Daily Life Technology

Poor Technology in Our Home

It has not been a good couple of weeks for the technology in our home.

Dusty, our Kobold VR200 Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Vorwerk Kobold VR200 Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Vorwerk Kobold VR200 Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Last week our poor robot vacuum cleaner bit the dust… well the mud. Dusty, that was her name, our Kobold VR-200 Robot Vacuum Cleaner, had already done one part of her run earlier in the morning… David was outside cleaning the front of the house. He decided to wash down the front screen door and the wooden door. I don’t think we’d cleaned them since we moved in four and a half years ago… they were filthy. Anyway, the door has a thing at the bottom that stops the wind from coming it, it also stops the rain when it is particularly bad and makes it there under the verandah. Well, that nifty device works fine, even when the door is being hit directly by a hose. Unfortunately, there isn’t one at the top. Unbeknown to David the water was coming into the house over the top of the door and created a little flood inside the house. Thankfully we have tiles almost everywhere.

Dusty decided she was charged enough and head back out to complete her cleaning run and ran straight into the pool of water at the entrance of the house!

I’ll give Dusty her due, she had great suction and didn’t give up easily. She went in and out of the puddle a few times. When I came into the room and saw her I freaked. I saw the water coming over the door and yelled out for David to “STOP”. I picked up Dusty and ran her to the kitchen, sat her on the sink as the water continued to pour out of her innards. She had water coming out of holes I didn’t even know she had.

When it seemed like she had finished leaking, I shook her a bit and even more water came pouring out. After this, when the water had finally stopped, I packed her full of rice and we set her aside for a few days.

After a few days we put Dusty back on her base to charge up. She lit up, but we couldn’t start her because the filter was destroyed from the water. We went to our local Godfrey’s (the official distributor of the Kobold vacuum cleaners) and spent the $20 on a new filter. Came home, put it in and Dusty attempted to start up. But several warnings appeared on her display. Two of these were battery warnings and she shut herself down. We’re pretty sure she’s a goner. In the days since her passing we’ve come to see just how much she did around the place. We have dust bunnies collecting under and around furniture. Dirt is piling up and we have to vacuum our selves a lot more than we normally would. When the cleaner came on Wednesday and we moved the dog bed we saw a pile of dust that had gathered under it. Dusty would have gone under there to get it.

We will eventually replace Dusty, but we’re waiting for some better tech to become available. There hasn’t been a significant update to the product in the three years we’ve had her and Neato, the company Vorwerk works with to create the VR-200 have some great stuff in theirs now. Unfortunately, as is always the case, Neato only sells the good stuff into other markets and seemingly uses Australia as a dumping ground for its older technology. One thing that is cool with the Neato is how it actually maps your home and shows exactly where the robot has been during its cleaning cycle. The latest version, the D7, lets you draw a simple line across a map to tell the robot to avoid the area. So yeah, for now, we’ve gone back to vacuuming manually, but a new robot vacuum is in our future.

Bose SoundLink Mini

Bose SoundLink Mini
Bose SoundLink Mini

I think we got our SoundLink Mini from Jody for Christmas about 8 years ago. It has been my favourite Christmas present I’ve received in like forever. I take it to all kinds of places. It has been on photoshoots with us, and it is my constant companion when I get ready in the morning, even though we have other speakers in our bedroom. I like to have the sound right there with me in the bathroom. It has been out to the BBQ and kitchen when making dinner. I can’t emphasise enough how much this little speaker has done. And it has proven to be very, very, durable. But one can only suffer so much. This morning, it kind of gave up when I dropped it for the umpteenth time, this time it fell from the top of the shower to the tiles below. Something has clearly shifted inside and now everything sounds distorted. Its life as a speaker has pretty much come to an end.

I likely won’t replace it with another Bose product. They have changed their SoundLink product line and the current offerings seem to be a little lacking. They are made of plastic and just feel cheap. I wish Apple would release a portable version of the HomePod so I could get one (here’s me wishing to own a product that doesn’t even exist).

So yeah, it hasn’t been a good time here for tech. Of course there have been some successes. My iPad Pro is freaking awesome. I use it a whole bunch. Found out at Camera Club the other night that the same USB-C adaptor for the HDMI out on my MacBook Pro also works for the iPad Pro, so that’s a win.

Oh yeah, and this morning, the cat tried to jump on top of my iMac Pro to get up to a higher shelf… iMac Pro doesn’t like cats trying to get on top of it and seemed to jump out of the way. It almost fell off my desk! That would have been a very bad outcome.

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