Then (and then) and now

I found an article comparing consumer technology of 1996 with the consumer technology of the present day. The only issue was that the present day in question was 2009, because that’s when the article was written:

Gadgets have moved on a lot since the 1990s. We look back over two decades of progress.

It’s 13 years. 1.3 decades. Just saying.

Anyway, apparently the latest consumer technology in 1996 was the minidisc player (I still have two of these), the 3.6MP Canon Powershot 600 at £609 (I couldn’t afford one of them), and the Gameboy Pocket (I still have one of them somewhere, too).

By 2009, music had moved on to the ubiquitous iPod (I still have two of these), the 14.7MP, 5x zoom lens Canon G10 at £499 (my blog tells me that I bought my 10.1MP, 18x zoom lens Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ28 for £329 in 2009), and Ds Lite – “Wi-Fi connectivity means gamers can compete wirelessly” – (I was too old for this in 2009).

And now, a decade on? Try finding a iPod these days – just stream everything through your cellphone. A budget of £499 will land you well into the “specialist” sector of the compact camera market with the 21.1MP, 65x zoom lens Canon PowerShot SX70 HS (and 50 quid change, nogal), and Nintendo are still heading up the handheld gaming market with their Nintendo Switch (it also has “wi-fi connectivity”) (woo!).

Of course, there’s absolutely no point smirking about the past or boasting about our current amazing consumer technology, because when this post is revisited in another 10 years or so, 2019’s amazing streaming, cameras and gaming will be as laughably shit as these 2009 and 1996 versions seem to us now.

Personally, I look forward to seeing what DJI have come up with in the next decade. Their advancements in the last few years have been nothing short of incredible, and if by 2029 I’m not able to fly my drone out to get a pizza just by thinking of pepperoni, I’m going to be bitterly disappointed.

Land Line Less

We’re getting rid of our landline. I know that millions of people have done this already, but there was a landline here when we bought this house, and we’ve just… kept it.

No longer.

The eventual arrival of fibre in our residence meant that we no longer needed a home phone line connection and could move to VOIP. And while I was adding up the cost benefits of making that switch (I worked it out to be a saving of about R150pm), I came up with a third plan: no house phone line at all. The cost benefits of that one are even better: it costs nothing to not have anything.

Who knew?

Anyway, the long and short of it is that we’ve cancelled our Telkom line and they’re going to send us a final bill and cut us off very shortly. If I understand the process correctly, they’ll then send us some more bills and I have to go and shout at them in their posh new walk-in centre in Cavendish.

Some ridiculously poor customer service will then ensue, with a distinct lack of returned phone calls (to our cellphones (or… er… not)), and there will some more shouting from this end.
Anyway, we should be all sorted by July next year, with the threatening letters from misinformed debt collection agencies tailing off by the end of 2022.

I can’t wait. It’s like we’re living in the future.