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Late Adopters Prefer the Tried and True 383

Posted by Zonk
from the little-flexibility-never-hurt-too dept.
smooth wombat writes "There is a fairly significant portion of the population which does not go out and grab the newest OS, gadget, web browser or any other technology related product. Why? It's not because they're luddites but rather, they are comfortable with what they know. Take the case of John Uribe, a 56-year old real estate agent who still uses AOL dial-up and only recently switched to Firefox after being prodded for weeks by an AOL message telling him that on March 1st, AOL would no longer support Netscape. Why did it take him so long to stop using Netscape and make the switch? From the article: 'It worked for me, so I stuck with it. Until there is really some reason to totally abandon it, I won't.'"
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Late Adopters Prefer the Tried and True

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2008 @07:42AM (#22737806)
    This might be the most obvious headline I've seen on Slashdot. In other new and interesting news, early adopters prefer new technology.

    </sarcasm>
    • by sm62704 (957197) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:01AM (#22737974) Journal
      Obvious, perhaps, but inaccurate. Some of us adopt some tech early and some tech late, depending on the tech. If there's a tool that's shown to be better in some way (smoother, faster, more comfortable) we'll adopt it. Some tech goes backwards [kuro5hin.org]. For instance, why would anyone trade a car stereo with a big fat volume knob for one with teeny buttons? Thankfully the volume knob has made a comeback, as has the flat shoelace.

      Some tech is just too damned expensive new. I'd like an iPhone but they're just too damned pricey. Some tech comes from companies I'd rather spit dead rats than buy from - Sony and ATT come to mind.

      Some tech is obviously not ready for use yet - any Mixrosoft x.0 release, for instance. I'll bet there aren't many early Windows adopters here, because everyone knows you don't buy a new Windows until at LEAST the SP1 service pack comes out fixing its most glaring errors.

      Finally, there's a reason they call it "bleeding edge technology".

      -mcgrew

      PS Now get off my lawn you damned kids and no, you can't have your burlout back.
      • by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:24AM (#22738828)

        Some tech goes backwards
        I don't agree with your article.

        I mean, what kind of car do you have where you need "$100,000" worth of equipment to work on it? About the most advanced thing you might need for certain problems is the little diagnostic reader, and you can still spend more on a nice floor jack. A socket set and some basic tools get you most of the way there. Read the back part of Popular Mechanics sometime - most common repairs are still basically the same. And cars on balance are much more reliable and free of maintenance. I've had some of the most unreliable cars on the market (thank you, GM), and they were STILL more reliable than what my parents had growing up.

        To use your example of refrigerators from the 1920s (!!!), yeah, maybe they would last 40 years. Too bad it would cost roughly the equivalent of $5000 in 2007 dollars. At that price, you could buy a lifetime of so-called crappy modern refrigerators - and each one would pay for itself in the efficiency improvement over the previous one. I don't even want to know how much it would cost to run a refrigerator from the 20s... you really should take into account total cost of ownership.

        I don't know where you get your shoes, either, but I've never had a pair with round vinyl laces. This actually has me curious. In any event, you can buy replacement laces for about a buck. Nice, flat, cotton laces. I also won't get into your (hopefully unintentionally) racist comments about Chinese t-shirts. Who still says "Chinamen"??? But if you really likes American-made t-shirts, can't you just buy American Apparel stuff? It's not exactly expensive - and you express a willingness to pay $50 for a well-made t-shirt... you're in luck, a 3-pack is like $40.

        Two-handled shower faucets? Go to Home Depot? You can buy one-handled, two-handled, just about anything you can imagine... even temperature controlled. I happen to prefer the hotel-style single valve design... turn it one way for more heat, the other way for more cold.

        Old-fashioned furnaces? You like them because they work when the electricity goes out. So do kerosene heaters. With the hundreds you save each month in heating bills, go out and get yourself a kerosene heater.
      • by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:27AM (#22738874) Homepage Journal
        I'd say I'm tech savvy, but I have the same limitations: -I'd love a new phone, but I just don't have enough money to get one, and I can't justify spending on a new phone when my current one (LG 8100) works just fine *sigh* -I won a free copy of Windows Vista Ultimate, but have no plans on installing it on any of my computers. It's that bad - and yes, I'm one of the few who was optimistic about it. Only after repeated attempts to get anything to work at all I've given up. Media Center- buggy as hell. File Copy- slow??? Games? Forget it. Nvidia drivers? Why won't it detect my TV anymore? It worked in XP! The problem here is of the second example - I managed to avoid the monetary cost of the switch to vista, so it's similar to the free upgrade to firefox. The problem is, despite it being free, I paid dearly with my time and my sanity. After spending hours trying to figure out why the "Force TV Detection" checkbox was disabled in my VISTA Nvidia control panel, I found out via a few web forums that the feature is kinda broken, and to wait for a new driver... What I really did was go back to trusty XP. I mean, why did I switch? What I was using was working just fine anyway! My feeling is this- He's just upset that he doesn't know what to do with that new HD-DVD Player he bought. Firefox? Oh he knows better than that. Fool him once...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by muellerr1 (868578)
        If any story deserves a getoffmylawn tag, this is it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        While I agree with everything you just said here, I find that too often, people say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and then refuse to see anything "broke" about it. The same can be said for preferring the "Tried and true," except without the "true" part.

        It becomes less about pragmatism and more about fear of change. And in some cases, the longer you wait to make that change, the more difficult it's going to be.

        Using AOL dialup, when there is any other option, is a bad idea.

        I would say I'm neither an ear
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday March 13, 2008 @07:42AM (#22737808) Journal
    Ok, so I tried to go to OneStat [onestat.com] which was the site mentioned in the article. The article referenced an "internet population" statistic from OneStat:

    Netscape users accounted for 0.14 percent of the Internet population in February, according to OneStat.com, which offers Web monitoring services. That is a tiny fraction of the market, but still represents more than a million users, many who use aging versions of Netscape.
    But when I went to OneStat, I found it was merely a paid service offered to monitor statistics on your website. I would really like to see that report. Who's website (or group of websites) did they choose? How did they compile this information? The article shows stats grouping all IEs into one and all Firefoxes into one but what are their statistics for IE6, IE7, Lynx, Firefox 2 & Firefox 3? Surely early adopter rates are just as interesting as late adopter rates and surely obscure browsers are what this story is interested in. Why aren't you asking Lynx users why they stick with a text interface?

    Which leads me to a motive I did not find in the article, the motive of the company I work for that employs several hundred thousand employees. There is no push to go to Vista or IE7 so they don't do it. They're late adopters in almost the same sense as no one's asking for it, Microsoft has not yet found a way to force the enterprise community into this pigeonhole and so none of them will do it. On an enterprise level, there's no such thing as 'early adopter' as companies are too busy taking financial and strategic risks to welcome technological risks or 1/10 of their employees failing to have a computer for a couple days.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by yuna49 (905461)
    • by Gazzonyx (982402)
      There have been a few times that I've used 'links' when I'm ssh'ed into a headless box and I can't wget a file I need because it requires me to hit an 'I agree' radio button. For instance, when getting a new java JDK.

      I use elinks for the same reason as the guy in the summary; it just works when I need it. Sure, I could download to my desktop and scp it over, but why go through the trouble when elinks just works and firewalls aren't an issue when connecting to a web server? The box may not be on a netw

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Thursday March 13, 2008 @07:42AM (#22737816)
    A quick John Uribe search on Google turns up a man divorced twice.

    So much for sticking with it, eh?
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      He's a piker. I met a man in a bar (where else?) who had been married twelve times, and he was under 40. Apparently he has a hard time getting along with women?
  • by beavis88 (25983) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @07:43AM (#22737824)
    I'm sure his viewpoint will be thoroughly panned in these comments, but honestly, the computer and tech industries as a whole could do with more of this. Too often we're sold progress just for the sake of progress, without enough benefits to outweigh the cost of transition to a new [platform|framework|device|etc].
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by elwinc (663074)
      Absolutely! When I look at the difference between windows 2000 (which offers real improvements over win98) and windows vista, I see alot of change purely for the sake of change. Win XP is kind of a big bug fix on Win2K. I would have preferred it if they had just fixed Win2K, but I'll accept a bug fix. Vista isn't even a bug fix - just change for the sake of change. I'm avoiding it and all the people I advise are avoiding it too.
    • by yuna49 (905461)
      I'm sure his viewpoint will be thoroughly panned in these comments

      Oh, so that's why the article is here. So Slashdot readers can learn why folks like me in our fifties are just so technologically incompetent and laugh at or feel sorry for us?

      I couldn't really figure out why this story was considered newsworthy at either the Times or Slashdot. At least I can understand Slashdot's motivation now, but why does the Times think it's news that not everybody wants to ride the latest technological wave? I suspec
      • by zappepcs (820751) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:17AM (#22738126) Journal
        There are several very good reasons that this idea is news. First because tech companies continuously fail to recognize that there are ALWAYS people that don't want the latest and greatest crap, no matter how bleeding edge it is. Second, those that bought iWhatevers and then the price dropped never even got a reach-around, so to speak. Third, there is now a special cellular service that specializes in doing all the tech stuff for you and the phone has BIG number buttons on it. Fourth there are a LOT of cheap talk-only phones and plans out there for a reason yet all we hear about is the new stuff with all the bells and whistles on it.

        The basis of the story is that we are being sold a lot of hype. Any particular age group or group of people is only being used to say that it's not just one person, or one town. It's happening all over the place. Technology is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

        Eventually the MS vs. GNU/Linux vs. Mac story will sort itself out, and fanbois will stop telling the other side's fanbois that they are wrong. What works for some doesn't work for all. That would be why there are so many types of personal vehicles on the road, to bring the car analogy into it.

        This idea will be news until tech manufacturers get it. some day you'll walk into a technology store and the phones will be separated into groups where one is the simple function group, next is a nice mix, and then some high end stuff... each with ranges of pricing. Sure, they kind of do that now but you need assistance to figure out what is easy to operate, or what has features in the plan that you don't want. Eventually tech sales will be comoditized. Today we are still treated as though we are buying a custom made suit, or a piece of art.

        Vendor lock-in is to blame. There really is no lock-in deal with low end, low functionality equipment, so they always try to sell you the latest, greatest, steaming pile of tech. Cash is supposed to be king, but no one really cares unless they can get you locked in to a 3 year contract and $15/month insurance. It's all about money still as they really don't care what you want to buy so long as you buy something with a three year contract and insurance premiums.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sir_Kurt (92864)
      I Got my first computer in 1985, running DOS. Went from Dos to OS/2 1.3 then 2.0 then Warp. I run an architecture business. (buildings, not programing) We Now use a mix of Linux based workstations and OS/2. We still use Dos programs under OS/2 because of the fabulous DOS support/multitasking. It works great blindingly fast very very functional, no bullshi*, no virusus, nothing crashes, networking, backups, everything works. So we are way way behind the curve on some things, and right on the curve on ohthers
      • Out of curiosity... what do your employees DO with DOS on OS/2?

        CAD? Spreadsheets? Invoicing?

        I'm betting they don't play any LAN games ;-p or browse the interweb on breaks.. nice and slacker proof...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      The way I see it, there are three cases:

      1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. This is what the article is talking about.
      2. Change for the sake of change. I can't see too many people going along with this unless they're morons and/or fanboys.
      3. Change when the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. I assume most people fit into this category. What I never thought about before reading comment is that there's a further distinction in this case. I'll speak for myself, though I assume a lot of people are like me, will switch
    • by plague3106 (71849)
      Huh? The "cost" is clicking a button and waiting a few minutes. Not exactly a high cost.. browser layouts haven't changed that much since NS 4.
  • Burned (Score:4, Insightful)

    by darjen (879890) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @07:46AM (#22737842)
    As someone who has been burned by new technology multiple times, I can certainly appreciate this approach. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Live by the sword, die by the sword.
    • by Gazzonyx (982402)
      Yeah, I get burned each time I get 'shiny object syndrome'. I just HAVE to have this new motherboard and pay top dollar for it, only to find out my revision won't support technology X because there is a bug. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

      Actually, we live and die by the clock :)
      Well, for my own part, mostly die. Speaking of which, I have to leave for work; I'm already going to be 5 minutes late.

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      As someone who has been burned by new technology multiple times, I can certainly appreciate this approach. [...] Live by the sword, die by the sword.
      We've moved way past the musquet, it's much harder to get burned now.

      I think it's time for you to move "the gun" out of your "new technology" list.
  • Why fix it... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NetDanzr (619387) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @07:54AM (#22737920)
    ...when it ain't broken? I count myself as one of the schizophrenics who mix new and old. At work, I'm forced to use WinXP and Office 2003 (so far, I refused to switch to Vista and Office 2007, arguing the training time and costs it would take me to learn the new interfaces), but at home I still use Win98SE and Office 97. So far, the only upgrade I was forced to make was to switch from Eudora 3.0 to Thunderbird, as my Eudora didn't support outgoing mail authentication, which became required with my ISP. There are several reasons why I don't feel it's necessary for me to upgrade:

    • It works. My computer does all I need, so there's no reason to uprade
    • Interface. My main problem with any upgrade is new interface I need to get used to. Not only different button layout, but also the way the new technology behaves, reacts to my inputs.
    • New features. I still don't use all the features available in the software I'm using; why should I feel the need for more features I wouldn't be using?

    All this doesn't mean I don't like new technology. However, all the years of work in IT and high-tech startups have taught me that the best innovation one can achieve is a more simplified interface. Technology with more features and thus more complex interface is thus not truly innovative in my book.

    • by budcub (92165)
      I'm with you in spirit, but I have to say that when I switched from Win98 to Windows 2000 Professional, I got much better graphics performance. Maybe it was the all 32-bit OS, maybe it was better OpenGL, or maybe it was better drivers for the video card or a combination of all three. Not having to reboot all the time was a big help too. I even waited until Service Pack 2 was out for XP before I switched to that.
    • However, all the years of work in IT and high-tech startups have taught me that the best innovation one can achieve is a more simplified interface.Technology with more features and thus more complex interface is thus not truly innovative in my book.
      You must be a gnome developer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dissy (172727)
      I was hoping to read that your win98 system was not on the network/internet at all, as then you would have a solid case for it being the correct answer. But then read the email client bit...

      I am honestly curious.

      How do you prevent malware/trojan/virus infections on that?

      I assume you have a hardware firewall, or at least a NAT gateway, and would hope you don't use IE.
      I know for a fact that a win98 box fully updated, placed naked directly on the internet, will be infected in at most 10 minutes.

      How stable is
  • I work in an industrial environment and one thing you want is stability. Being an early adopter is the antithesis of this. So I may not work on the latest and greatest, but I know that what I do work on is rock solid and will keep running for an extended period of time.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @07:57AM (#22737938) Homepage
    Real Estate people and offices are KNOWN for being incredibly out-dated. Also Realtors tend to not be technologically savvy. The BEST Agent I ever met not only adopted technology with a furvor but took her time to learn it. She is selling homes at a good rate even now when you are insane to try and sell.

    But the office there where I support them. It's a nightmare. W95 machines still in use! Old 14" monitors that are dark and almost yellow now running on Pentium 133 processors. They refuse to spend the money to upgrade because "these work, why replace it?"

    The one machine I did convince them to replace with new I at least gave them XP and several people complained about it.

    I also found that this is common in Lawyers offices and accounting offices as well. Incredibly outdated gear and software still in use. It's like they are afraid to spend money.
    • by Speare (84249) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:04AM (#22737996) Homepage Journal

      But the office there where I support them. It's a nightmare. W95 machines still in use! Old 14" monitors that are dark and almost yellow now running on Pentium 133 processors. They refuse to spend the money to upgrade because "these work, why replace it?"
      Sounds legitimate to me, except perhaps the ergonomics of a dim yellowed screen. What is there, in the Real Estate business, that needs the latest Intel Duo Quad Duo Core Duo Octaplex II Duo processor? They look at MLS websites, they type a few fields with new data, and then they hop in the car to be away from the office for a couple hours. Everything they need to archive is on paper. Lots of folks hated XP when it was forced on them, simply because it's different and it takes time to learn the differences. Just because YOU are a fan of the latest, doesn't mean it makes sense for them.
      • XP *looked* different. As far as functionality was concerned, very little changed between 98, 2000, and XP.

        Once you accepted the fact that it was blue, there wasn't a whole lot different, apart from the start menu (and both of those things could easily be disabled, and frequently were).

        That said, I still maintain a Xenix (now SCO OpenServer) installation for a small business. For what they do, it suits them fine, and the cost of implementing a new Windows-based system would be quite high, and wouldn't prov
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      It's like they are afraid to spend money.

      Spending money unnecessarily is incredibly foolish. If you spend a thousand dollars on a new computer when the old one works fine and serves its purpose, that's a thousand dollars you can't spend on a true investment, say, advertising.

      Like they say, a fool and his money are soon parted.
    • Most people update computers when they stop working usually from malware or Windows dieing. It is easier and some times cheaper to buy a new PC than to do a nuke and pave. A PIII is really good enough for a lot of what people do. In your example a Pentium 133 is good enough for them to do what they need to do.
      Changing Accounting systems is a HUGE pain. If your current system is still supported and works why change? If your old PC is still running why change? I can see the logic of getting a new LCD screen f
    • by ewieling (90662)
      My cat is more technically savvy than most realtors that I know (and I work for a real estate company). One even told me she did not want to notified on her cell phone when she received a new voicemail on her office phone because "text messages are too hard". This is from someone that lives and dies by the phone. These people wanted the PBX to call them on their cell phone and tell them they had new voicemail (giving them the option of listening to it). These people whine about never getting any trainin
  • In my experience with Realtors, they are very set in their ways computer wise. Of the four houses I've bought and sold in the last 15 years, I never cease to be amazed at all the pointless faxing rather than emailing. Sure there is almost a verifiable paper trail, but after the contract has been faxed 5 times, I could be signing a document to have my colon invaded weekly instead of my house sold.

    Sheldon
    • I could be signing a document to have my colon invaded weekly instead of my house sold.
      Well if you're satisfied with having sex that rarely, more power to you!
  • It's certainly true that the "latest and greatest" often isn't really any better and even when it is may not be worth the transition costs. I know someone who had a thorough understanding of WordPerfect for DOS- every key combination, how to wizard things with Reveal Codes, some understanding of macros, etc- but have never gotten as comfortable with anything since then. Is he more productive because his department has spent money on every word processor upgrade since Word 97? Heck no.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tomandlu (977230)

      God, I loved WP for DOS (was it 5.1? Ah, distant memories...)

      Last f***ing word processor that actually did what I wanted it to, when I wanted it to.

  • I have opined for quite some time that this is the primary reason most people are inclined to stay with Windows. Other reasons include mission critical apps and what I refer to as tail-wind. Tail-wind would be the other users that get dragged into using a particular application and/or OS simply because associated or other users in the same field or industry use it. (For example, Apple and Mac OS X is used by graphics and design professionals NOT because it's better [the same hardware is used by PC clones
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by muellerr1 (868578)
      OS X is used by most design professionals because of the way it handles color profiles and color spaces. Windows has yet to come anywhere close to the Mac in this area, and is unlikely to as it is a niche they gave over to Apple long ago. I'm sure your point is still valid and lots of designers choose to use it because most other designers have to, but it actually IS better for design.
  • Just stop expecting support from developers. If your old, non-compliant browser doesn't render new sites well, blame it on yourself for not upgrading. I've had this situation with people and their cars. I've known older people who think I'm insane for buying a new car and driving it till it's got 150K miles, and then dumping it. All they focus on is the depreciation when it rolls off the dealer's lot. But then, these same people will drive an older, used car that they can afford to replace until crazy thin
    • I'm 22 and my cars got all those wacky problems older cars get eventually (97 lumina, about 140k miles). I acutally kind of like it because I wouldn't have been bothered to learn anything about how that thing works if it wasn't for problems that needed to be fixed. I've heard the argument (they're making cars different now anyway so it's pointless to learn that) but funny enough thats always from people who pay 40 dollars to get their oil changed and fluids checked.
  • In my youth, I jumped on new stuff more quickly, and I often regretted it. Often the only thing good about a new product is the marketing. It's often easier to use something that's outdated than to use something buggy. And even if my outdated product is also buggy, at least I know where the bugs are.
  • by BenEnglishAtHome (449670) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:12AM (#22738064)
    Firearms are an area where this dynamic is often seen. There are lots of gee-whiz techno toys in that arena - caseless ammo, (that fucking stupid overhyped) MetalStorm (shit), etc. But when you really need reliability, like when you're relying on a piece of hardware to save your life, you tend to want the tried and true.

    The best example I can think of? The Colt model of 1911 is still considered by lots of people to be the finest fighting sidearm ever. It certainly was in its day. That day lasted until the mid-1980s when the Glock came along. It's taken 20 years, but if you attend a *serious* personal defense class (not one of those "get your carry license in a day" things) where the students select and bring their own sidearm, you'll generally find something close to an even split between 1911s and Glocks. It's taken more than 20 years for a superior design to achieve acceptance by the cognescenti.

    Old and obsolete often means tried and true. When I'm betting my life, I like the idea of tried and true. That attitude is often displayed by thoughtful folks in all areas of their life; we like what works and will change only when something demonstrably better is available and the inconvenience of using the old tech becomes sufficiently painful.

    In other news, I'm considering switching to a digital camera any day now. :-)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Pope (17780)

      In other news, I'm considering switching to a digital camera any day now.

      Remember to check dpreview.com for details, and pay attention to sensor size. You can find tiny point & shoot cameras with 12 megapixel resolution, but a 6 MP camera with a larger sensor will give you better results, hands down. Fujis are great for better true low-light performance.

      Unless you want a DSLR, then I know nothing ;)
    • Or was there some other Colt besides the .45 I fired in the Army?

      I'll admit, it was rugged, but inaccurate as all get out. Basically, a .45 caliber belly gun. Any decent revolver was a better sidearm for self defense. And nothing beats a 12 gauge shotty for close in household defense.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jockeys (753885)
      could it be that the Teutonic Tupperware just can't compete with the perfect gun, designed by God herself and handed down to JM Browning? :) But seriously, one factor that keeps the 1911 alive and more popular than the Glock is simple ergonomics. Just the the software in TFA, people dig the "interface" of a 1911. (the most common complaints I get about Glocks are either the odd grip angle, or the very wide grip, neither of which is a factor on 1911s) Additionally, the trigger is how the user communicate
  • If there is no motive to change people wont change. The degree of the motives are different for each person.

    Beta Adopters (Not really beta testers they just use Beta software and don't report bugs) their motive are normally based on being able to use a product when it is released without having to learn it, So by the time it comes out it is already the tride and true. So their motive to change is the fact that things are changing and they want to be start off running. Also they can honestly fill out on the
  • From the fine article:

    It's not because they're luddites but rather, they are comfortable with what they know. (emphasis added)

    Actually, I suspect it may be more that "they are UNcomfortable with what they DO NOT know." People have a certain range of stimulation with which they feel comfortable. Below that, they feel bored. Above that, they feel overwhelmed. (Shut the *%&^* up!) And, that range of stimulus with which one person feels comfortable can be quite different from someone else's comfort zo

  • Aversion to risk? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IBBoard (1128019) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:14AM (#22738092) Homepage
    So in summary the article is "humans found to be averse to risk and change"? Hasn't that been known by psychologists for ages? Humans (as a species) are happy with what they know and don't like the unknown. New technology is, to many, an unknown, ergo they don't like it and avoid it for as long as possible.

    Besides, who needs half of this flashy trash anyway? iPhone? Pah, I'd still have a Nokia 3310 if it wasn't about as cheap to buy a 3510 as it was to get a replacement battery for the 3310, and I'm 23.
    • by Dogtanian (588974)

      I'd still have a Nokia 3310 if it wasn't about as cheap to buy a 3510 as it was to get a replacement battery for the 3310
      I think I paid around a tenner for a battery that had approx. 3 times the capacity of the Nokia original. Granted, it was a third-party one, and will probably explode and kill me sometime (though I've had it 2 1/2 years now). That 3310 is coming up for 7 years old now(!)
  • I proudly announce 2 weeks ago I bought my first video cassette recorder. For $10.

  • Please see the definition of Luddite and try to think more clearly in future.
  • That's what a colleague of mine in a huge CPA firm believes in: trailing edge. No debugging. Everything's fixed by the time he gets there. Users probably already know about the apps and all. Parts are easy to find, maybe on eBay or CL. Lots of books and docs and howtos are easily available. All the service packs are out. Interoperability problems have been solved. Goose it with faster hardware and things work the first time out with little fear of reliability or interoperability.

    Is he crazy? No, just so fin
  • Sounds completely reasonable to me. The engineer's motto is "if it works, don't fix it," If he's got software that's working, why pay money to get software that might or might work, but definitely will require a steep learning curve wasting days, and maybe weeks, to get "upgraded" to something that will itself be obsolete in another year anyway?

    Frankly, I really wish that developers would work on actually fixing the bugs in the old software, instead of dumping it all for the next "upgrade" with a comple

  • I personally tend to be a mix. I wait until I see bleeding edge technology that I *MUST* have, and use it to build a machine that is extremely powerful and top of the line. That machine will then last me 5-8 years, or more so long as I take care of it and keep it properly maintained. For me, bleeding edge turns into old school tech that works "good enough" for a good long time.
  • I count my family among them. My wife has learned a few simple tasks, one way and any deviation from that no matter how slight is a catastrophe. You know the mail window in Netscape/Seamonkey? You know how you can have multiple folders? Yeah well if the topline gets clicked to collapse the view my wife starts screaming that someone 'broke' her computer. In fact she's never even started the browser from an icon. All she knows how to do is open the mail client and start the browser from that. Every document i
  • ROI (Score:3, Insightful)

    by plopez (54068) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:06AM (#22738636) Journal
    how is a business supposed to get ROI if they have to constantly have to upgrade and pay for retraining, testing, and upgrade blackmail (errr..... ummmm... I mean 'licenses).

    There is a reason why there is still a lot of cobol out there, ROI. Why switch when it works? Switching is risky and costly, as anybody who was sucked into an ERP project has learned.
  • by Riktov (632) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @10:58AM (#22739916) Journal
    Let's see, I'm typing this on my main PC, which I literally found in someone else's trash four years ago (and its two 40GB hard disk were used freebies from the office). Though I never use it, there's a VFAT partition on one of the disks with Windows 98SE on it. I finally got a DVD drive for it last year.

    My laptop, with a 133Mhz Pentium, 48MB RAM, and an 800 x 600 screen, was bought used 10 years ago from a friend who was in grad school (and thus on a tight budget herself). I've been using it quite a bit recently, to learn Lisp programming on (X + IceWM + Emacs).

    The internet connection is 100MBps optical fiber, but I just plug my PC in directly for PPPoE -- no wireless router or anything like that.

    Got an iPod last year - a 512MB Shuffle which was a hand-me-down from my girlfriend. Until then, my portable music player was a Sony MiniDisc-Walkman, which I still use for live recordings.

    My cell phone is seven years old, and it cost nothing when I got it.

    Stereo is a 15-year-old Nakamichi receiver, still in good condition -- better than the flaky Sony DVD player I bought four years ago.

    OK, maybe I'm just a cheapskate. But really, I can't think of anything that I'd really want to go out and buy - that sort of thing happens only about once a year. (And I could well afford any such thing if I wanted it.) Basically, everything still works, and until it stops working, I feel it's a waste to replace it.

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