Product design flaws can be catastrophic if some parts are ignored in favor of the whole product. In 1983, Coleco released the Coleco Adam personal computer with a power supply embedded inside the printer rather than the computer itself. In 1990, IBM made a similar mistake with their PS/1 computer by placing the power supply inside the monitor. In both cases, once the peripheral, i.e., the printer or the monitor, fails, the whole computer is considered dead and would require a complete service repair. The printer with the Coleco Adam was noisy and ineffective, but customers were stuck with it because it powered the computer. Both products ultimately failed due to various design flaws and other circumstances. Fortunately, we now have everything in modular forms. If a part fails, replacing that part is easier. However, the customer experience can still be good if the product is reliable from the start or if engineers are overconfident and perform subpar testing. The point is that product design should consider the parts, the whole, and the operations within the parts and the circuit. I have encountered several electronic devices that are still reliable even after more than forty years of running life. Casio and Commodore, to name a few. #productdesign #technology. #thoughts after reading about the Coleco Adam and early PCs today.
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