It’s never been a better time to be a technology user

I won’t mention the company but I’m sure that many Canadians who have ordered something online from it woke to an advertisement plunked into their email.

Normally, I just delete it; I’m bad for being an impulse buyer so if I don’t see it, I don’t have the impulse.

But it’s a slow morning getting going and the title of “Back to School” had caught my attention.

I could imagine what I could be buying if I had the extra money just hanging around.  Of course, I would have to justify in my mind replacing perfectly good working equipment to do it.  That’s just details.

If I was a student going back to school, or just a technology user at any level, there’s never been a better time to go shopping.  Pricing has never been this good (and even better with Back to School discounts), specifications never been so powerful, and capacity never been greater.

Here’s some of what caught my fancy…

  1. New backpacks!  I’m a big backpack fan and mine rivals using my roller bag.  The nice thing is that both fit nicely under the seat in front of you in an airplane.  Sadly, when I read the advertisement, I realize how old school my backpack really is.  It’s heavy and doesn’t have nearly the number of compartments that the new ones do.  At the time of purchase, who could imagine that I’d be travelling with more than one device and one set of charging cables.  Like all the cool kids, I used to carry it over one shoulder until I threw half my back out of place and then I’d switch to the other shoulder.  Nobody does that anymore!  They wear them like they should – over both shoulders!
  2. I really liked this blog post by Jennifer Aston about her work flow.  I felt sad when I read that she lost a great deal of her intellectual property when her employer changed domain names and she didn’t own her stuff any more.  “Physician, heal thyself”.  As much as we all like and love working in the cloud, it’s important that you take control of your own data.  “I haven’t lost my mind, it’s backed up on disk somewhere” should be the motto of every responsible computer user.  I remember my first external hard drive – a whopping 40GB in capacity and my family had to go without food for a month so that I could buy it.  But you have to have priorities.  Now, a 1TB external drive can be had for less than $80.  And no internet access is needed.  I could just put it in one of the pockets of my new backpack.
  3. Then, there’s a technology that I didn’t know existed but wish I’d invented.  It’s like a “Find my device” for everything.  Little bluetooth stickers that you attach to things you don’t want to lose and then you can track them down when you’ve misplaced them.  Genius.
  4. Finally, there’s the computer itself.  When I bought this one years ago, I made sure that it came with an i7 processor and a fast hard drive so that it wouldn’t need replacing for a while.  As I look through the computers, it’s surprising to see machines coming in with i3 and i5 chips.  Undoubtedly, they’re better on battery power than mine but processor technology has improved so much that they’re still viable and the i7 remains a pricey upgrade.  And, if you’ve ever worked on a computer with a solid state drive, I don’t think you’ll mind paying the premium for it.  Plus, with a new external hard drive, having something huge inside is less of an issue.  Another decision to make is Mac, Windows 10, or Chromebook?  Increasingly, people are opting for the Chromebook.  The thing that still confuses me is the pricing.  It always seems so arbitrary.  I understand that you’re buying a license for the operating system and paying a premium for upgraded specs and more if it’s got a touch screen but beyond that?  When $150 can be cut from the price for a sale, it makes me wonder.  It’s seldom that you take a computer for a test drive and something feels shabby anymore.  Now, they’re all built light so that putting them in your new backpack is easy.

It’s an interesting time and looking through the flyer is giving me the itch.  I’ve got to get off this thing before I locate my credit card.

What about you?  Interested in taking advantage of the back to school deals?


OTR Links 08/16/2016

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.