Monday, June 09, 2008

I Knew It!

Just saw that Apple is releasing a new version of the iPhone next month. A new version of the iPhone at half the price of the current iPhone. A new verson of the iPhone at half the price of the current iPhone and it has 3G capability.

Were I an Apple user, I'd have to admit to being pretty happy at hearing this. Were I one of the drones who stood in line to pay top dollar to be the first to get one of these beauties only to hear that a year later the phone was being updated to something faster, sleeker, and dare I say - cheaper, I'd have to be pretty ticked.

I know that technology marches on and that faster, better, cheaper is an inevitability (nee Moore's Law), but I'm wondering how long Apple can keep doing this and keep the love affair going. Apple suffered a near mutiny last Summer when they had to issue rebates to existing iPhone users who found themselves behind the adoption curve in an abnormally short period of time.

From my perspective, I was probably one of the last people to get an iPod. I have to give Apple props for design and utility, but I can't give them much more than that. Their business model is intriguing as it's built partly on user devotion; something that Microsoft, Dell, or any of the other OS and hardware developers cannot claim (Linux being the big exception here). I can't give them props for longevity. I realize the very nature of the computer industry is built upon needing the latest and greatest thing but is that always the case? A few years back, Microsoft introduced Windows XP. Not as groundbreaking as the introduction of Windows 95, but to date it's been their best selling (and best designed in my opinion) operating system. Vista was introduced but Microsoft soon discovered that it's biggest competitor was not the Macintosh or Linux, but venerable Windows XP. It still worked and didn't require a hardware upgrade to take advantage of all that the OS had to offer. Makers of the Blu Ray DVD format are realizing that their biggest competitor was not HD-DVD, but the huge installed base of traditional low cost standard definition DVD players that can be had for well under $100 and look surprisingly good on even a high definition television (with the appropriate connections - props to Ensign Eddie for that observation). All this to say that maybe it's time that high technology look at the next quarter century, and not the next quarter.

I've got no problem paying a fair price for something that will be useful in the long term. I also think that I am not alone in that thought.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Summer is here.

Those who know me know that I work in academia and have been here for a long time. Not dead sure why I stayed this long other than I really couldn't find any other place that would have me. In my line of work things are seasonal. There is a definite ebb and flow to things that I have to admit lends some comfort to life. May is insane with papers coming due, grading to get done, and events that need to happen. We get through graduation, handle a few other incidental events, then it's all over. I taught a class the last two weeks in May that helped me to "walk off" the term and now even that is over. Summer is here. Yes I am working all of it, but now is a time to rest, relax, and reflect about the future. Fall will be a killer with me taking nine hours, but I'm looking forward to it. I've discovered that I like research, and my writing can always improve.

This Summer I need to:
  1. get more active. I spend way too much time sitting down in front of a computer.
  2. work on personal relationships that are near to me. I had to put a lot of stuff on a back burner last Spring because of my schedule.
  3. watch less television. It interferes with the above.
  4. work around my house. I've got a great place. Time I put some effort into it.
  5. learn to cook a few more dishes. I've got my standards, but there's a lot of stuff out there that I don't know about.
  6. learn to really relax. Life is short and I feel like sometimes I've wasted too much of it worrying about things over which I have no control. God will hold me accountable for these days so I might as well make better use of them.
  7. prepare for Fall. I need to work smarter and that takes preparation.

Here's hoping!