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Thread: When Newer Tech is Not Better

  1. #26
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Don't go near gamebooks then . Some of them are in the hundreds for a single book.

    For example:
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/224057233303

    $235 for 1 book.

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    I also agree that ebooks are far superior and wouldn't even buy physical books any more - so long as the book in question is only words.

    Ebooks are pretty terrible for something like rulebooks or comics, as they can't really handle grids or pictures particularly well (mostly because they're normally being viewed on a relatively small screen.)

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    And size definitely makes a difference with artwork. I remember reading Brian K. Vaughan's Runaways first in a small-format collection and later in a larger TPB format, and some of the art had so much more of an impact once it was bigger. For people who just read comics for what happens next, I'm sure that e-readers and tablets are perfectly adequate, but I wouldn't be able to appreciate the art as much.

  4. #29
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    To be fair, I think that's more of a formatting problem. You'd be able to see the pictures clearly if it displayed one panel at a time, rather than shrinking down an entire A4 page into an e.g. 8" screen.

  5. #30
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    That's definitely true, but a good comic isn't just a series of individual panels. Composition is highly relevant.

  6. #31
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    I think it would still work if the comic was designed for that format, e.g. smaller pages.

    It's only when you get to that awful "PDF navigation" that things become a problem.

  7. #32
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: melon labneh
    Man, eBooks are a case of better newer tech not coming fast enough. I'm still holding out for a full A4 color eInk tablet for books, comics, magazines and newspapers. Please.
    At the same time it seems that there is little actual demand for such devices and most people are satisfied with a regular tablet.

    Household adoption of a new tech with only niche demand for core improvements is a really bad omen for quality.

    Another example for nerds: systemd and Linux.

  8. #33
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    The technology basically exists already.



    Hell, there's even this thing:


  9. #34
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Quote Originally Posted by Briareos H View Post
    Another example for nerds: systemd and Linux.
    Oh, you had to go there

    I'll agree with those complaining about systemd bloat/creep and the author being a jackass. But the old init system was archaic. It was OK for narrow-purpose servers and hobbyists, but poorly suited to desktop and mobile computing and casual Linux users. It needed a replacement.

  10. #35
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    Landlines, vinyl, polaroids
    Used to keep me up all night
    Now I'm slightly paranoid
    Whether kids can sleep alright
    Do they even understand
    How to write a note by hand?
    How to configure init files?
    And to watch the blinkenlights?

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Sometimes I'm an absent-minded reader, so I frequently flip back a couple a pages to reread something or check a name or reference, and I found that with my e-reader this was difficult. I read some of Infinite Jest on the e-reader but eventually switched back to paper, in spite of the enormous weight. Trying to click on all the tiny endnotes was also really annoying. Maybe with a new, faster e-reader it wouldn't be an issue.

  12. #37
    I appreciate the flexibility of e-books, and having several books in one device... but I'll never give up physical books. There's just a tactile experience, a smell, it's something that electronics can't reproduce. Also, physical books will never run out of battery.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    In my e-reader's case, it ran so much out of battery that it couldn't turn back on, even when plugged in. I had to open it up and jump-start it with a 9-volt battery to get it to boot up. After a few times of that I put it in a drawer.

  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    I love physical books and collect them, nothing can replicate the experience of having an actual book in your hands.

    On a related topic to the OP, unless your phone forces you to, I would advise against updating your OS.

    A coworker of mine got the same phone as I currently have (around the same time as well), a Galaxy A8, and he noticed a significant drop in performance after he updated the software. I've had mine since early 2019, never updated, and it works as great as when I first got it

  15. #40
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Apple wasn't slowing down their phones to make them obsolete. When the batteries got too old, they couldn't supply the voltage needed during peak demand, so the phones would abruptly shut off. The throttling was meant to prevent that. Not making the batteries easily replaceable is maybe another story.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    Apple wasn't slowing down their phones to make them obsolete. When the batteries got too old, they couldn't supply the voltage needed during peak demand, so the phones would abruptly shut off. The throttling was meant to prevent that. Not making the batteries easily replaceable is maybe another story.
    I don't buy that for a second. If they were so concerned, they would have made the batteries replaceable, and included an extra one with the phone. I mean, for the exhorbitant price they charge, that's the least they could do.

    They also removed the headphone jack so they could then make more profit off wireless headphones. Behind every such decision, there's financially motivated malfeasance

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by raph View Post
    I appreciate the flexibility of e-books, and having several books in one device... but I'll never give up physical books. There's just a tactile experience, a smell, it's something that electronics can't reproduce. Also, physical books will never run out of battery.
    Likewise, no paper book can replicate the tactile experience of reading on an e-reader and e-books will never degrade like paper books do. I've now ruined several books (and keyboards :/) by spilling coffee on them to the point I had to get one of those cups that sucks itself to the desk and only lets go if lifted directly upwards, but otherwise you can punch it or throw a book at it and it won't budge.

    Also, the huge amount of money that I save with e-books allows me buy paper books of much higher quality, so I now get the best of both worlds. I get the nostalgia, I really do. I'm thinking of getting rid of at least some of my paper books, since they make moving such a huge pain in the rear, but I have a very hard time of letting go. But, similarly, I cannot imagine giving up reading books on my e-reader now and I'm actually thinking of buying another one just to have as a backup.
    Last edited by Starker; 21st Jul 2020 at 18:22.

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Quote Originally Posted by Azaran View Post
    I don't buy that for a second. If they were so concerned, they would have made the batteries replaceable, and included an extra one with the phone. I mean, for the exhorbitant price they charge, that's the least they could do.

    They also removed the headphone jack so they could then make more profit off wireless headphones. Behind every such decision, there's financially motivated malfeasance
    I can see the reasons on both sides. People want phones that are thin and sleek and made of metal and glass, and having clunky replaceable batteries doesn't really allow for that. Thankfully I've managed to do several battery replacements in my iPhone, and each time you get another year or two out of it.

    As for headphone jacks, I was pretty pissed off when Apple first announced its removal, but since I got a set of bluetooth headphones I probably wouldn't want to back even though my 6S still has the jack. Wireless is so much more convenient, so much better for exercising, and you get to avoid the awful feeling of when your earbud cable gets snagged on something and rips out of your ear. I like high-quality sound as much as the next guy, but earbud cables suck, and if you really want to use your giant headphones (which I do sometimes), you can always get the adapter.

    For me the bigger deal in not upgrading is just that new phones are getting incredibly expensive, and every time I think "Should I spend a thousand to upgrade?" the answer is always "Why bother?"

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    That reminds me of something else that bothers me.
    I have a pair of Bose QC25 headphones - high-quality cans with active noise-cancelling. I use them all the time (I don't even have speakers any more), and while they've held up well for years, I'm worried that they're going to break eventually.
    Why does that bother me? Because all future models are wireless-only, and have a heavy-duty built-in battery for the extra power requirements.
    One of the great things about these headphones is that they run on a single AAA battery, and when it gets flat I can just pop it out and pop in a new one in a matter of seconds, recharging the batteries at some later point.

    I have no idea why anyone would ever want a pair of headphones with a built-in battery - that just means that you have a set amount of usage time, and after that you can no longer use them until they are recharged. When using a PC, it presumably wouldn't be that bad, as they can charge off USB while in use, but imagine if you are travelling with them? Especially considering that, while I very rarely use them as such, travelling is one of the main selling points for noise-cancelling headphones.

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Yep. Wireless tech with built-in batteries is another example of planned obsolescence. It's all the more insidious because the 'wireless' part is so emphasized in the adverts, to better hoodwink the unsuspecting customer. A pair of wired headphones could last over a decadeor more. I wonder if wireless ones will make it past a year?

  21. #46
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Good one Kolya

    Regarding e-books, I wish they were around when I was a student. It could have saved me some money (maybe), and lightened my backpack, but the main reason is that I wouldn't have had stacks and shelves full of textbooks that I've barely used but need to keep around for occasional reference, which had to be dragged around with me whenever I moved. Later, when I was first getting into software engineering, I wouldn't have needed shelves of reference books for every language, tool, OS, API, etc. I used that I would pick up only on occasion. So for textbooks and reference books, I'd rather have an e-book, mainly because they will be infrequently used.

    On the other hand, when it comes to reading for pleasure, I'd rather have a paper book. Most of the books I like to read are non-fiction, and many are technical with a fair number of illustrations. I frequently skim, browse, and jump around. I've tried e-book readers but find them tedious to navigate the way I like to. E-book readers seem optimized for reading text in a sequential manner, which is perfect for avid readers of fiction.

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless Voice View Post
    That reminds me of something else that bothers me.
    I have a pair of Bose QC25 headphones - high-quality cans with active noise-cancelling. I use them all the time (I don't even have speakers any more), and while they've held up well for years, I'm worried that they're going to break eventually.
    Why does that bother me? Because all future models are wireless-only, and have a heavy-duty built-in battery for the extra power requirements.
    One of the great things about these headphones is that they run on a single AAA battery, and when it gets flat I can just pop it out and pop in a new one in a matter of seconds, recharging the batteries at some later point.

    I have no idea why anyone would ever want a pair of headphones with a built-in battery - that just means that you have a set amount of usage time, and after that you can no longer use them until they are recharged. When using a PC, it presumably wouldn't be that bad, as they can charge off USB while in use, but imagine if you are travelling with them? Especially considering that, while I very rarely use them as such, travelling is one of the main selling points for noise-cancelling headphones.
    I have a 10 year old pair of Bose QC15 that I originally purchased for air travel and I used to feel the same way.

    However, for most people, I can see the appeal of USB charging. Because I have kids with toys, I've accumulated a bag full of rechargeable batteries from AAA to C size. But most people don't have rechargeable AAA batteries, and they won't want to be constantly buying new ones, and they will typically have a USB charging source available where they need one. Even when traveling, it will be easier for most people to charge via USB.

    If you plan to keep the product for the long term, replaceable batteries in a standard size are a selling point. But most people don't think long term, it's about what the product can do for me today.

  23. #48
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    There is a Cory Doctorow short story called "Unauthorized Bread" about the licensing of appliances and the internet of things. It's quite frightening, well worth finding. In a paper book, if at all possible.

  24. #49
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    Good one Kolya

    On the other hand, when it comes to reading for pleasure, I'd rather have a paper book. Most of the books I like to read are non-fiction, and many are technical with a fair number of illustrations. I frequently skim, browse, and jump around. I've tried e-book readers but find them tedious to navigate the way I like to. E-book readers seem optimized for reading text in a sequential manner, which is perfect for avid readers of fiction.
    I actually prefer paper books for textbooks and the like too, but not for that reason. It's that it's much easier to take notes when you can just write in the book. But for the purposes of skimming and jumping around, e-books are not that bad actually. You can create bookmarks with just a tap of a finger, you can use search, and there are skimming features that let you flip though the pages relatively fast.

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Speaking of old tech, what is this piece of furniture called in English?



    I've seen similar things called wall units, but they seem to be attached to a wall while this thing stands on its own.

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