Anyone else notice how cheap technology things have become?

User Forum Topic
Submitted by Coronita on November 10, 2008 - 7:30am

I made the mistake of "upgrading" to vista...Oops....Anyway, I needed to get a bunch of new stuff, like more disk space, more memory,etc. And shopping around, I was surprised how cheap things have become....

2 gig memory: $20
1TB hard drive: $100
22" lcd monitor: $170

I remember a few months ago, memory,drive,monitor was much more. Then i was looking at some desktop pc's...Some of these are full fledge packages for $500 including a lcd monitor (not the best, but good enough for most people who aren't gamers/graphic artist).

Wow...Times are pretty tough I guess.

Side Note.... Lol... This place has pretty cheap stuff on yesterday's technology:
http://geeks.com/, and they're based in oceanside. Beats going to Frys....

Submitted by Arraya on November 10, 2008 - 7:37am.

Deflation is great if you can keep you job.

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/ci...

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Circuit City Stores Inc. on Monday said it filed for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.
The news sent shares of Circuit City (CC:
, , ) down about 55% in premarket trading.
The Richmond, Va.-based consumer-electronics retailer, which has seen its market cap shrink to below $50 million in the face of dwindling electronics sales, negotiated a commitment for $1.1 billion in debtor-in-possession financing.

Submitted by HereWeGo on November 10, 2008 - 8:39am.

Quote:
I made the mistake of "upgrading" to vista...Oops....

Here's a tip: If your mouse driver freezes up, especially after the screen saver runs for a while, just unplug the mouse and plug it back in.

I just love Vista.

Submitted by desmond on November 10, 2008 - 9:19am.

I am looking at Hiking GPS devices. They seem high, $300-$500. I am trying to hike to an old mine site, I have the coordinates, looked it up on Google Earth for an overview. I have hiked the trail 3/4 of the way there. I just need a GPS to get me close since there is no direct trail. Can anybody help?

Submitted by Coronita on November 10, 2008 - 10:01am.

HereWeGo wrote:
Quote:
I made the mistake of "upgrading" to vista...Oops....

Here's a tip: If your mouse driver freezes up, especially after the screen saver runs for a while, just unplug the mouse and plug it back in.

I just love Vista.

I hope you're kidding about "loving vista"...

I don't have freezing up issues. For me, it's just a resource hog... I have a duo core processor, and 1 gig of memory...And both processors run like at 50% idle, and most of my physical memory seemed to be used by the OS alone (I'm running the Vista Ultimate)

I know..... Get a Mac....

Yes, yes.... I still have my IIx, SE/30, IIsi (and going further back, my Apple IIe with a whoppy 128kb memory and 300baud modem) in my closet somewhere all still working...Things, most of my younger peers telling me to get a Mac have most likely never seen before. At one point, a 300baud modem cost me (our I should say my parents $300 USD)....
I feel bad for my parents now...That was $300 USD back THEN.

Submitted by an on November 10, 2008 - 10:33am.

fat_lazy_union_worker wrote:

I hope you're kidding about "loving vista"...

I don't have freezing up issues. For me, it's just a resource hog... I have a duo core processor, and 1 gig of memory...And both processors run like at 50% idle, and most of my physical memory seemed to be used by the OS alone (I'm running the Vista Ultimate)

I know..... Get a Mac....

Yes, yes.... I still have my IIx, SE/30, IIsi (and going further back, my Apple IIe with a whoppy 128kb memory and 300baud modem) in my closet somewhere all still working...Things, most of my younger peers telling me to get a Mac have most likely never seen before. At one point, a 300baud modem cost me (our I should say my parents $300 USD)....
I feel bad for my parents now...That was $300 USD back THEN.


I actually do like Vista over all their prior OS. I do have 4GB of memory and a 3.2GHz Core 2 (overclocked E6600) though. Vista is a resource hog compare to all the other OS, but resource are so cheap these days, that shouldn't be a problem feeding the beast. Especially if a lot of motherboard these days handle 8+GB of RAM and 8GB of RAM can easily be had for less than $150. When you give Vista a lot of RAM, it run's pretty well. My CPU usage stays pretty low.

My main reason for getting Vista is for 64-bit support. With XP, you're maxed out at 3GB, since it's only 32-bit. If you do a lot of Photoshop, more memory is always welcome.

Submitted by Coronita on November 10, 2008 - 11:05am.

asianautica wrote:
fat_lazy_union_worker wrote:

I hope you're kidding about "loving vista"...

I don't have freezing up issues. For me, it's just a resource hog... I have a duo core processor, and 1 gig of memory...And both processors run like at 50% idle, and most of my physical memory seemed to be used by the OS alone (I'm running the Vista Ultimate)

I know..... Get a Mac....

Yes, yes.... I still have my IIx, SE/30, IIsi (and going further back, my Apple IIe with a whoppy 128kb memory and 300baud modem) in my closet somewhere all still working...Things, most of my younger peers telling me to get a Mac have most likely never seen before. At one point, a 300baud modem cost me (our I should say my parents $300 USD)....
I feel bad for my parents now...That was $300 USD back THEN.


I actually do like Vista over all their prior OS. I do have 4GB of memory and a 3.2GHz Core 2 (overclocked E6600) though. Vista is a resource hog compare to all the other OS, but resource are so cheap these days, that shouldn't be a problem feeding the beast. Especially if a lot of motherboard these days handle 8+GB of RAM and 8GB of RAM can easily be had for less than $150. When you give Vista a lot of RAM, it run's pretty well. My CPU usage stays pretty low.

My main reason for getting Vista is for 64-bit support. With XP, you're maxed out at 3GB, since it's only 32-bit. If you do a lot of Photoshop, more memory is always welcome.

I shrug at Vista 64. I have a lot of old hardware, and I'm really concerned that I wont find drivers for. OtherwiseI'd want to switch over to the 64 bit version.

Submitted by afx114 on November 10, 2008 - 11:40am.

desmond wrote:
I am looking at Hiking GPS devices. They seem high, $300-$500. I am trying to hike to an old mine site, I have the coordinates, looked it up on Google Earth for an overview. I have hiked the trail 3/4 of the way there. I just need a GPS to get me close since there is no direct trail. Can anybody help?

There are some pretty sweet GPS apps in the Apple App store. You can get an 8GB iPod Touch for $229. I use TrailGuru (http://www.trailguru.com/) to track my runs. It basically records your route and uploads your GPS data to your profile so that you can track your progress. It gives you stats like distance, duration, min speed, avg speed, min elevation, max elevation, total ascent, total descent, calories, etc.

Not sure if it's as robust as you need, but there are also companies like TomTom working on iPhone/iPod GPS apps that will be out soon.

Submitted by Eugene on November 10, 2008 - 2:23pm.

Some technology things keep getting cheaper, some don't.

I was just shopping for a DSLR last weekend. It's almost impossible to find an entry-level DSLR for less than $500. Flat out impossible in brick-and-mortar stores. Some stores had display models of Canon XTi for 400-420 + tax. I'm cheap, but I'm not THAT cheap.

In the end I chose to ignore Amazon ratings and ordered a Canon XS for 480 + free shipping. (Before $120 live.com cashback which I may or may not receive)

Submitted by an on November 10, 2008 - 2:33pm.

Once you get to DSLR, you're not your average Joe photographer anymore, so I think DSLR is a pretty niche market. Also, since they discontinue old model when new model comes out, you don't have them fighting each other on price.

I don't think TV, car, DSLR, etc. will every drop in price like you see in HDD, memories, etc. New generation of these products will give you better spec, but price will generally stay the same or go up a little bit.

Submitted by bsrsharma on November 10, 2008 - 11:26pm.

I know..... Get a Mac....

Any reason why Linux won't do? I have been using it on and off for 10 years. Never had a crash, not once.

Submitted by Coronita on November 10, 2008 - 11:32pm.

bsrsharma wrote:
I know..... Get a Mac....

Any reason why Linux won't do? I have been using it on and off for 10 years. Never had a crash, not once.

In theory, great. In practice, not enough software for it. My wife likes to edit pictures, etc. Photoshope...

Submitted by sdduuuude on November 10, 2008 - 11:44pm.

For cheap, look on ebay for a really old model - like a Garmin GPS III or something like that.

I have one. It is several years old. B/W screen. Anchient maps. No navigation guide. Still, it does two things well: Lat and Long. It would probably serve you well on your hike.

It has some nice features, too. You can offload data to a PC, or plug into a serial port on a laptop and superimpose the lat/long in real time on some mapping applications.

They gotta be $50 on ebay.

Submitted by drunkle on November 11, 2008 - 1:04am.

ubuntu linux is stupid easy to install and run, comes installed with open office and gimp and suduko and mahjong. and terminal server if you need to actually work. (gimp is a great, or nice and capable anyway, image manipulator). try wine (windows emulator) if you need some windows app.

get an ssd (solid state drive). smaller ones are getting cheap, install your os on it and boot up lightning fast.

try ubuntu. dual boot ubuntu/windows. 64 bit version if you have the ram.

Submitted by CDMA ENG on November 11, 2008 - 1:17am.

Mannnnnnn..

You guys ever heard of a Seven and a half minute map?!?!

I hear the batteries never run out on it and it is damn handy for plotting course into and out of an area...

:P

oink oink Oink...

CE

Submitted by ucodegen on November 11, 2008 - 1:30am.

In theory, great. In practice, not enough software for it. My wife likes to edit pictures, etc. Photoshope...

Photoshop=>GIMP..

User interface is a little bit different though. The real advantage that Photoshop has is in handling RAW formats. Some camera manufactures like to license their RAW format. There may be a plug-in to GIMP for specific RAW formats from certain vendors.

Picasa also handles some RAW formats.

Submitted by meadandale on November 11, 2008 - 7:35am.

bsrsharma wrote:
I know..... Get a Mac....

Any reason why Linux won't do? I have been using it on and off for 10 years. Never had a crash, not once.

I've been using Ubuntu at home and at work (I write enterprise/mobile software) for going on 2 years and I don't miss windows at all.

For the rare occasions that I need to use something in Windows that absolutely is not available in Linux, I have a windows xp virtual machine that I can startup.

As to the photoshop issue, unless you are a professional photoshop guru, I'd bet that Gimp will do 100% of what you do in photoshop. I've used Gimp to do a ton of photo editing as well as to create custom UI widgets for websites--it is VERY powerful and under appreciated.

Submitted by Coronita on November 11, 2008 - 7:42am.

sdduuuude wrote:
For cheap, look on ebay for a really old model - like a Garmin GPS III or something like that.

I have one. It is several years old. B/W screen. Anchient maps. No navigation guide. Still, it does two things well: Lat and Long. It would probably serve you well on your hike.

It has some nice features, too. You can offload data to a PC, or plug into a serial port on a laptop and superimpose the lat/long in real time on some mapping applications.

They gotta be $50 on ebay.

I'd check out geeks.com for something of last generation. The thing I don't like about ebay these days is that the fees are ridiculous. And as a buyer, that usually means a ridiculous shipping/handling cost.

Submitted by Coronita on November 11, 2008 - 7:48am.

esmith wrote:
Some technology things keep getting cheaper, some don't.

I was just shopping for a DSLR last weekend. It's almost impossible to find an entry-level DSLR for less than $500. Flat out impossible in brick-and-mortar stores. Some stores had display models of Canon XTi for 400-420 + tax. I'm cheap, but I'm not THAT cheap.

In the end I chose to ignore Amazon ratings and ordered a Canon XS for 480 + free shipping. (Before $120 live.com cashback which I may or may not receive)

If you're going to go DSLR...do yourself a favor...Spend money on good glass (lens), and worry less on the body. The body comes and go. Good glass is still good glass.

My first mistake was buying a canon DSLR with the "kit lens"
My second mistake was buying a crapometer filter for a better lens (tamron 17-55 2.8)
Third, (not really a mistake), I'm sort of wishing i spent money on a Canon L series.

If you go DSLR, don't go half-axx way. It's not worth it.

There's a limit on how much DSLR can fall. Because while electronics is getting cheaper, good lenses hasn't really fallen, nor will it.

Submitted by Butleroftwo on November 11, 2008 - 8:15am.

My name is Butler and I'm a PC.
XP still does everything I need. You can install it if you build your own.

Submitted by afx114 on November 11, 2008 - 2:54pm.

Furthering what FLU states above about glass vs body, make sure your choice of body brand is heavily influenced by lens choices. Once you purchase a bunch of lenses you're pretty much locked into the brand. You can't use Nikon lenses on a Cannon body and vice-versa.

You'll go through many bodies in your lifetime, but your lenses will be with you forever.

Submitted by Ren on November 11, 2008 - 3:16pm.

Butleroftwo wrote:
My name is Butler and I'm a PC.
XP still does everything I need. You can install it if you build your own.

I tend to keep MS operating systems for many years past their time. I only went from 2000 to XP about 2 years ago, and will keep using XP for another 5 years at least.

The only other rule I have is, "ONLY Maxtor hard drives." If a store-bought PC doesn't have a Maxtor hard drive, I don't buy it, which usually means building my own.

Submitted by an on November 11, 2008 - 4:22pm.

Ren wrote:
The only other rule I have is, "ONLY Maxtor hard drives." If a store-bought PC doesn't have a Maxtor hard drive, I don't buy it, which usually means building my own.

Wow, really? Maxtor is known to have the poorest quality of all the HDD brands. I guess you had good experience w/ them. 2 of my Maxtor died on me. My Seagate and WD drives are soldiering on though. Maxtor is also just a rebranded Seagate now. Seagate bought them a few years back.

Submitted by patientlywaiting on November 11, 2008 - 5:18pm.

Why build your own PC when you can buy a Notebook for next to nothing?

I just buy the cheap Notebook when they have a sale, then I buy another one 1 or 2 years hence. Granted, I only do MS Office stuff and surf the Net.

I predict that Dell will have to shutter their build-to-order operations in USA. Their business model is outdated as customers don't build to order anymore.

Just buy online and get the DHL shipment directly from China.

Submitted by Coronita on November 11, 2008 - 5:52pm.

patientlywaiting wrote:
Why build your own PC when you can buy a Notebook for next to nothing?

I just buy the cheap Notebook when they have a sale, then I buy another one 1 or 2 years hence. Granted, I only do MS Office stuff and surf the Net.

I predict that Dell will have to shutter their build-to-order operations in USA. Their business model is outdated as customers don't build to order anymore.

Just buy online and get the DHL shipment directly from China.

Desktops are great if you need to hookup lots of av devices, media servers, and need expandability. It's a declining markets. But some non-significant number of people still use desktops. I don't like the laptops used as a desktop, due to lack of expandibility.

I personally use

1) two desktops actively on the network

2) 1 desktop never connected to the network (stores financial data/personal data etc)

3) two laptops: websurfing while in bed or in sitting on the throne...

4) 1 palmtop computer that is 7"x5"x0.5" made by Asus that I take on trips and use as a backup to pictures I take.

Submitted by peterb on November 11, 2008 - 5:54pm.

I got a decent Dell laptop three years ago and I am using it right now. Cost my $550. I keep looking and have not found it any cheaper. What's up with that?

Submitted by Downside Risk on November 11, 2008 - 6:27pm.

Desmond,

CDMA Engineer is right, get a USGS 7.5' topo map for the area. It shows mine locations, both shafts and adits, as well as roads and trails. Here's a link for free downloads:

http://www.klofas.com/topo/7.5/m.html

The maps are listed alphabetically by quad name. If you don't know the name of the quad, an index map is not hard to find online. The maps are deliberately skewed a little which makes them a little difficult to correctly print to scale, but if you open them with photoshop (tiff files) and adjust the width to 21.6 inches, it will be pretty close.

One other thing, mines are dangerous. I don't recommend it if you don't know what you are doing, but if you do choose to go into a mine (adit) here are a few rules to live by:
# Wear a hard hat with a headlamp.
# Carry and use an additional strong flashlight.
# Do not touch the ceiling or try to extend the mine a little deeper (no digging, pounding, etc.).
# ALWAYS WATCH WHERE YOU ARE STEPPING! The greatest danger is finding out the definition of a winze the hard way.

Submitted by mixxalot on November 11, 2008 - 9:00pm.

My new Toshiba laptop cost less than 2 years ago

Bought me one with
-4Gb RAM
-320Gb Hard Drive
- webcamera
- 15 inch screen
- DVD combo drive

For under $900. My last Toshiba has 2Gb of RAM and 160Gb drive and I paid twice that 2 years ago. Amazing how much hardware has dropped in price. I also bought a new 32Gb flash thumb drive for under $90. Now I am waiting for 64Gb and 128Gb thumb flash drives to become cheap so that I can run a bootable server with Linux and Oracle database on it. That would rock to have portable servers on the fly!

Submitted by Carl Veritas on November 12, 2008 - 12:01am.

Because of slacking demand and rapidly advancing technology, your dollar is actually buying more gizmo?

And do I detect a hint of satisfaction?

Why that is the unacceptable bogeyman some economists call deflation.

Nurse, inject the patient with our new liquifying elixir TARP, pronto! We must get the prices, er, patient to rise immediately.

Submitted by urbanrealtor on November 12, 2008 - 1:30am.

Crap.
My eyes are hurting trying to work out dependencies on my apache installation.

I think installing it on my laptop which cost 400 in 2005 is perhaps a bad idea.

Submitted by lonestar2000 on November 12, 2008 - 1:30pm.

As with all things, you have to match the hardware to the software. Yes, Vista is a resource hog, but so was every single prior revision of Windows when it shipped. Win95 requires 16MB RAM? WTF? Where will I ever get that much?!?

The Mac is no different, the latest and greatest features require up to date hardware to work efficiently.

I paid $1100 (plus tax) for a dual core laptop with 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD (and room for another that can be set up in a RAID configuration), a 17 inch LCD with a built-in webcam, and an Nvidia 8800 graphics card with 512MB RAM. Yeah, it is a laptop and it runs Vista 64 like a dream. Exactly what kind of Mac will I get for that price? A bottom of the line MacBook with barely a GIG of RAM, whoopie!

If you can't afford $1100 bucks then stick with your old hardware and software, or run Linux and put up with driver incompatibilities, fiddling with repository conflicts, and shoddy support. Enjoy your user support experience there!

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