The monitor I’ve been using since 2008 which I bought along with Cuberick and had had my 360 hooked up to had been acting weird the past few years. Every time I’d turn it on it would flicker and I’d have to turn it off and on again twice per minute or so before it would finally flicker to stability usually 5-10 minutes later. A few days ago it failed to turn on completely. I thought I’d try to locate the problem and attempt to repair it. Cue some Youtube research, and lo and behold: my problem turned out very common – and very easy to fix, at least compared to how complex I’ve been imagining working with electronics to be.

Namely, multiple (five!) capacitors on the power controller chip were blown; a result of policies corporations like Samsung follow where they use the cheapest components possible to reduce costs and enforce planned obsolescence, a two-birds-with-one-stone type of deal for the manufacturers and against consumers the world over.

Replacing them together with buying some necessary equipment for soldering and borrowing an actual soldering iron set me back less than 10€.

Now my 9-year-old 22″ monitor that doesn’t have an HDMI-in works like new. I put in some extra time but I came out fulfilled, richer in terms of knowledge and with something that will hopefully last some more years to come – probably more than what VGA cables will still be around for.

If you have the same problem, here’s the video that got me started. My monitor’s model is Samsung 2232BW.



It looks at the topic from a consumer rights point of view, but the effects on the environment from the production of so many gadgets and their subsequent chucking that ultimately leads them to some cancer-ridden, polluted third world country, are just as significant.

See also: Ψηφιακά Νεκροταφεία

I wrote about planned obsolescence in consumer electronics at some length when I got the laptop I’m typing this post from. Getting my smartphone (which I’m still not using as a phone) a few weeks back was more a matter of overcoming the sensation that I’m being led into some trap than anything else.

How long will these gadgets last? Where will they ultimately end up? Will I be strong and responsible enough to make a different choice next time I need new electronic gear? Is there a responsible choice that would differentiate a user from a mere consumer?