Old stuff = sturdier, more reliable ?

I noticed that some old computer stuff are sturdier than its newer ones. Probably because it was (way) more expensive back then, so the vendor can afford quality materials to build their products. It definitely is true for my old IBM keyboard.

However, could it be that these oldies are also more reliable ? I have personally seen old PCs, still running way past its intended service time. While its newer ones died just after its one year warranty expired.

Today I stumbled upon another kind of this incident.
I purchased an 100 Mbps Dlink switch to replace an aging DE-809TP 10 Mbps hub, from Dlink as well. However, my laptop failed to access the network whenever I plugged its cable to the new switch; but works fine if the cable is plugged to the old hub.

I thought it’s some kind of autodetection problem, I’ve read that some Dlink equipments sometimes misdetected your equipment’s speed (10/100 Mbps, full/half duplex), so I tried all of these combinations manually on my laptop’s network card. No joy. Even 10 Mbps half-duplex doesn’t work.
While plugging the laptop to the old hub with any settings (including auto-detect) will enable my laptop to access the LAN.

Baffled, I started to examine the cable itself. Soon I found that some parts of the cable has been gnawed by our local rats.
Doh 🙂

Since the cable is pretty long, I really don’t feel like replacing it. So, I daisy-chained the old hub to the new switch, and plugged my laptop to the old hub instead. Everything works without a hitch now.

It’s just too bad that the old hub got only 10 Mbps bandwidth, but that’s already enough for my needs for now. Still no idea how it works with the old one, but I’m not complaining 🙂

7 thoughts on “Old stuff = sturdier, more reliable ?

  1. I suspect two cases: whether NIC has lower transmit power or Dlink switch has low sensitivity (i.e it requires higher transmit power from the NIC in order to sense the link properly). It explains why a hub (which is also a repeater) works fine since it will boost the required level of power according to the “standard”.

    Maybe if there is time, we can try with shorter cable or at least cable with no rodent patch there 🙂

  2. I still have my nine year old Pentium 3, though its hard-disk wasn’t good anymore.

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