technology is, like, expensive

first, read this. (then come back.) actually, forget about it, here\’s a summary: for the most part, now is a bad time to by consumer electronics like DVD players, computers, and iPods. why? because technology continues to advance while prices continue to go down. so, if you wait, you can get a toy with more features, for cheaper!

the dateline of the article is today, but it may as well have been december 12, 1994, the day i put in my order for the macintosh performa 6115 at the st. olaf college computing center. 8 MB of RAM, 250 MB hard drive, fourteen-inch CRT monitor… almost $3,000. i paid $57 a month for that hog until i graduated in may of 1998, by which time my computer was nearly obsolete. i was livid a year after i bought my mac to learn that prices had dropped by over a grand so i penned a note to steve jobs voicing my displeasure. i didn\’t get it.

y\’see, if you\’re waiting for the right time to buy a particular bit of technology– as far as the perfect combination of price and features goes– you\’ll never buy anything. check wikipedia for moore\’s law and you\’ll learn why. at some point you just need to make the committment and realize that your friends who wait longer will likely pay less and have cooler features.

now, back to listening to my 30 gig monochrome-display iPod without video player support.







3 responses to “technology is, like, expensive”

  1. alex Avatar

    There is some merit, however, in knowing release cycles. Apple, for example, tends to release big ticket items in mid-january, and mid-summer. So if you’re looking for the latest and greatest (of the moment) and it’s at all near one of those times, you might wish to wait and see. And the corollary is that it’s also at that time that price drops happen for the now-not-quite-so latest and greatest, which tends to be of more interest for me. I have a reputation as a cheapskate to uphold, after all.

  2. Brian Scott Avatar

    I bought my new macbook in September. Six weeks later they came out with the dual-core macbooks which were 25% faster at the exact same price. So I even called Apple to see if there was anything we could do. The lady was very nice and felt my pain, “I know it’s frustrating when…” but told me I was out of luck. What a nightmare. At least, when I’m older and talking to my grandkids and they start griping about the oceans rising and all the fish dying and the coming global ecological apocalypse, I can tell them, “You think you have it bad – I bought a macbook once that was obsolete after six weeks!”

  3. alex Avatar

    Brian – I feel your pain. I got mine in August. One way to go about keeping near the cutting edge is to sell your computer every year on EBay. A year old computer will command pretty close to what you paid for it… then apply the difference to a new computer. It’s kind of a pain in the butt to actually go through, though.

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