Oh, sure. We’ve subsequently adopted many of her siblings. We have some later-generation Echos, a bunch of Echo Dots, and a few Echo Shows.  At this point, we have an Alexa in every room. And yes, that includes bathrooms. We found the intercom, timer, and smart home control functions so valuable that it makes sense for them to be everywhere we are. But it’s Alexa Prime I want to focus on for a minute. She’s been with us for almost eight years. We’ve never had to update her (although I do know that updates have been automatically installed quietly and without requiring my attention). She still runs all our routines and smart home activities, turning on and off lights, controlling the temperature, and so on. Let’s go back in time to that January in 2015. I was still carrying my Samsung S4 Android phone. My purchase of its replacement, the iPhone 6S Plus, was still eight months into the future. Four months in the future from that January, I would buy an Intel i5 MacBook Pro – the last Intel MacBook Pro with ports and a nice keyboard. I’ve since had to purchase replacements for all of those devices. With iOS 16, Apple has discontinued support of the iPhone 6S Plus. When MacOS Ventura comes out this month, my i5 MacBook Pro from 2015 will also lose support (as will all MacBook Pros purchased before 2017, MacBook Airs and Mac Minis purchased before 2018, and Mac Pros purchased before 2019). Also: Five iOS 16 features I can’t live without now and how to use them But Alexas just work. That’s the first underappreciated way Alexa devices are consumer-friendly. Day in, day out. In my case, nearly 3,000 days. They just work. I’ve never had to replace a single Echo device because it was obsoleted by the company. Although not all features are available for older devices (you need a more recent device such as a third-generation Echo Dot or newer to make it bilingual in Spanish, for example), in my personal experience so far, I haven’t noticed any loss of support or functionality. Each incarnation of the helpful AI just sits there, waiting for us to ask or command something. There’s another consumer-friendly feature of Alexa that we rarely discuss: There’s no monthly fee. To be fair, this is also true of Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant, but it’s also very rare for smart devices to run without a monthly fee (especially security cameras). There’s also a fee for Alexa Guard Plus, which provides some emergency monitoring and protection. And there’s a per-incident fee for Echo Auto, which you incur if you call for help when stuck on the side of the road. But there’s no fee for the basic Alexa service, and in seven years, we’ve never needed to upgrade to any of the incremental services that have fees. Right now, Alexa’s generally just helpful, and she has been since she took up residence on my bedroom bookshelf. Sure, it could get a lot worse. But for now, in our crazy, fractious, messed-up world, it’s nice to be able to point out something, anything, that doesn’t completely suck, even if for only a moment. “Alexa, thank you.” “You’re so welcome. Your kindness really gives me a charge.” Yep, that moment is over. But still… “Alexa, set alarm for 7 am.” You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.