Fear not, at least for the short term: Tek is still around. Okay, fear a little: I'm not sure how serious they are about staying around.
Tek's flat-rate price to repair and calibrate [REQUIRED TEST DEVICE]: $10,500.00
Tek's price for a new [REQUIRED TEST DEVICE]: Well north of...........$20,000.00
Competing, functional-equivalent [REQUIRED TEST DEVICE], Brand A...$7,000.00
Competing, functional-equivalent [REQUIRED TEST DEVICE], Brand B...$5,000.00
Competing, functional-equivalent [REQUIRED TEST DEVICE], Brand B'..$4,995.00
Our dear old [REQUIRED TEST DEVICE] is broken. I don't think it will be going back to Tek for repair. Sure, Tek is good stuff -- but the days when LaVoie could clone one by going just a wee bit cheaper on components are long gone. Every one of these instruments is one input converter/signal processing board and a big old chunk of software, plugged into an entirely conventional computer. Our [REQUIRED TEST DEVICE] still runs Windows 95, Tek not making updates readily available (see prices above). I'll miss it. It's a neat little package, a rack-mount touchscreen computer with a tiny wee screen about 9" wide.
Dear Tek: remember when what my employers do was essentially a license to print money? Those days are gone. It doesn't look like they'll be back soon. We can't drop this kind of money on stuff so far into the technobackground that management will never, ever see it nor understand exactly what it does for them.
Sic transit gloria geektopia.
4 months ago