More Money Than Sense

I once considered early adopters of technology more sophisticated than the average person. But now I think they’re just tech obsessed…or, in the case of Apple enthusiasts, people with unusually large supplies of disposable income.

After my experience with betamax, MiniDiscs, LaserDiscs, recordable DVD players and other so-called next big things, I’ve grown cautious with new technologies.  

I’ve never had time for patience. But I don’t have the money to be impulsive anymore.

God may protect idiots and drunks, but when it comes to a blonde, He goes right for the wallet. Take away the spending money, erase (some of) the stupidity.

If you don’t have money to waste,  you can’t buy an HD DVD player–which lost its  fight with Blu-rayin February. Nor can you rush out to buy the brand-new iPhone, saving yourself the frustration of watching the price fall from $599 to $399 in less than 10 weeks.

My last major mistake was a first generation recordable DVD player I bought in late 2000. The had-to-have-it equipment cost $2,000, embarrassingly more than it was worth. The machine consistently sputtered and stalled, failing to deliver the quality images it promised despite the excessive price.

I bought that machine less than two years after I invested in a first of its kind digital video recorder. No, not Tivo. I went with nearly extinct ReplayTV, which hit the market two months ahead of what proved to be its more successful rival.

It’s taken me years to understand that when you buy too soon, you become an unpaid product tester.

In the rush to market products, manufacturers of everything from high-end cameras and computer software to musical instruments and home appliances have turned loyal customers into consumer guinea pigs.

Take those expensive video game consoles. Consumers spend hours or even days waiting in lines to purchase limited quantities of the newest, highly advertised game system. But a high percentage of the machines have fatal flaws, like freezing, overheating and general failure to perform.

I was burned by an xbox 360 in 2005 and burned again in 2006 by a Nintendo Wii.Neither first generation machine worked as expected. Fortunately, I hadn’t wasted time as well as money. I capitalized on a conversation I overheard between two teen boys in a line at CVS and preordered the game console for home delivery six months before its release.

As for the Wii, I considered getting on a line at Best Buy. But an eager group of teens-most unable to sleep from years of Ritalin use-volunteered to go, sparing me the indignity.

Still, I admit, I expected the game console to work when I took it out of the box.

Chalk that up as one more miscalculation, a belief as naïve as the faith I once had in the Apple Newton.



Filed under digital, globest, life, mistakes, random, Technology, work

8 responses to “More Money Than Sense

  1. Pingback: Pink iPhone » More Money Than Sense

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  5. RJ

    If I weren’t so poor, I too, would probably throw away money at the drop of each techological invention. Instead, I get my high off of researching the products, watching the market trend, then laughing at the idiots who get on the latest gravy train.

  6. there is something to be said about having the latest, and the greatest gadget …..

  7. Thanks

    To all you early adopters, let it be known that the rest of us deeply appreciate you taking one for the team. Without you we’d never have informative reviews to read and make good tech choices. You guys are awsome.

  8. Anonymous

    I bought a minidisc player in 1997, not right after their release, but soon enough. I liked the small size since I was on public transit a lot and thought, wow how could you go wrong. Well, I guess I was a little lucky the ipod was stil a few years away and I got good use out of MD. Seems like 2-4 years for any product is a good life.

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