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The Silicon Age.
Topic Started: Aug 20 2016, 05:50 PM (63 Views)
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I had a strange and perplexing few minutes, today.
After installing two LED marine lights on my deck, powered by a solar panel feeding a small 7Ah battery, I'd thought I was done.
They work very well, although the scarcity of direct sunlight where I live meant I would periodically need to recharge the battery with a regular charger. Fine.

Last night, I noticed the lights were dimming a bit, and so today, I connected up the battery charger. Only to find...

There is a dim blue LED that comes on with one press of the switch. Then multiple bright white LEDs that come on with a second press.
The first thing I noticed was that both lights had their blue LEDs on, even though I'd turned them off last night.
I tried to switch them off, but nothing happened. I pressed for the white lights, but no change.

Then I connected the charger, and tried again to use the switches. Nothing. Still the blue lights.

I pondered this for a few minutes, disconnecting the solar panel, to no avail. This was a crazy situation.

Finally I disconnected the battery, completely, thus turning out the blue lights. Re-connected the battery. No lights.
Tried the switches again. Aha! Back to normal operation.

Like my TV PVR, like my modem, like my router, like my network switch, like every computer I've ever owned, sometimes these gadgets hang, and require powering-down, to reset. Why?

Practically everything made in recent times, contains some kind of microprocessor. Do deck lights really need microprocessors in them? No. At least, not for any reason I am aware of. Some kind of simple circuitry, yes, being light-emitting diodes. But a mini-computer?

That's the problem with modernity, and fancy new inventions. They are too useful (for their own good). They end up being used in everything, and duplicate their quirks and failings across every machine, appliance, and gadget.

There was something to be said for the stone age, the bronze age, the iron age...
The silicon age seems like it might just turn out to be a bridge too far.

"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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