Chasing the gadget dragon

A lot of tech enthusiasts are wondering whether they should get Eee PCs now or wait until something better comes out… or wait until the Eee’s have a better processor, or wait until the price has come down. My wife has been waiting for ages for the next-generation iPhone to come out.

Technology is moving at such a rapid pace these days that it’s hard to get that perfect deal we’re looking for. By the time such-and-such becomes affordable or better spec’ed, another product has come on the horizon and displaced it.

Sure, occasionally, you can get or miss the good deal (like when my sister-in-law bought an iPod and two weeks later Apple lowered the price by US$100 and included more with it), but most of the time, you’re chasing a ghost. If you need a gadget (“need” here being used loosely, as we don’t really need any gadgets), get it. By the time it dies or appears obsolete to you, there’ll be something else new and exciting around the corner.

I’ll end with a comment from our TV repair guy. Five years ago, my wife and I bought a TV that was state-of-the-art at the time (and very expensive) that is now kind of bulky in comparison to the ship-shape models of today. When it broke, we decided to get it repaired instead of getting it replaced, and we asked the repair guy how long it would last. He said something along the lines of, “It’ll last at least another five years. By then, we’ll all be watching television beamed straight to our brains anyway.” A bit of an exaggeration, of course, but there is truth in that statement.

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1 Comment

  1. I think that the key here is not finding too much self-worth in the newness of something like this. Sure, it may be the latest and greatest now, but since we live in a throway consumer society that won’t last. So a gadget needs to have much the same value judgement as other things: if it works for what you need it for then perfect. And maybe some extra credit if it allows room for growth. Otherwise you set yourself up for failure.

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