Sunday, January 17, 2010
When I was in High School
When I was a Senior in High School, in 1997, it cost about $600 for a clunky old cell phone that couldn't even fit in your pocket. Computers sold for twice as much as they do now, and they were a small fraction as powerful. Digital cameras -- did they even exist back then? And TI-83 graphing calculators, which we were all required to buy, cost around $99. As far as I know, these things haven't become more powerful. And they definitely haven't gotten cheaper. What gives? No competition, not a big enough market for it? These things should cost $20 by now, like the MP3 player I bought 3 years ago for over $100. You can't tell me that their production costs haven't declined substantially, nor that Texas Instruments' bottom line depends on their profits from these things. There are substitutes that actually offer more, available for free download all over the internet. There's even an I-phone app for one. Writing a grant for these things now seems like a waste of my time and money. I guess my to-do list just got shorter.