blog, thoughts

coffee and apples

I usually spend time writing for my blog here at one of the local Starbucks coffee establishments-Particularly the one located at Bayhill Shopping Center in San Bruno. It’s a larger store, located across from the YouTube and Walmart offices. And so it seems a majority of the clientele who raid this store for that quick wake-me-up are mostly well off and/or stinkin rich. I’m not one of them of course…

Nope. They all commonly order expensive frappuccinos, mochas, and lattes; While I get an Earl Grey tea on the cheap-But I splurge a little, I get two bags, and add in a drop of soy! Big spender here. It is advantageous however, as basically you only pay for the bags and cup, while the hot water is continually free. And if the server knows you as a regular, he/she might not charge the extra forty cents for the soy. Either way, I’m spending little more than two dollars, but it lasts me for as long as I stay. Also I just have no taste for coffee any longer. Once in awhile, I might get a insert odd name frappuccino, but I won’t pay for it.

The other reason I dwell here, of course, is that this Starbucks, seemingly along with all others, have free wifi net connections-Heavily congested and lower speeds, but it’s free. Please don’t come to Starbucks with torrent downloading in mind, you will be highly disappointed.

Now the reason I’m making note of this experience is that I can look in any direction around me, and I will see someone doing something on their laptop, or phone, or tablet. Every single one of these technological tools (wink) is an Apple MacBook, iPhone, or iPad. And all of which are current generation. No, no! I see someone with a newer Lenovo ultrabook! PC brother!

There’s absolutely nothing with their choice in computer or gadget. I do wonder however, how much potential in computing power is being wasted on… Let’s see, he’s on craigslist, he’s reading something, someone is on iTunes (with his overpriced Beats Audio headphones), Facebook, Candycrush, eBay, YouTube, Wikipedia… (I’m totally being a voyeur right now) — Oh there’s someone doing some spreadsheet work! Point is, are these expensive gadgets really necessary for such small tasks? Why would someone spend in excess of a thousand dollars for light web browsing and productivity? When not taking a break at Starbucks, what are these high end computers used for?

I am typing this on an almost 10 year-old laptop with an OS (Windows XP) that is now 4 generations old, Half as much RAM as I should have (512mb)-that also runs about ten times slower than current speeds, a single core processor, a very slow 4200rpm IDE HDD, 64mb video RAM, and a wireless b/g connection. And I can do everything that everyone else is doing here on their current gen notebooks. It really isn’t that much slower either.

I do understand companies from time to time limiting support for certain products in order to sell new ones. However I also think it’s wrong when support is completely dropped for the older product while it is still perfectly able to perform as it always has. Like car companies, most computer hardware and software companies do their best to stay up to date with current builds. When the product becomes finally obsolete there are often still outlets for old available parts and support files found on-line that you basically have to do a little digging for. The resurrection of this old laptop is a result of that.

So why am I not seeing more people here with older generation hardware/software when it all still basically works? Is it all really just a symbol of status to spend and brandish newer gear every year or two? Seems kind of silly if it is. Or are people just too lazy to do the upkeep of their old gear?

Of course I’m definitely in no place to tell people how to spend their money. Suppose I need some myself in order for people to pay attention to me anyway.

2 thoughts on “coffee and apples

  1. I have found over the years that it is not the tool that matters it is how you use it. I have a stack of putters in my puter room that if you lived closer you would love to go through. Even my sad gamming computer is down. Alas I sit here on an older Toschiba Satellite and plug along with my more newer awesome laptop needs a fan. So sad that I just don’t sit down and replace the fan but instead I choose this piece of … well you get what I mean. I think it all has to do with money and looks. Not that they want the newest laptop or such for worthy reasons it is all just about what is new and who looks the coolest packing it around. sighs What I too would give for the money to purchase their machinery just because I could use it. oh well, the rich will get richer and the poor will be poorer.

  2. My old macbook (it’s only 5 years) just crapped out on my dad. :/ For my dad macbooks have always been about security, whether we’re right or not is based on our level of knowledge. What bothers me about people (including myself) always needing “the newest gadget” is all the waste that is produced. This extends beyond technology, what I find amazing is how many good clothes are donated or thrown away because of a hole that can easily be fixed. We’re a pretty wasteful society in general.

    I always get plain coffee at coffee stores (unless they have a seasonal favorite) and it has always been because of how frequently I’d go to coffee shops, it seriously adds up!

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