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