My wife frequently tells me how lucky we are that we’re not rich, because if we were, we would waste so much money.
A fad comes along and we look at it longingly, but continue doing what we’re doing. Same goes for scams, trends and last-minute investments. When they invariably go belly up, we turn and congratulate each other and say how very glad we are that we missed that train.
So I’m frequently a step or two behind the times when it comes to tech. I still have Windows Vista on my netbook and Leopard on my Mac Mini. I don’t have an Android phone or even an iPhone.
I can’t afford them, so I make do with what I have — last year’s tech pushed to the absolute limit.
I shun the bleeding edge, where the newest betas gets tested. Ditto the cutting edge, where the first generation adopters cavort.
Welcome to the second generation, the point where most of the bugs have been worked out — but so has all of the cool factor. Still, the price is half of what it was.
I wasn’t always this way. Back in the day, I had one of the first Mac Powerbooks, with a screaming 33 megahertz processor, a whopping 16 mbs of ram and Mac OS 7. I can’t forget the screech of the modem in my ear the first time I picked up the extension phone to make a call while I was surfing AOL.
It felt good to be at the forefront. Then, a few years later, I realized that my beloved gray beast was obsolete. I couldn’t upgrade the RAM, needed a faster processor and the gray-scale screen hurt my eyes. But I still had to pay off the $2,500 loan for the purchase price, so there you go. I haven’t bought first generation since.
I still covet, however. I make up by using whatever free doodad the Internet offers up.
Google right now is my main supplier, and I take full advantage — I have Google Voice, Calendar, tons of Google Docs floating around. I’ve written, researched and collaborated on three stories so far using Google Wave, the info-glomerate’s newest offering. Wave is kind of like an eel-skin wallet — it looks cool, even kind of useful. But nobody knows exactly what to do with it.
Right now I’m coveting the iPad, but I know I’m going to end up waiting until the Google Android version comes out and the thing sells for $50.
By then, something else cool will come along that I can’t afford. And my wife will pat me on the back and say, “Aren’t you glad you waited?”