I've been putting some thought recently into my gadgets. As a certifiable geek, I do love my electronics, but while I've gotten an amazing amount of mileage out of some of them, others have seemed to crap out almost instantly. And because the exercise will amuse me, I'm about to review the devices out of which I've gotten the most and the least mileage.
In early 2007, I wrote about having purchased a new mp3 player that looked like a usb flash drive. Guess what? I still use the thing almost daily. It wouldn't work well for music, but for podcasts, it's brilliant. It charges in a usb port at the same time you're dragging and dropping files into the thing via Windows Explorer. No software required. And it's got FM radio and voice recorder functionality that I've infrequently used. The buttons are worn almost off due to constant use, but it still works as well as the first day I got it.
I bought this machine less than a year ago to act as a server when the box I'd used as my primary PC back in 2004 started freezing all the time and was no longer suitable for use as a server. The PC is tiny and low-power; it seemed ideal for use as a server.
Although the Windows 7 install with PS3 Media Server works great for real-time transcoding mp4 and avi files to the Playstation 3, playing YouTube videos from the actual box will cause it to overheat. So watching Tabletop or The Flog from our TV screen is only possible if I use the stupid PS3 browser, which will cause streaming video to actually skip.
Oddly, when the box overheats, the only symptom is that the HDMI out stops working. Since that's my only display, this is a bit of a problem. I'm now considering fans built for laptops as a possible solution.
My wife has had her LG Dare phone for something like four years now. It's internet capable, but she doesn't use it as a smart phone. Still, she loves that phone, and the battery lasts for three days at a time. Compared to my phone which sometimes needs charging by 10am, that's pretty impressive.
I've knocked Dell in the past, but I've had my current PC for something like three and a half years and I'm still using it to play new release video games. I upgraded the graphics card once to play Skyrim, and I'm feeling no immediate need to replace the PC. I expect to have it for at least another year or two, which will be some kind of record for me.
Linda's laptop is another story. We did a lot of research before buying it last year and decided to get a HP or Asus laptop. Perhaps we should have gotten HP. The thing has weird intermittent freezing and memory issues, and I'm fairly sure it's hardware. Given that it's her primary work computer, this is not cool.
Talk about an ancient piece of technology- I DJ'ed my wedding in 2004 using this mp3 player. I've owned it for nearly ten years. And it still works great. The only problem? I had a hard drive crash not long ago, and now my entire music catalog exists in only two places. First, on actual CDs in a box in the attic. Secondly, on this mp3 player. And the special software that I need in order to retrieve the mp3 files from the Nomad will only run on Windows XP. I've tried a VM, but it didn't recognise the USB connection. I have an old windows XP box, but the CD drive is broken. My only solution may be to undergo the painfully slow process of re-ripping all my music. That's going to take hours, and I'm not looking forward to it.