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Old 01-11-2014, 06:50 PM   #41
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2013 was a bad year for PC sales, which fell by 10%.

2013 Was The PC's Worst Year Ever

I think there will be a market for PCs for the foreseeable future, but it has passed its peak.
Ken Olsen (CEO of DEC) might ultimately be correct; he stated way back in 1977 that "there is no need for any individual to have a computer in his home"

He was referring of course to PC's not tablets or smartphones or other devices containing processors which hadn't even been envisioned at the time.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:01 PM   #42
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I have not been working in this field for a while, but still do not think that cell-tower and WIFI augmentation would really help GPS that much. ....
Well, I don't think it helps with location accuracy at all. My understanding was the same as in the quote from Ronstar - cell tower triangulation and wifi just let the phone know its approximate location, which speeds up the process to lock onto the satellite signals it needs (or something like that).

I know if I turn off my (old) hand-held GPS, then turn it on later, it can take a loooooong time (10 minutes?) to acquire enough signals, just because it no longer 'knows' where it is - it has to start from scratch.

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Old 01-11-2014, 07:04 PM   #43
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Of all of these, laptops seem to be the least likely to melt away to any extremity to me.

I'm not sure I know anyone who owns a desktop anymore, but laptops still outperform tablets for most non-personal uses, and the laptops which can flip the screen around and close to become tablets have become really popular around where I am for personal use. Of course it can happen, but until tablets get the kind of power to compete with laptops like phones have with point and click cameras, I find it hard to accept.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:03 PM   #44
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This thread makes me feel old. Come to think of it, we are the dying breed, literally. I think kids and younger generations are looking at us as they look at Kodak cameras, beta tapes, atari games, ...
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:12 PM   #45
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The word "dying" I used in the thread title was not appropriate. "Declining" would have been better.

About PC desktops and laptops, they will still be around. However, the sales have been going down for some time now. IBM saw the handwriting on the wall, and sold off a lot (all?) of their PC business to Lenovo. Dell stopped being emblematic of digital age hardware for so long I cannot even recall. HP was kicked off the Dow 30 last year.

As I said, I don't know about all this high tech stuff. Even Apple who pioneered the smartphone must be worried about Android phone sales picking up. My two children have dropped the iPhones (which we are using now) to move on to the Androids. More and more, I like to invest like Buffett does; buying good old boring businesses that are not constantly assaulted by newcomers.
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:42 PM   #46
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I see wristwatches as a dying device.
Totally agree. I haven't worn a wristwatch since 1988 ! A collegue had a huge wristwatch on one day - I complimented on her on it and then said "but the time is way off - what's up with that ?". Her response "oh, I don't wear it for the time - I wear it for the look".
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:52 PM   #47
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I retired my watch the day I retired. Since they have very few events that occur on a schedule, and no boring meetings to want to time. Around the house are lots of devices that tell time, computers, Tv's mechanical clocks, and the like. The watch is still sitting on a table and will likely soon run its battery down.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:20 AM   #48
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A collegue had a huge wristwatch on one day - I complimented on her on it and then said "but the time is way off - what's up with that ?". Her response "oh, I don't wear it for the time - I wear it for the look".
Wearing a $50000 watch is a huge fad among the riches, especially, in foreign countries.
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:16 AM   #49
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Besides that, does anybody actually use a built-in conventional oven any more, other than ladies baking mountains of cookies and pies? With all the great countertop devices (microwaves, electric grills, electric woks, toaster ovens, and more) I just don't think the built-in conventional ovens can compete, especially for those watching our weight.
I use mine all the time, almost never for baking. I don't have most of those kitchen gadgets you mention, oven works fine for me.
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:27 AM   #50
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As for the original list:

* Cameras: I have a super-zoom camera that comes out for vacations. Otherwise it's the smartphone.

* Cable TV: Dumped it 20 years ago. 1994. Didn't have Hulu then either

* GPS: never had one, I did maps until I got my smartphone. Now I love it.

* DVD players: i too get DVDs from the library, for me and for the boy.

* Desktops and laptops: I still use my desktop and don't see that changing. Tablet has replaced a laptop for me.

* Land-line phones: Ooma. ~$3 a month.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:30 AM   #51
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Traditional e-mail is dying among young people.

All they seem to want to use is text messaging. Or, if they have to use an e-mail address, they set up a Yahoo or GMail account and check it on their handheld.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:18 AM   #52
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Bluetooth in the car coupled to Pandora has really hurt Sirius radio.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:24 AM   #53
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I retired my watch the day I retired. Since they have very few events that occur on a schedule, and no boring meetings to want to time. Around the house are lots of devices that tell time, computers, Tv's mechanical clocks, and the like. The watch is still sitting on a table and will likely soon run its battery down.
I was a known watch freak, had a few really, really expensive, interesting ones; sort of my working world trademark. The day I retired, I took it off, put it in a draw and haven't put one on since. My bare wrist a daily reminder that I've moved on!
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:24 PM   #54
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Traditional e-mail is dying among young people.

All they seem to want to use is text messaging. Or, if they have to use an e-mail address, they set up a Yahoo or GMail account and check it on their handheld.
I'd agree with that, for personal use. I haven't used email to contact my friends since I was 14 or 15 at the latest, and only then when they were people I only knew online. It's been texting ever since. Texting doesn't get as bogged up with spam and all that.

I do use emails for business purposes. I like to take on odd jobs for different companies and that usually involves emailing resumes regularly. My grandmother was the last person I emailed personally, maybe one or two years ago.

And in response to the oven question, I use mine all the time. It's easier than most other things when I need to cook a lot, and my boyfriend and I usually cook in large batches so things are simpler later.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:27 PM   #55
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This thread makes me anxious. I spend some time trying to figure out my optimal use model. It's tough when one feels challenged in this game.

Sometimes I worry too much about optimization. Just bought another small Canon camera ($160). Read that the Iphone only has 3x zoom (could be wrong about that). Those smartphones are nice but they fail in some specialized situations. Eventually I'll have one.

My Timex watch is used all the time for runs, timer, alarm, etc.

Desktop PC for heavy spreadsheet work.

Laptop for DW to do modest stuff on.

Tablet for sitting in the easy chair and web browsing. Has a camera but it seems primitive.

Cable TV, very convenient and Netflix DVD's still seem to have a wider range of choice then streaming. We do occasionally stream Amazon and Netflix.

Landline phone: haven't figured out how to deal with long term power failures like what might occur in an earthquake around this region.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:32 PM   #56
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Landline phone: haven't figured out how to deal with long term power failures like what might occur in an earthquake around this region.
Les, do you think a landline would be more reliable after a severe earthquake than cell phones?

BTW, whenever I first saw this thread title my initial thought was guillotines, hanging, electrocution, drug overdose...
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:38 PM   #57
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Les, do you think a landline would be more reliable after a severe earthquake than cell phones?
Earthquakes are so infrequent that I can only speculate the answer might be "yes". I'm more concerned about the situation on our end where power may be out so recharging is not easy. The last fairly bad one was back in 1989. Hopefully we will not have a real life test.

Recently we had a long power outage and our landline (that has an old Princess phone hooked up along with cordless ones) had a comforting dial tone. We also have cell phones and a small battery operated radio.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:42 PM   #58
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Earthquakes are so infrequent that I can only speculate the answer might be "yes". I'm more concerned about the situation on our end where power may be out so recharging is not easy.
You can recharge from the car, right?
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:13 PM   #59
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You can recharge from the car, right?
The other issue is that central offices for land lines tend to have their own power supplies and backup. (It used to be lots and lots of batteries, and a backup generator). So that in addition to the cell phone itself it appears that a lot of cell phone towers don't have the backup power capabilities of the central office, so that after a few hours the cell tower can go down due to run down of its batteries. In addition while central offices can be overwhealmed with traffic it appears that this is easier to do with cell phones, unless you stick with text messages only (far less data to move).
Of course in my case since I have DSL I keep the land line because of it.
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:25 PM   #60
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. So that in addition to the cell phone itself it appears that a lot of cell phone towers don't have the backup power capabilities of the central office, so that after a few hours the cell tower can go down due to run down of its batteries.
Interesting. I haven't paid much attention to cell tower configuration other than the one our phones connect to a couple of miles from the house. It has a large generator and propane fuel tank, and I assumed that was the standard configuration. If that isn't the case, I see the problem. But I wonder how reliable either cell or land lines would be after a severe storm or earthquake. Once those copper wires break, it is very labor intensive to splice them back together.
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