Good ByeThis weekend I was faced with a tragedy.  My beloved Olympus E-20N digital SLR camera died.  It had been in a coma since the shutter locked up while I was photographing my cousin’s mural unveiling in Prescott.  I had traded in my entire Nikon F10 film camera outfit and supplemented extra cash to buy that camera.  One minute I was sitting there shooting photos and the next, everything went black–literally.  Now it’s gone and I’m afraid I don’t have the resources to replace it.  No joke, I am beside myself with grief.

It would have been five next month.  I was planning on taking it to my friend Colleen’s wedding in Chicago. 

After trying everything I could think of to make it work again, Ray took it to the Olympus repair shop in LA while I was visiting my mother.  They wanted over 220 bucks to fix it.  It doesn’t seem to make sense to pay that much money when they’re selling one still in the box for $300 on eBay.  The Olympus technician implied that it could have been caused by impact or shoving the memory card in too hard.  How could she say such a cold, cruel thing? 

I know exactly what it was–the death chip.

Have you ever noticed that electronic equipment doesn’t last very long these days?  I have gone through countless computers, electric clippers, coffee makers and cordless phones over recent years.  My Dell flat-screen monitor fried just after two years of use.  Fried as in the screen went black and the little light went out–its pupils fixed and dilated.

I suspect a consumer conspiracy is all around us.  We are so conditioned to get the latest and greatest iPhone that the manufacturers of our electronic gadgets secretly program them with a limited life span.  Logan’s Run meets Panasonic.  God forbid I should ever have an artificial heart.

Ray has his uncle’s old General Electric alarm clock.  On the bottom there is a date.  1949.  It still works perfectly.  Our sound system in the living room is powered by a 1977 JVC receiver.  That thing has been to hell and back–but it still works like a charm.  While today’s technology is amazing, the craftsmanship is for shit. 

Goodbye my Olympus E-20N.  Your demise is bittersweet.  I will miss you but deep down inside I am angry because you were a poorly manufactured camera that I paid way too much money for.  You will live on in vain through your accessories that I can no longer use.

One Thought on “The Death Chip

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