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What’s New Is Old Again

August 7, 2019

It started simply enough. Just one app, LinkedIn. It quit updating. It was still installed. But, everytime it said there was an update available and I tried to update it, I got a message:

This version is not compatible with your current operating system. Do you want to download the latest supported version?

Of course, I downloaded the latest supported version, because if I didn’t that stupid little red indicator saying there were apps to update wouldn’t go away.

And that’s fine. The “most current version” worked just fine. And everything else worked. Well, except for Venmo. I couldn’t install Venmo either. But, it’s okay. I installed Venmo on my phone and that took care of the need of Venmo.

And my iPad worked just fine.

It wasn’t always that way. Six years ago, I had some disposable income and a need. I spent about $1000 on the very best iPad available: 64GB of space, new Rentina display. The latest OS. It was expensive, but well worth it.

But, time and tides stand still for no . . .computer.

The OS was the first to fail. My iPad is stuck at iOS 10.3.3. The current version is 12.4. There’s lots of software that won’t install on anything prior to iOS 12. Like LinkedIn, or Venmo.

Today Dropbox added itself to that growing list of software that doesn’t run on old hardware and operating systems. I think more and more apps will continue to move to the “you cannot play with this application anymore” list.

I don’t use the iPad as much as I used to. I continue to write this blog on it. Only a very few posts have been written on another device. A few when I lost my iPad for a few days. And a few others written on my phone when I was way out in the sticks somewhere.

But, for most things? I now have an old Android phone. I also have a Microsoft Surface that I’m trying to learn to use. And recently I bought the latest iPod. I used to use my iPad for music as well. But, I now have over 8000. Their are too many for my iPad to hold along with the other apps. So, I use the 128GB iPod.

I own a lot of tools. Mechanic’s tools. I have at least a dozen different hammers alone. I have screwdrivers and sockets, wrenches and pliers. A good share of my tools belonged to my grandfather. I know which ones are his because he used to paint his tools orange. Why orange? So that he wouldn’t get them confused with other people’s tools when he worked on projects with other mechanics.

My wife owns a bible that has been in her family for over 100 years. It was her grandmother’s bible. It has a list of family marriages, births and deaths. It was printed in the 1880s. She cherishes that bible, just as I cherish my grandfather’s tools.

We still use those old things. Most days I read an electronic copy of the bible on my phone. We read from the bible on Christmas and Easter. I use the tools on a regular basis. None of the tools cost $1000.

My iPad will never be passed down to my grandkids. My kids barely are interested in it. In the next few years all the apps will move to the unsupported column. And before long the iPad will join by first generation Kindle that no longer works.

I also have a hard copy bible. It has a leather cover and is thousands of pages long. I record family births, deaths and marriages. My kids already have talked about who will get it after I’m gone. Several of my kids have turned into decent mechanics. I’m sure my tools, and my grandfather’s tools will find a good home once I’m gone.

But, the iPad? The Kindle? The iPod? The Android phone? They won’t ever have a chance to get old. They already are. All the new stuff is old.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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