Monday, November 19, 2018

Tech Check

Back in my Palm Pilot days, I was such a junkie for the newest and latest device, it became a pretty significant part of my spending, even if I did lessen the blow by selling unwanted devices on eBay before they lost too much value. But nowadays, my relationship to tech toys is quite different-- I always seem to be holding on to whatever I have, and buying a new one only when it is absolutely necessary. Not just because I want to save money, but because the new things somehow don't seem as nice as the old ones. For instance:

In 2015, I posted about my decision-making process for buying a new iPhone. Seeing that post made me realize that I've now been using my phone for over 3 years, so the value I've gotten out of paying the full price up front for it is even better. It still works fine and I'm planning to hold on to it as long as I can. I don't like the even larger size of the iPhone X and newer models, so I might have to keep an eye on whether any future models will be produced in the size of the 6/7/8, and at least upgrade to an 8 before that size goes away.

My other electronic tool is a MacBook Air. I bought it in 2012. It pretty much works fine, at least when it's plugged in, but the battery tends to conk out on me when I least expect it, going from 35% or 40% to 0% without warning. They've just announced a new MacBook Air, so that's starting to make me think about an upgrade. But maybe I could just replace the battery on my current laptop? Would that be a good investment at this point? One other factor I have to consider is that I have the prospect of some work in the coming year. If I'm using my computer for work, it would make sense to get a new one, to have something more reliable. And I'd be able to deduct that expense when I do my taxes. I'm not totally sure if this job will pan out, so I will hold off on any purchase for now and see how things go.

One other technology-related purchase: I finally upgraded my Quicken software. I've ranted many times on this blog about how Quicken for Mac upgrades have SUCKED for years! I was still using Quicken for Mac 2007 because none of the upgrades seemed like an improvement. But a few weeks ago, it finally started acting up and my file got corrupted. I was able to salvage enough from backups to import most of my data into the new Quicken for Mac 2018, though I lost a few months worth of net worth data. I was able to export some snapshots into Excel so I have the last few years of income/expenses by category, and net worth as of year end. And eventually I will have enough data in the new Quicken for year on year comparisons to be valid again. The new software actually seems to do most of what I want, but I'm still pissed off at Quicken. They've gone to a subscription model, so I'll have to pay for it again on a regular basis instead of being able to stay with the same version for years. Oh well-- I guess I had a good run there with the 2007 version!

I just don't find myself tempted by any other tech toys right now. The Alexa and other such devices hold zero interest for me. I might get Sweetie an Apple TV for Christmas. Someday I'd enjoy having a really nice stereo system, now that we live in a house where loud music won't bother any neighbors. But otherwise the kind of tech that's on my mind these days is a lighter snow shovel or battery-warmed mittens!

1 comment:

T'Pol said...

I never replace anything unless that thing is beyond repair. The only exception was my 19 inch SONY TV I bought back in 1991. When I saw mom pulling up a chair next to it to watch a voleyball game, I caved in and got a 32 inch Smart TV 4 years ago. My family room is pretty small so that size is just fine.