Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hardly Ever Matters

Once again, after having spent a bunch of money on computer hardware and software upgrades, I’m underwhelmed by the improvements and am asking myself whether the expense was really worth it.

I bought a new Airport Extreme, thinking that it would expand the range of my wireless enough that we’d be able to get internet in the new studio for Jen but that’s not really the case. And, while it claims to be as much as five times faster than the first version, I’m not really noticing the speed bump.

And I also upgraded to Office 2004 from Office X, mostly so more than one of us in the household could be using Word at the same time. The new version is supposed to be more intuitive and Mac-like, but I can’t really tell the difference other than that there are a number of new features that I’ll probably never use.

It feels to me like I’ve been the victim again of marketing hype; I’ve had induced in me the sense that if I failed to switch to the latest and greatest version of some such thing-or-another, that I’d be missing out on something important or valuable. But now that I’ve got that thing, it’s not obvious that my life is improved in any measure.

I can’t even remember last thing I bought that really made me happy. It might have been some chopsticks. Jen and I had received a dozen as part of a wedding gift and slowly lost them until we were down to just four. So every time we ate rice, I’d have to go searching frantically through the silverware drawer for the remaining two pairs.

One day, at the Chinese store, I realized I didn’t have to live like that and bought a pack of twelve for two bucks. Ever since then, it’s a joy to no longer be chopstick-challenged and I celebrate the purchase every time I eat rice at home.


Blogger Lee said...

It's not something you buy, but switching to NeoOffice might have been the best decision I made when I moved to using my Mac full-time.

Also, is your machine Airport Extreme compatible? It only goes faster if all of your wireless cards support 802.11n...

I too have rarely found new computer hardware to be as exciting as expected. I've had new parts for a new server sitting in my room for the past six weeks because I've been too apathetic to put it together. The money's spent, but somehow the time investment seems like it's even too much.

5:36 PM  

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