August 23rd, 2013

A Purple Straw Hat

a couple of tech comments and One Prediction

Now that I finally use cut and paste on iOS, I can do things like cut and paste a short grocery list from Notes over to a text message to R. while he is en route to the grocery store. I think this is keen. I will also acknowledge that it is bourgie.

What was the other tech remark? I have no idea.

Here is the prediction. Flash or SSD drives have been slowly seeping into the consumer market since, um, I don't know. The mid-2000s? Now they've reached laptops and people are trying to build server farms using them. That is a Sign, a Sign of the End Times for Flash/SSD. If people are retrofitting their gamer desktops to use SSD, despite their obvious Problem (very expensive/gig compared to previous tech), that is Really a Sign of End Times for Flash/SSD. Which means, of course, that slightly more than half of the consuming public is about to go dump a bunch of money on devices that rely upon Flash/SSD. (I know I am.)

Anyway. After reading a squirrely Microsoft Research article that said Flash/SSD would hit some sort of wall around 2024, I said to myself, Self, There is a Successor Technology Waiting in the Wings for the correct moment to be announced so as to not cause people to abort their imminent decision to buy a flash based laptop and wait for the next generation of tech, which honestly won't really arrive for more like 5-10 years (relating to their position on the adoption curve: early adopters will be raving about this stuff ... yesterday? Next year? I dunno).

Memristors. ReRAM. Apparently HP is NOT going out of business after all. Altho between transport innovations from Asia to Europe (in the NYT! Really!) and the next gen of storage technology, it won't be the HP we all remember from owning one of their whatever-it-was-we-used-to-own-that-they-made.

That's my prediction. Not very exciting.

I still don't remember the other tech remark, altho I'll add here that I've gotten really good at Minion Rush over the last week of Not Talking (cold) and Not Watching TV (August).

ETA: a more plausible timeline.
A Purple Straw Hat

On How Long Things Last

As I have been contemplating the decluttering process, I am continually struck by how things last a whole lot longer than I want them to. My laptop still hasn't broken, but it also is increasingly obviously unable to do things that current hardware can do. I feel confident this will only get worse.

While I have some clothes I had to quit wearing out of the house because the wear was showing, generally speaking I get sick of things and donate them before they fall apart/become unwearable.

I haven't had to replace a book due to wear-out-from-rereading in over a decade, mostly because I replaced my mass market (used) paperback purchasing pattern with (used) hardback books, then hardback books, and then e-books. Now I have a bunch of kindle books that I cringe when I see them listed on my Manage My Kindle page.

I don't think I ever had a CD wear out (altho I've had kid-destroyed DVDs that I had to replace); I recently gave them all to my sister and her family to listen to and pass along as they please.

I'm not convinced kitchen equipment wears out. Mine doesn't seem to, anyway, altho I will admit that may be due to the lack of Teflon and similar coatings. Long ago, I had to replace those as the coatings inevitably degraded, but in a world of stainless steel, wear doesn't seem to happen.

And on and on and on.

This is sort of funny, because my personal frugality perspective is that I'm better off buying expensive things that last, but will be cheaper on a per use basis than cheaper things that break down/wear out. Which is to say, I _definitely_ brought this one on myself.

I'm now stuck trying to figure out how to find the appropriate middle ground, surely a First World Problem if there ever was one. In the meantime, I've decided to adjust my laptop expectations downward. I used to assume they would last about 3 years (the current one is about 4 years old), sort of like desktop turnover in my limited experience (when I'm done with them but they are still repairable/usable, I do pass them along to another person who can use it; if not, I do recycle responsibly). While I am loathe to reduce this expectation below 2 years, I'm thinking I should drop it to 2 years. When I tell the young people today that cars used to really fall apart after 3 years, and completely die as in more expensive to repair than to replace, after 5-7, they look at me in disbelief.

We have _definitely_ done this to ourselves, and it is actually kind of a Real Problem, if you think about how it works out in housing. We've had a generation or two of winterizing what was supposed to be summer-only housing, and it is leading to unnecessary deaths as a result of coastal storms. Things don't last forever, and sometimes, when they last longer than we expected them to, it is only a mixed blessing, at best.