Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cutting Back ... the Digital Way

Tough time is ahead of us, in what is considered to be one of the worst economic downturn in history. No matter if one still has a job or already queuing up for dole, everyone are cutting back in spending.

A number of reports from United States give ideas of how people practice cost saving.

One news story reports that average citizen opt to cutback daily items like food, petrol and internet connection. But at least one expense is untouchable, that is cinema/movie entertainment on weekly basis. It is a kind of getaway from reality for them. Statistics prove that cinema/movie business is particularly strong during economic downturn.

Another research has found an interesting trend. Mobile-phone users, who earn less than median household income, have cutting back from multiple digital gadgets and services. They instead opt for the "Swiss-army knife" type of smartphone, combining digital entertainment, communication and mobile browsing. Even though price-tag of such smartphone plus its monthly phone service (starting from US$70) is extravagant at their standard, the formula proves to work.

What is your formula?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Survive thru Digital Obsolescence

Apple has just announced another new product, alone with the exclusion of Firewire.

While I am educated with information of whether Firewire requirement is replaceable, but as their customer, it is disappointed for being arbitrary neglected.

Living through digital obsolesence becomes much harder these days, as product upgrade cycle is getting quicker and shorter. It is not just dealing with the CPU speed (productivity) and backward-compatibility of peripheral and software, but more like surviving. Fortunately I could still afford the upgrade if really needed.

Consumers in the digital age have to accept their electronics NOT to last. The stuff that we are buying will either live much shorter than our grandparents, or be replaced eventually.

My nine-years old G4 PowerMac has long been living under the shadow of the OS X upgrade, managed to be included in the Tiger requirement but not the latest Leopard. It manages to access wifi-G with a 2nd-handed Motorola PCI card which I have bought from eBay, with certain limitation (incompatible with my other wifi device). It also supports Firewire 400 which I rely on for data-transfer and backup, and USB1.0.

Over the past year my source of technical support does not come from Apple, but through a tribe of users who have shared online their similiar experience and finding. We together are being neglected gradually and perhaps be extincted eventually ... reminding me of those natives from an old film
'The Mission'.