Yesterday I went to the local electronics store where stuff gets sold for audio, video, oscilloscopes, multimeters, solder, crocodile clamps and lots more…

I needed to make a cable for the Fluke CableIQ qualification tester to check pin by pin; since this cable was not in stock at the dealer and it would probably cost 100x more anyways. I went in the store in a hurry, got the equipment with me and we had the following dialog:

[me] Hi, I see you got fluke in your etalage, do you sell these testleads?
[shopkeeper] No I’m afraid we don’t have these.
[me] do you got any test leads which I can use to make a cable for this device here? <while taking out manual>
[shopkeeper] I don’t got any separate leads.
[me] Do you got any colored crocodile clamps? I want to be able to make this cable, I already got the connector to go to the device but I’d like a nicer solution for the ending leads
[shopkeeper] Let me see what I got
… <after a time> …
[shopkeeper] I got these crocodile clamps, but only in red and black.
[me] That’s better than nothing, how many of these you got? I’d like to have 5 of each.
<to be sure because these things do break around the plastic too>
… <after a time> …
[shopkeeper] I got 5 of these and 4 of these.
… <In the whiletime an older man with a beard comes in> …
[me] Where is the time when you had these in colored?
[shopkeeper] That time is already gone for long, it’s not being sold anymore…
[me] But you do still sell soldering irons I hope ;)
[shopkeeper] No, as a matter of fact even Dynatek is stopping with multimeters. Soldering irons do not get sold anymore, everything is getting micro-smd etc..
[me] Where is the time when we learned about these things, using resistors, capacitators, making stuff?
[shopkeeper] Now they learn to draw in schools, but most of the electronic parts we have abandoned because it does not sell anymore.
[me] That’s bad, we with the soldering irons are getting extinct, so everyone just throws everything away??
[shopkeeper] Basically yes, most stuff cannot be repaired or gets swapped with modules.
[me] Do you still got those packages with many 5 or 10 testleads in one?
[shopkeeper] Yes let me see.
[guy with beard] The challenge seems to be gone for most around us, it’s sad, although not everything is new and small and smd ;)
[shopkeeper] I have these?
[me] <while looking> yes, these are a lot better and are which I search for, I want two packages of these.
[shopkeeper] that will me 8 euro 70 cents together please.
… <taking my money and paying< …
[guy with beard] Also a package of test leads please and pays up

Moral of story ..
Do we need to throw everything away when it still can be fixed just for the sake of having the newest model or type on our desk?