P.A.D. – Post #6: Early Burn

by Christopher Paul on October 17, 2006

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am an impulse kind of person – well, when it comes to technology, anyway.  Those who make gadgets call people like me ‘early adopters’ and are often the ones that first supply reviews of a product to the community (besides those in the media).  Early adopters are usually the ones that offer the most profits to be had per unit.  We first users the ones who get to brag at the newest, shinny cell phone or MP3 player.  But I’m beginning to feel rejected by my own instinct and I now finally feel that I can wait before picking up the latest and greatest – but it’s not a good thing.

I think it started with my MPx220.  Against my better judgment, I picked up the Windows Smartphone two days after it came out.  I went to three different Best Buys after calling four or five of them yielded nothing but ignorant clerks transferring me around to virtually every department in the store.  When I got the phone, I was so excited and immediately turned the phone on and tested out the web browsing, the speaker phone, and ring tones.  I loved it for its synchronization with Outlook and its familiar Pocket PC like interface.

But soon after I got it, I found that it wasn’t what I expected.  Not only was it slower than I had anticipated, it wasn’t built well at all; I found that the phone’s battery would come loose and the phone would shut off.  I had to stick a wedge of paper in between the battery and the casing to force a tighter fit.  The software also had problems and I found myself rebooting the phone just to speed things up and clear the errors that occurred.  Sometimes the phone wouldn’t ring and freezing was a weekly event.

The next gadget I remember rushing out to get was the SLVR.  Not only could I not get some of my songs on the phone, the artwork got damaged and they never displayed properly.  Sometimes, incoming callers wouldn’t be able to hear me and I’d have to hang up and call them back.  Forget using IM on the phone.  Even though it had the software built in, it never connected half the time and messages in and out of the system were delayed.  I gave up on the phone after two months and didn’t get much use out of it because of all the problems.

I’ve had so many problems with operating system upgrades, patches, and new releases that I don’t bother to do it anymore; I can’t list them all.  And with all the recent articles on the blogs, I’m not sure I want to get the Blackberry Pearl or a new Mac Book.  I’m afraid of paying for an expensive piece of equipment only to be disappointed at what might not work right.  It’s holding me back.

I think my wife would be pleased to hear that my impulsive spending habits would be altered – and it is – but it’s also a negative thing too.  Because I am still not sure of my purchases even after they’ve been tested by the other early adopters.  And it affects my non-technology purchases too.  I don’t want to second guess myself but that’s what’s happened.  My early adoption has burned me so much in the past that I hesitate to purchase anything in the future – the ultimate burn.

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