Saturday, September 17, 2011

Technology 'Golden Age'

Hi everyone,

As some may have picked up on, I have recently gotten into pawn brokerage reality television shows. One thing that is often a requirement to start talking about a deal is to test the equipment to ensure it is in good operational condition.

I've found myself appraising items around my home. It is fun because I have realistically valued things that I have held onto that are worth nothing and I have no use for, nor would anyone want it.

An example of what I'm talking about is a pair of DELL desktop PC's. They are from 2001 and have had parts (i.e. RAM, HDD) taken out for other projects...they are Netbooks are cheap, they are more power efficient, have displays built in and can outperform these desktops. What can I do with these things? Well I believe I'll deconstruct them and take photos during the process. Who knows someone might want to know how they were put together one day.

Moving on...

One thing I did come across today was my brothers old SONY Walkman (WM-F2015 Google it ;) ), Made in Japan...with belt clip :D

I plugged it into my personal stereo and fired it even had a cassette tape in it! Worked like a treat. I couldn't help but think the thing is close to the size of massive personal Hard Disk Drives on the market today. My brother used the thing a fair bit at one stage, before he eventually got a portable CD player and  a 30GB iPod after that.

A guy that closed a web forum he operated stated (in 2009) that his purpose for the forum had been soaked up by cheap web hosting, internet speed and social networking sites.

I was upset that forum was closed and scoffed that NOW (then) was the so called "golden age of technology".

Increasingly people are saying how 'Millennials' already don't understand what technology like cassette tapes and VHS are like. Below is a picture I took of old school VHS, DVD and blu-ray. As you will see the VHS tape was an ex-rental and asked for $4 to rent it for 7 days, the DVD I bought cheap, the blu-ray I believe even cheaper years later. As you can see the tapes we big and bulky, you had to fast forward and rewind and well looking back now it looks like a total pain in the ass. The DVD comes with 'extra' bonus material and the blu-ray with even more. So you can own forever movies now in High Definition bundled with all sorts of extra footage and material and it's CHEAPER?!? I think I'll reconsider my stance on the whole golden age thing now...

Also, the amount of resources saved from the upgrades is really a good thing. I suppose digital downloads on lightening fast internet's coming soon with a solid grounding already occurring.

Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

'Cheap Chic'

I believe that the new trend is to be 'cheap'. The whole economic 'crisis' really demonstrated to some people how silly and risky accumulating "stuff" really is, especially if you buy it on credit or buy materialistic objects over more important things that have an actual use and real purpose.

That's the thing about the times today - I don't think I'm the only person that only dives into his wallet when completely necessary, whereas at one time I went shopping like it were some sort of retail therapy.

Besides paying utility bills I can't even remember my last significant impulse purchase - I believe it might have been a cheap LED TV that I got for $149 which is about 21 inches and has X2 HDMI inputs, VGA, and a Digital TV tuner.

Anyhow that's nothing compared to past splurges. I don't even buy magazines or DVD's anymore. I am saving to pay off my apartment in full and hopefully get some solar panels on the place after-all but I used to buy that sort of thing all the time.

Perhaps I've matured and come to value money more, perhaps I have everything I need and so naturally I don't need to buy anything more, or perhaps it's the new in thing to live off bare essentials.

These days there are free or very cheap (and legal to boot) solutions for almost everything. I mean this blog is hosted for nothing, there is YouTube for video content, I can read news relevant to my interests online without buying a newspaper, there's plenty of free 'apps' to waste time with, Games on Facebook (not that I play them...but they are available), even free to air digital television can be received with a USB device that can cost less than $50 offering 15 channels of assorted content, and most would have built in PVR capabilities.

Books can be bought online for cheap without having to venture outside, as well as stores that offer legit downloads for music, on demand television and movies as well as software and e-books.

Things are really changing - I honestly believe the retail sector have cause for concern. As backyard, or community gardens become more and more popular and everyday gardeners become more efficient and successful at growing their own food and food to share with friends, family, neighbors and fellow gardeners the next sector I see getting damaged is the food industry. With cooking shows being all the rage it's only a matter of time as far as I'm concerned.

Personally I welcome all this as it steps away from reliance on big business, but I can see how this is really going to impact on everyday, honest people that make their living from jobs that they create.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

General Annoyances September 14 2011

I am having a bad day. No scratch that, the last week or so has been really testing. At work, at home, on the news, out and about...certain things are really starting to tick me off - I'm a nice guy and just let it go but I really need to vent. Here are some things that really make me RAGE

#1 People that have conversations in the entrances of stores. It obstructs entry to the store! I went to my local newsagent the other day and there were two women both with MASSIVE prams/strollers talking right in the door way. I just wanted to check if the new Rolling Stone Magazine was in, there was a little gap they allowed for people to squeeze past them but the shop is one of the busiest in my town. There were people trying to come out so I let them have the right of way. Finally I got in, found the magazine (and that they published my letter :D) paid for it and went to leave...they were still there. EGH! So I went to squeeze my way out but there are people coming in, here I am standing in no man's land in the store feeling like an idiot. I finally got out onto the street and felt like that guy that escaped from prison in The Shawshank Redemption.

#2 People that barricade supermarket aisles with shopping trolleys. It seems whenever I go to the supermarket to grab a few items every aisle is deserted except for the ones that I use. Now I consider soft drink a staple, they never move it from the dedicated aisle and the prices very rarely change...yet whenever I go to get some there's someone with a trolley skewed across the aisle seemingly inspecting each and every bottle and the prices...WHAT THE HELL?!? You walk up to go past and they never seem to notice the person coming up the aisle that won't be able to pass. I know sometimes I'll 'hog' an aisle when it's empty but I sure as hell know when someone's coming and get out of the way. I swear these people expect people to be blocked and have them say 'excuse me' before access is granted. Jerry Seinfeld made a joke about this once...EXCUSE YOU! I've done nothing wrong.

#3 Narrow checkouts, MOAR PEOPLE WITH TROLLEYS! These days I use self serve checkouts 99% of the time. If I don't it's because suspiciously there's a bigger line up to self service than there is for someone to do scan and bag groceries for you, or because I have too many items to try to juggle in the minuscule space provided at the things HMMPF! Anyhow the new phenomena seems to be that the checkouts have very narrow spaces where customers stand...I mean really it looks like two trolleys couldn't simultaneously go through at the same time...yet people insist on trying like they failed how shapes work when they were still a toddler. Again being stuck behind one person, in front of another with someone to your back at a checkout is really, really, uncomfortable.

#4 Trolleys in parking lots. Oh boy this one really annoys me. You go to the supermarket in your car. You manage to avoid hitting children running around, elderly folk that don't look before crossing a non-designated area and other vehicles with operators oblivious/uncaring to road rules. There it is a car park remains! You get ready to line it up and go in and...someone's left a shopping cart right where your car was to go. DAMN IT! This one really ticks me off because my works car parking lot backs onto a supermarkets parking lot. Some days there are more shoppers parked in "our" spots than there are workers, it's irritating but I can accept that, but it's when people just ditch their shopping trolley really annoys it's so hard to walk the 10m to replace the thing? Come on now.