Of Birthdays and Techno-upgrading

How addicted are you to technogadgets? I ask because we are – Baggy and I. We ache and pine after the latest gadgets available, be it MP3 players, DVD players, HDTVs, whatever. How often do you go to the electronics store to check out what’s the latest, hitech, hip gadgets available in town? As for us, we regularly go to electronics stores, sometimes for a little shopping, most of the time just to browse around or “window shop,” or even just to have a free foot or body massage at one of the massage machines. Yeah, we’re slowly but surely getting to that age where massage machines are becoming more enticing than Xbox. But I digress. :)

Sharp has just unveiled the world’s largest LCD tv – 108 inches! *drool*

There are at least three must-check electronics stores here in Tsukuba, namely: Yamada Denki, Ishimaru Denki, and K’s Denki. And if those stores aren’t enough, then there’s always the “Denden Town” of Akihabara, the haven of all electronics goods,  which is now just 45 minutes away by Tsukuba Express (the one and only train line connecting Tsukuba directly to Tokyo area).
For our purposes, the electronics stores in Tsukuba are quite enough; the way we look at it, saving an extra 1,000 or 2,000 yen wouldn’t be worth the trip to Akihabara, considering that we have to pay 2,500 yen/roundtrip/person. So we’ve practically bought all our gadgets here in Tsukuba, everything from DVD players to home appliances like hair blowers (those with ionized air supply), shower toilet (the one with anti-bacterial seat and remote control, and even hot plates for barbecuing (the one with the special plate that catches the dripping oil from fatty grills).

But as anyone who has ever bought a computer knows, it’s quite hard to keep up to pace with the latest in gadget technology. No matter how your “toy” has been touted as the “top of the line,” when you bought it, its appeal can only last so long because there’s always an upgrade down the line. It’s just a matter of time. There’s always something better, faster, more convenient, and sometimes, even more affordable.

Take our LCD monitor, for example. When we bought it almost 7 years ago, LCD monitors were just coming into vogue. The largest one we could find then was only 15″, and it didn’t come cheap. But…we bought it anyway. :) Nowadays, you can’t find CRT monitors being sold in stores anymore. For half the price of the 15″ LCD monitor we bought 7 years ago, one can now buy a cool 19″ instead. I know this because we couldn’t resist upgrading our monitor to a bigger one, and ended up buying again. The problem is, the old monitor is now just stashed away, unused. We would probably find some good use for someday; but for now, it is just gathering dust in a corner of our room. We’re thinking that maybe someday when Aya wants a PC of her own she can use that as a monitor.

Well, how do birthdays fit into all of these? Truth is, buying gadgets just to get upgrades while our old ones are still in perfect working conditions – it does make us feel guilty. So to resolve or ease the “guilt trip,” we’ve taken to buying gadgets as birthday presents. πŸ˜‰

Black and sleek. Baggy’s latest toy. (And mine too har har har!)

Years ago, I bought the very first edition of Sony’s Playstation – PS1, as a birthday gift for Baggy. When PS2 came around, I again bought it for him as a birthday present. I did think about buying him PS3 the next time around, but thought better against it. For now, anyway. :)

About 7 years ago, for my birthday Baggy bought me my very first digital camera – it was the very first edition of the Canon IXY model (2.1 Megapixels). At that time, it claimed to be the world’s lightest and most compact digital camera. It fetched for about 75,000 yen. I proudly carried it with me like a prized trophy – as if to say, “Hey look, I’ve got the world’s smallest digicam!”

But after about a year or so, other models  were soon out in the market, and my IXY began looking like a bulky brontosaurus in comparison. While the sizes of the cameras and their prices diminished, the resolution and other specs went higher and better. I decided to upgrade, and for Baggy’s birthday I gave him another digital camera, this time a Canon Powershot S45 (4.0 Megapixels). You’re probably asking why I bought him a camera when I was the one who wanted to upgrade. Well, that’s the beauty of conjugal properties, my dear, haha!

Well, that was about 5 years ago. As expected, other more savvy digital cameras sprung like mushrooms, and our Powershot – I mean, Baggy’s Powershot – became a thing of the past. Time for another upgrade. So I bought Baggy another Canon Powershot A640 (10 Megapixels) – and wow, this looks like the most hitech digital camera I’ve ever bought (for him? or for myself?). How soon will it be until it becomes obsolete?

Cellphones? Ah, don’t get me started. We’ve changed our cellphones oh-so many times, I already lost count. Honestly, do you really think it’s important to have a camera, MP3 player, global roaming, and GPS function in your cellphone? Baggy sure thought those things were important when he recently upgraded his cellphone. He couldn’t resist. πŸ˜‰

So how about you, what’s your techno addiction? Bought any new gadgets lately?

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29 Responses to Of Birthdays and Techno-upgrading

  1. Belle says:

    we recently bought Sony A100 which was rather expensive. it is bigger and bulkier, of course, so i find myself using more and more of my old and light digital camera. even when we go on vacation, we might have to leave the new camera behind and take the little one along for convenience.

  2. snglguy says:

    Sadly, gadget loco people like me who are short on budget can only look at and drool over the latest hi-tech wonders on display. The most I can splurge on at the moment is a cellphone with a high resolution shooter, for those “blog-worthy” moments… :-)

    Thanks for the visit and comment, Kathy.

  3. bw says:

    Your post just reminded us the stark reality of technology. Yep, electronics companies come up with new things everynow and then so you would dump your gadgets in favor of new ones :) It’s even more pronounced in the corporate world when vendors make announcements of their end of sale and end of support cycles for their products! This means you have to forklift your system to the “supported” systems – tantamount to a money grab in my opinion :(

  4. hazel says:

    im not really a techie person…at wala din akong budget! hehe I even got my ipod from a raffle…lucky me!

    Ganda ng new cam ni Baggy ah!

  5. niceheart says:

    I am a dinosaur when it comes to techie stuff. I got my digital camera only two years ago. We don’t have celfones, Ipods and MP3s. Like hazel, we also don’t have the budget.

  6. kathy says:

    Wow, a DSLR camera! *drool*
    I had long wanted to have one, but I am too afraid that I might not do it justice, hehe.
    But you’re right, having a lightweight camera is quite advantageous especially on trips.

  7. kathy says:

    And you invested well! I saw those pics in your Chinatown post, and the images were very clear. I agree, that’s the best way to capture the “blog-worthy” moments.

    Thanks for dropping by! :)

  8. Christianne says:

    *gapes open-mouthed* 108 inches!

    My husband is getting a 24″ monitor and I think it’s too much, since our TV is only 26″ hehe.

    Nakakainggit ang mga taga-Japan. You’re in gadget lovers heaven!

  9. kathy says:

    Yes, and these companies are feeding techno-suckers like us! Hay, what can you do, eh?

    I can imagine those vendors moving in for the kill! Quite a clever scheme, isn’t it?

  10. kathy says:

    Thanks Hazel!

    Ang galing mo naman, nakakuha ng iPod sa raffle! Hey, who needs money when you are lucky? πŸ˜‰

  11. kathy says:

    Really?!! MP3’s, one can live without them. But how about cellphones? Don’t your children ask for one?

    Cellphones are relatively cheap here in Japan, btw. You can even get the cellphone unit for free when you subscribe.

  12. kathy says:

    Ano yung “someday,” Dimaks? :)

  13. kathy says:

    24″ PC monitor – puede nyo gawing TV yan hehe.

    Oh yes, you said it right. Gadget lovers heaven – the only heaven where there is a LOT of temptation, lol.

    Thanks for dropping by Christianne! :)

  14. Mon says:

    Last na binili ko ay ang macbookpro buti na lang sagot ng company ko kasi medyo mahal ng konti. I like it lalo na sa travel. Mahusay pumickup ng hotspots sa airport or coffee shops.

    Pwede siguro ako walang cell or camera but I don’t think I can make without a laptop.

  15. verns says:

    uhhhmmmm I bought a needle for my cross-stitch thingy…does that count? hrhrhrhr

    OMG Kat…you’re simply a hot geek! hrhrhr Now I know who to talk to if I finally decide to buy a camera or computer…I hope you’re still blogging and emailing 20 yrs from now heheh

  16. dimaks says:

    someday magkakaroon din ako nyang mga ‘yan πŸ˜€

  17. herb says:

    well… i’d love to have an iPod nano! and i’m also lusting after a nintendo DS lite! unfortunately, my wallet doesn’t agree. :(

  18. kathy says:

    That’s so cool! Buti ka pa you have you have a company-sponsored laptop.

    When traveling we always bring our old laptop with us, but lately it is beginning to look like a huge dinosaur compared to the slimmer and more savvy laptops available nowadays. Kaya wish ko bagong laptop. Hear that, Baggy? Hehe. :)

  19. kathy says:

    OIC! Yes, someday indeed.

    In our case, well, it has not always been like this, you know – there was a time when we could only “dream” about owning stuffs.

    I guess it pays to take your studies seriously, hehe. πŸ˜›

  20. kathy says:

    Needle – natawa ako ron ha!
    But why wait 20 years? If you wait that long, you won’t have to talk to me – you’ll have to talk to AYA instead! πŸ˜›

  21. kathy says:

    Naughty wallet! Naku, I just saw those things at Yamada the last time I went there. They were looking back at me and saying “Buy me! Buy me!” :)

    Baka dapat mag-save ka ng say, 500 en a day…baka mabili mo rin yun. :)

  22. dimaks says:

    Sarap siguro mag-multiplayer game with that huge monitor πŸ˜€

  23. sexy mom says:

    good! good! good! i guess it satisfies you no end to be buying those techno savvy gadgets. and it’s good for one’s well being. as for me, i am one who is for instant gratification, so when i want something, as long as i can afford it, i do not wait. oh, well…let’s just be happy, i suppose!

  24. pining says:

    Oops.. I think I put my comment from above to the “Bayan ko” post… anyway, got here at long last!

  25. verns says:

    hahahaha oo nga noh! Si Aya na magiging kausap ko lolz :)

  26. kathy says:

    Just one life to live, so they say. So might as well enjoy it! :) I’m a bit of a compulsive buyer myself, but my husband, being the conservative one, has been holding me in check. πŸ˜‰

  27. kathy says:

    Pining! Thanks for visiting and leaving your comments – bumawi ka rin ah, hehe. :)

  28. kathy says:

    Ok raw Tita Verns, sabi ni Aya. :) Btw did you hear her Bayan Ko song…nakadedicate pa naman sa yo yun! πŸ˜›

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