I was calculating the next birthday of my laptop. I bought it during my last year in university, to use it abroad, as I did my final year project in Belgium. Next summer my laptop will be six years old. Not bad (crossing the fingers and praying for one more year of lifespan). Also, next summer my camera will be eight years old, and that is really outstanding. It fell in a river (I fell in a river and I had the camera with me), I have taken photographs at -27ºC (Ottawa), at +40ºC (Istambul), etc. Yeah, I am very happy with the performance obtained.
Now, some (free) advertising :P I want you to meet my camera.
Anyway, I´ve been lucky with these two devices, but the rest of my gadgets have had the “usual” lifespan. For example, I have to replace my mobile phone every two years. I bought an iPod one year ago and it is already starting to have fails, etc.
I mean, why all our gadgets have small lifespans?. I friend of mine told me about a documentary broadcasted in the Spanish national network called “comprar, tirar y comprar”, meaning: “buy, throw away and buy”. It is very interesting. It tries to answer that question and others, like ¿why in 1911 a bulb had a lifespan of 2.500 h and now the longevity of a similar bulb is only 1.250 h?. The documentary is in Spanish language and it lasts one hour.
Also from that page (and also really interesting), is the longest-lasting bulb in the world: the Centennial Light. It has been working for 109 years, (Wikipedia). It has a web-cam so you can see it (Centennial Light). Incredible.