Thursday, July 29, 2010


So, throughout this month and last, I spent a lot of time looking at various gadgets that I had my eye on to purchase for one reason or another. Phones, electronic readers, parts for my computer, all sorts of nice, expensive luxury goods like that. I spent time weighing up these products, looking at reviews, checking alternatives and pricing them in various stores. Then I shortlisted them all on my Amazon wish list. The past few days however, I'm suddenly wondering if I even want any of them.

More and more when I look over these gadgets and electronics, I come to the conclusion that I don't want or need them at all. Not only that, but if I were to buy them, it would probably be a massive waste of money. Taking the Sony Pocket Reader for example. After spending some time investigating electronic readers, I'd come to the conclusion that this particular model was the veritable cat's pyjamas. The light metal and plastic construction, framing the bold, flat and extremely readable electronic ink surface, wrapped in a snug leather cover. Just small enough to fit into the pocket of a jacket. Always at the ready if I want to slip it out and dig into a good book.

It's a fantastic piece of kit, I'm sure. However, I just can't see myself wanting it anymore. I'm not anywhere near as big a reader as I was when I was in secondary school. I just don't buy that many books. Certainly I might if I had an easy way to read them, but that's a bit of an investment for a hobby I might take up. This is compounded a little by the fact that on average, electronic books aren't massively cheaper than paperbacks, and Amazon's own Kindle electronic reader is a significantly superior device at a much lower price point, if a little larger. There's reasons I wouldn't buy the Kindle above the Sony Reader, but I won't get into that now. At the end of it all, I just don't feel like dropping the €180 for a reader and cover. That said, if I were made of money, I'd probably already have one in my hands.

It's not just the Reader that I've grown cold on, even the Android phone I've been longing after since Easter no longer looks so appealing. Possibly the realisation that I was looking for something that was better for reading emails on than my current phone, and this particular smart phone has a screen no larger than my current phone affected me there. Even so, I don't see any reason to upgrade at the moment. I had wanted an Android phone once I'd written some applications for the system, but I haven't even gotten around to finishing one yet. Though I do hope to have one done by the time I get back to Ireland.

The only reason I would possibly change my phones is because the headphone adapter for my Walkman has become damaged, and I occasionally lose sound in one ear. Whereas a phone that doesn't need an adapter for headphones would solve this problem. Also, while Meteor are offering the Xperia for a good price, HTC's range of phones are beginning to look more and more attractive. While I am a Sony-Ericsson fan at heart, I know from experience that in the world of smart phones, particularly Android based smart phones, HTC are almost uncrowned kings. Though Motorola and Samsung also have a nice range, they're not widely available over here.

I can't explain where this sudden wave of rational and measured thinking in relation to wants and needs came from. I was almost tempted to erase my entire wishlist, though I left it for now. Possibly in a few months, if I have a bit more disposable income, my impulse buyers spirit will return. For now, I'll content myself with buying another tech book and teaching myself something new.

If you're interested in having a look through my wishlist, you can find it over here. There's a couple of things I sort of want I haven't listed here, for various reasons. Mainly because deciding which computer headset or SSD is best is not an easy task.

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