Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Luddite Joins the New Millenium

With any new technology, there are "new adopters". These are the people who stand in line to buy an iPhone the moment it goes on sale. At the other extreme are the "late adopters", who don't buy into a new technology until it's been around a long time. Me, I'm an "antique adopter". I don't buy into a new technology until the old one isn't even available on eBay anymore.

I guess I've always been this way. I'm a guy who had not one but two cars with 8-track players installed. None of those newfangled cassette players for me! And I didn't get a CD player until it was hard to find vinyl LP's. Our very first DVD player is only a couple of years old. If the old technology works okay, why replace it?

One reason I'm this way is I'm a cheap bastard. I don't like having to replicate my music collection every time some geek invents a new way to play it and some marketing genius convinces the world that everybody must have it.

Another reason is that I've seen a lot of hot new technologies fall by the wayside. Remember Betamax? That was Sony's videocassette recorder/player system. It was a lot better than VHS and there was a marketing war between the two formats for a long time. But Betamax was proprietary to Sony and they wouldn't license it and it was expensive. Meanwhile, everybody else started making VHS machines and prices plummeted and the Betamax quietly went away. Me, I'd have bought a Betamax back in the day and then been pissed off when Sony dropped it. Experiences like that have a way of staying with you.

As for large-scale hi-definition liquid-crystal TVs, well, our old 32" tube set works just fine, thank you very much.

Despite all that, I bought my first album from iTunes a few days ago. Yes, it's a current phenomenon, so with my track record I shouldn't have even heard of it yet. But you can't miss the hype anymore. So I tried it out and it worked pretty well. It's a lot cheaper than going to your local overpriced department store, they're always in stock, and you can pick and choose which tunes you want to hear. Pretty cool. No, I don't have an iPod yet, but that'll come this fall. One thing at a time!

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