they're an idiot and wonder if they even realize how dumb it sounds? I'm a generation younger than the boomers. It's going to be funny when you get old and the kids start insulting you for being out of touch with the latest fads, it will happen.
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2021, 08:55:42 pm »
I hate them all. 

The dishwasher complains if it isn't level enough, or if the water doesn't get hot fast enough, and the stupid soap cup never opens right.  AND WHY DOES IT NEED TO SING TO ME!!!!

The washing machine also complains about water temperature, or a load imbalance.  The motor control wizardry seems to be too weak for the motor it's driving.  AND WHY DOES IT NEED TO SING TO ME!!!

The dryer has hell with the dryness sensor...GAAA!!!  That's it's one flipping job!!!

The refrigerator, oh the refrigerator...I hate it the most!  Two ice makers that never want to make ice, one of which can never decide if crushed or cubed.  The ice makers have heated tubes to keep the water from freezing on its way to the ice maker, and they fail.  IT even spits water from the door sometimes while being told to dispense ice!!  The control system can be deprogrammed down to some fail-safe state with a combination of button presses but can only be restored to full function by replacing the motherboard.  Somebody please tell me why I need a refrigerator with a motherboard???  It annihilates fruits and vegetables in days, I haven't found the setting to stop that.  It always wants its filter changed ($60 each).  It even had to have a door seal changed on the freezer.   Every systems seems to be tied to every other system by an under-powered power supply that is of course part of the motherboard.

I want my appliances dumb.  Real dumb.  Tired of this overpriced, under-performing garbage.

I also get annoyed by some of the tech. I love technology, but I really hate technology for the sake of technology, especially when I know the underlying machine is a flimsy piece of crap that is almost guaranteed to break down in a few years and probably have close to zero service information. I do love my Roomba vacuums but even those drive me crazy sometimes, if they get stuck they sit there and beep at me repeatedly for 10 minutes, I can't stand it! Why why why must it keep nagging me? I'll get up and help it out next time I get up, vacuuming the floor is not an emergency. I have zero interest in any of my household appliances connecting to the internet, I added a wireless notification to my washer and dryer that allow my Home Assistant server to tell when they've finished and ping my phone, other than that it's electromechanical timers in everything.

Look for some older appliances and pick those up, it's not too hard to find stuff from 10-20 years ago that has minimal "smarts", and if you're willing to work on it yourself you can keep it going almost indefinitely. Lots of people still using 30-40+ year old washers and dryers, lots of old fridges and dishwashers around still. Yeah they use a little more energy but unless you have 8 kids and run everything constantly I doubt you'll even notice the increase on the bill.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2021, 08:59:49 pm »
When my modern US made clothes dryer failed 3 months after the warranty ended, it was a trivial fault on the single digital board that contained the controls, processor, and display.  Luckily, contrary to my normal practice, I had purchased an extended warranty:  the normal cost to replace the board (not field-repairable) was roughly 2/3 the purchase price.  The “10 year warranty” prominently noted on the front panel only covered the stuff the company actually knew how to do, essentially the mechanical drive train.  I replaced the previous unit (same brand, but the company had merged into a different corporation) after 35 years, and the electromechanical timer/control switch was still original.  How smart does a clothes dryer need to be?  The old one had a moisture sensor that worked as well as the new one.

The moisture sensor is actually really clever, the one in my ~15 year old Neptune dryer is virtually identical to the one I fixed in the similar age GE dryer my friend had, and pretty much the same as a much older dryer I worked on. It's just a solid state relay that turns off when damp clothes bridge a pair of contacts at the front of the drum and it controls power to the timer motor when in the auto dry portion of the cycle. The more often wet clothes touch those contacts the less time the timer motor runs and the slower the knob advances. It's very simple and yet quite effective.
 

Online Caliaxy

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2021, 11:55:03 pm »
Whenever I see someone use the phrase "Ok boomer" I instantly think that they're an idiot and wonder if they even realize how dumb it sounds? I'm a generation younger than the boomers. It's going to be funny when you get old and the kids start insulting you for being out of touch with the latest fads, it will happen.

OK Gen X-er >:D

(Fellow Gen X-er here ;D)
« Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 12:13:46 am by Caliaxy »
 

Online Caliaxy

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2021, 11:59:15 pm »
I hate them all. 
[...]
I want my appliances dumb.  Real dumb.  Tired of this overpriced, under-performing garbage.

I feel you. My “smart” range hood has LED lights, with two brightness level settings: “Bright” (works fine) and “Dim” (flickers annoyingly). Of course, I RTFM, which explains that the flickering is OK, since only half of the full wave cycle is applied to the lights in “Dim” mode. On one hand, GE bothered to add a Bluetooth module to connect the hood with the range, on the other one they decided to dim the LED lights with a half wave rectifier…

Not all “smart” implementations are bad, though, and sometimes they can actually help you identify issues. One day, my LG “smart” fridge stopped freezing. It displayed an error code (which I searched online) and it turned to be a defrost issue. Basically, the 1000W heating element that melts the ice from the cooling coils (when detected), the fuse in series with it, the defrost sensor, or the “logic board” were bad. I checked the fuse - it was bad (the heating element was good, and so seemed to be the thermistor). Unfortunately, on my particular LG model, you can only change the whole thing (heating element + fuse + sensor) in one piece, which I did as soon as Amazon delivered the thing at my door. Better than waiting for the LG service guys to show up or poking around trying to figure why the fridge was not working…

Meanwhile, my old school GE fridge, which we decided to keep as a backup in the basement (as opposed to “recycle for free” as suggested when we got the LG fridge delivered) works just fine, with no issues whatsoever (it has a similar defrost system, I imagine…)
« Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 12:07:42 am by Caliaxy »
 

Offline farlander762

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2021, 12:30:22 am »
HA!!!  I'm the last year model of Gen X (1980).  No Boomer here.   :box:

I do Read the F'ing Manuals, hell, I WRITE manuals at work.  For mechanical/hydraulic devices but I have still been known to knock a manual out if the system needs it.  I run/maintain Linux and Windows computers (many are dual boot) in my spare time, am a commercial pilot and A&P mechanic (inactive), and can kind of troubleshoot circuit boards. 

I'm not afraid of technology, major appliances just suck when digified.  And I doubt they save any power, probably use more with all that unnecessary crap running. 

Several years ago, my parents replaced their old GE fridge because it was no longer in vogue and my dad exclaimed that he had owned that fridge for half his life, he was 72 at the time...
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2021, 12:46:35 am »

Speaking with service technicians (of a certain age...), they will tell you that modern appliances are absolutely not meant to last as long as the old ones did...  Fridge compressors sometimes came with 20 year warranties, try to find that today...
 
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Online Circlotron

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2021, 03:26:37 am »
I'm not afraid of technology, major appliances just suck when digified.  And I doubt they save any power, probably use more with all that unnecessary crap running.
Mostly that probably true. About a month ago we got a new clothes dryer, this time with a heat pump instead of a ~2kW or so electric heating element. This new one uses maybe a quarter of the power of the old one (although it does run for maybe twice as long...) and it has an inverter driven compressor. What's more, you can put it in any room in the house because it doesn't discharge any warm moist air. It collects all the water in a slide out tank. Typically 2-3 litres of water per load. It's a great dryer, but we'll just have to see if it makes it to 20 years like the two previous dryers did.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2021, 03:33:45 am »
I think if I lived in a place as warm as Australia I'd put up a clothes line out back and not bother having a dryer at all. I have too many trees that drop sap and it rains half the year here but when I was a kid my grandmother had a clothes drying rack in her back yard that she used in the summer. That's even simpler than even the simplest dryers and uses no energy at all. Those heat pump dryers are intriguing but it will be interesting to see how reliable they are in the long run. It's certainly possible for a hermetic refrigeration system to be extremely reliable but when they do break down they are expensive to fix.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2021, 06:48:38 am »
I'm actually with you on this one. I want my TV to just be a display, it has one job and that is to take an input, decode it and display it. It should just do that one job well. I don't even care about the sound.

Same with everything else. I'm all for telemetry and telecommand on things like air purifiers and robot vacuum cleaners (I own both), but they should be able to do their job entirely independently and without reliance on any cloud services or internet access at all. If it doesn't, then it's a fail in my books.

It has nothing to do with being a "boomer" (of which I'm not), rather about making smart product design choices as the manufacturer and smart choices as the consumer.

What's the point of a "smart" outlet or switch that doesn't work if the WiFi or internet goes down? Sometimes the simplest options are the smartest ones. For example, I have outdoor PIR sensors which detect when I arrive home, the outdoor lights automatically come on if it's dark. Same in the garage, if there is movement inside or I open the roller door, all the internal lights come on. I can also activate them by toggling a wall switch. Simples.

I will laugh at the day when everyone's crappy consumer routers stop working because they've got too many devices hanging off the WiFi, or when their /24 IP range runs out of addresses.
 
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Offline bitwelder

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2021, 08:51:28 am »
One day, my LG “smart” fridge stopped freezing. It displayed an error code (which I searched online) and it turned to be a defrost issue.
Yeah, that too. All that 'smart' technology, fancy screens and connecting apps and yet when they need to report an issue it's by obscure error codes.
 
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Offline SL4P

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2021, 08:56:14 am »
It’s the same with web design user-interface and ‘cloud’ services.

Most of them are spec’ed by managers aiming to lift the bottom line into profit, while the implementation is being done by first & second year graduates  in Java and python  using ‘the latest’ web tools.

Unfortunately, none of them have heard of usability or human factors design.
They’re only looking at profit centres, cost centres are so 80s.
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Offline Daixiwen

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2021, 08:57:48 am »
I'm actually with you on this one. I want my TV to just be a display, it has one job and that is to take an input, decode it and display it. It should just do that one job well. I don't even care about the sound.

Well the good thing now is that if it can't do it's job right longer, you can still watch TV on your fridge, your microwave or your toaster
 
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Offline Haenk

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2021, 09:47:53 am »
Count me in.
Even though I generally like technology, I hate it for just being there for no reason.
If it has that one function, put one button on it. I don't need to remotely access my toaster or fridge. I don't need a programmable RGB lightshow on them, either. I don't need a colour OLED display on them.

However I do like stuff that does not break easily, even if it is more expensive.
 
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Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2021, 05:18:07 pm »
You sound like that old Ozzy Ozborne reality show where he would get frustrated and confused by modern tech.



Everything has a microprocessor, been that way for at least 20 years! Don't like it? Wash your dishes in the sink, use an old washtub and washboard with a crank ringer and clothes line, and get an ice box.

You just wait till all the yuppie hipsters get their way and you have to pair your phone and subscribe to data farming to toast your damn bread.THEN, you can complain, untill then, RTFM! [/rant]

Whenever I see someone use the phrase "Ok boomer" I instantly think that they're an idiot and wonder if they even realize how dumb it sounds? I'm a generation younger than the boomers. It's going to be funny when you get old and the kids start insulting you for being out of touch with the latest fads, it will happen.

At least our generations grew up with the internet and computers. Sure "fads" come and go and we all get "old fashioned", but actual tech progress isn't a fad...it's inevidable.
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Offline james_s

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2021, 05:31:49 pm »
The boomers grew up with computers too, in a sense. My dad used one in college, sure it took up a whole room but it was a computer, and you had to be a lot smarter to use one in those days than you do now. That generation laid the groundwork and invented most of the concepts that went into modern computers. I know plenty of old farts who are tech savvy and know how to use all the latest gadgets, they're not idiots. Technology is great when it serves a useful purpose, I love technology when it makes my life easier or takes care of doing something boring and tedious so I don't have to do it. What I don't like is technology just for the sake of technology, adding complexity, cost and potential failure points with dubious benefit. Replacing something simple that works with something complicated just because we can. I really like having a computer controlling the fuel injection in my car, it's far superior in almost every way than a carburetor. I love having a smartphone, a versatile communication device and multipurpose tool that I can carry with me everywhere I go. The internet is great, I love being able to access datasheets for all sorts of parts, order items or check on the security cameras at my house from anywhere in the world. On the other hand I see no value in connecting my dishwasher or my refrigerator to the internet. I don't need or want an app for absolutely everything. I don't like it when "smart" devices try to predict what I want because invariably they get it wrong and create extra work for me at least as often as they get it right. I don't like it when a stream of frequent updates is constantly making changes to the look and functionality, it makes the device feel like some person's half baked hobby project that is never finished and I resent the waste of my time, even if in small amounts having to learn and adapt to some new change I never asked for. I refuse to buy hardware that depends on cloud infrastructure to work, I've already seen numerous cases of a company going out of business or discontinuing a product line which results in a bunch of bricked hardware because the proprietary infrastructure is gone.
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2021, 05:39:59 pm »
Not all “smart” implementations are bad, though, and sometimes they can actually help you identify issues. One day, my LG “smart” fridge stopped freezing. It displayed an error code (which I searched online) and it turned to be a defrost issue. Basically, the 1000W heating element that melts the ice from the cooling coils (when detected), the fuse in series with it, the defrost sensor, or the “logic board” were bad. I checked the fuse - it was bad (the heating element was good, and so seemed to be the thermistor). Unfortunately, on my particular LG model, you can only change the whole thing (heating element + fuse + sensor) in one piece, which I did as soon as Amazon delivered the thing at my door. Better than waiting for the LG service guys to show up or poking around trying to figure why the fridge was not working…

See I would consider that a complete fail. A "smart" device that displays a cryptic error code? Why didn't it just display "fault detected with freezer automatic defrost system" or something along those lines? What good is all that smart stuff if you still have to search online to figure out what the error code means? Frankly I think there is no excuse for error codes when the device has the ability to communicate something human readable.
 
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Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2021, 06:35:36 pm »
The boomers grew up with computers too, in a sense. My dad used one in college, sure it took up a whole room but it was a computer, and you had to be a lot smarter to use one in those days than you do now. That generation laid the groundwork and invented most of the concepts that went into modern computers. I know plenty of old farts who are tech savvy and know how to use all the latest gadgets, they're not idiots. Technology is great when it serves a useful purpose, I love technology when it makes my life easier or takes care of doing something boring and tedious so I don't have to do it. What I don't like is technology just for the sake of technology, adding complexity, cost and potential failure points with dubious benefit. Replacing something simple that works with something complicated just because we can. I really like having a computer controlling the fuel injection in my car, it's far superior in almost every way than a carburetor. I love having a smartphone, a versatile communication device and multipurpose tool that I can carry with me everywhere I go. The internet is great, I love being able to access datasheets for all sorts of parts, order items or check on the security cameras at my house from anywhere in the world. On the other hand I see no value in connecting my dishwasher or my refrigerator to the internet. I don't need or want an app for absolutely everything. I don't like it when "smart" devices try to predict what I want because invariably they get it wrong and create extra work for me at least as often as they get it right. I don't like it when a stream of frequent updates is constantly making changes to the look and functionality, it makes the device feel like some person's half baked hobby project that is never finished and I resent the waste of my time, even if in small amounts having to learn and adapt to some new change I never asked for. I refuse to buy hardware that depends on cloud infrastructure to work, I've already seen numerous cases of a company going out of business or discontinuing a product line which results in a bunch of bricked hardware because the proprietary infrastructure is gone.

You misunderstand, see the "hipster yuppie" part of my original comment. I'm wholely against IOT BS and fear any proliferation of it. However OP appears to be complaining about digital appliances in general, which have existed for decades. None of the things he is complaining about are IOT machines (unless I'm wrong). There is nothing wrong with digital tech, but people who have trouble understanding computers and the internet tend to complain about anything with a processor, regardless of it being IOT or not. This stereotype seemed to fit the OP on first glance hence the mocking and saying "Ok Boomer".

Digital tech isn't the problem and calling normal stuff "smart devices" is ignoring the modern term which appears to only refer to IOT. Just wanting machines to devolve is ignoring the fundamental issues such as planned obselescance, right to repair, exc. They could build a modern EM washer and dryer...it would still be crap and use proprietary parts.
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Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2021, 06:50:53 pm »
Not all “smart” implementations are bad, though, and sometimes they can actually help you identify issues. One day, my LG “smart” fridge stopped freezing. It displayed an error code (which I searched online) and it turned to be a defrost issue. Basically, the 1000W heating element that melts the ice from the cooling coils (when detected), the fuse in series with it, the defrost sensor, or the “logic board” were bad. I checked the fuse - it was bad (the heating element was good, and so seemed to be the thermistor). Unfortunately, on my particular LG model, you can only change the whole thing (heating element + fuse + sensor) in one piece, which I did as soon as Amazon delivered the thing at my door. Better than waiting for the LG service guys to show up or poking around trying to figure why the fridge was not working…

See I would consider that a complete fail. A "smart" device that displays a cryptic error code? Why didn't it just display "fault detected with freezer automatic defrost system" or something along those lines? What good is all that smart stuff if you still have to search online to figure out what the error code means? Frankly I think there is no excuse for error codes when the device has the ability to communicate something human readable.

No. There's no obligation for every device to have an alphanumeric display that say exactly what you want. That would be counterintuitive and needlessly complicate machines that don't need them, like a fridge (barring actual "smart" fridges with the full computer in the door like Samsung), or a microwave oven, exc. Error codes have existed since the dawn of the computers and are not "cryptic" if you can simply look up what they mean, especially with the internet.

The problem is when companies hide the error codes from the public deliberately, then it becomes a problem. I encourage you to look into the Taylor ice cream machine scandal, one of the biggest right-to-repair issues currently going on.

EDIT: The fridge in question might have a full color display panel, if that's the case, yeah, should display words, but the rest of the argument still stands if the info is readily available, it's not an issue.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 06:53:48 pm by Cyberdragon »
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Offline dave j

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Re: NO MORE "SMART" APPLIANCES
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2021, 08:27:26 pm »
See I would consider that a complete fail. A "smart" device that displays a cryptic error code? Why didn't it just display "fault detected with freezer automatic defrost system" or something along those lines? What good is all that smart stuff if you still have to search online to figure out what the error code means? Frankly I think there is no excuse for error codes when the device has the ability to communicate something human readable.

Human readable error messages have to be translated into multiple languages, error codes don't. Human readable error messages can also be ambiguous unless you use language that is so precise/technical that they cease to be understandable by most humans. E21 and E22 can both unambiguously refer to a "fault detected with freezer automatic defrost system" but in different parts of that subsystem.
I'm not David L Jones. Apparently I actually do have to point this out.
 
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