Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Defeating the Microprocessor: Going Forward By Going Backwards And Ditching The Moose.

It does seem as if every millenial smart phone addicted design engineer in the world just cannot live without incorporating microprocessors in places where they do not belong because there's no reason for it.

What does this have to do with guitar amps? Well, not much, but it is technical.

My first experience with this was the infamous jazz board failure in my Maytag refrigerator a while ago.

Or maybe this stuff is now filtering down into every area of life because it's cheaper to make? I dunno. Maybe the Nanny State can't settle al Qaeda's hash but they sure know how to make life difficult for the rest of us with this energy saving nonsense.

Fast forward to about eight months ago. I was awakened from my stupor by a loud bang! as the gearbox in our Amana washer gave up the ghost after one too many overloads. It couldn't be economically repaired.

So down we went to Sears Roebuck and selected an Energy Star rated super environmental water savin' washer. That was a bust. It took forever to wash a load of clothes, they came out dirty, and it cost a lot of money.

Three weeks later She Who Must Be Obeyed had had enough of that, so, being chumps, we went back and got one considerably less expensive, with a real impeller, and thought we had it made. Wrong.

It has a digital mechanism in place of the old standby clockwork switching apparatus, and when it was running it sounded like a moose in the throes of moose coitus or maybe the moose was gettin' it on with a bale of hay-who knows? It has been the source of endless rude jests around here, and if you have time on your hands you can have a lotta laffs with this. I wish I'd recorded it.

Last weekend it did what microprocessors are real good at-it crashed, and those three LEDs sneered balefully at me as the whole apparatus came to a grinding halt like a machine version of Jimmy Hoffa. Patience had worn thin, and I was tasked to go and find a Speed Queen washer with an old fashioned clockwork switching mechanism.

Luckily enough, they are still in production although time is no doubt limited and they'll soon be gone. It's not a lot different than the Speed Queen we bought in Ohio in 1983 that lasted until 2005 but was getting cranky in its dotage.

It came yesterday afternoon, and we ran a test load of six very large bath towels, It was nice and quiet, got through the process in a timely manner and without all the moaning and humping.


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