Friday, July 31, 2009

Early adopters get screwed, Part One

I posted on twitter two days ago that I've never used, or even owned, a dual-layer dvdr disc. This is on my mind because I'm going to have to start using them in the near future, expanding my DVD authoring skills.

As I explained, I've never needed a DL DVDr. I've always bought the biggest USB drives I could find, and I use a media center PC to play movies, not a DVD player. This means I've never needed to burn 8GB on a disc, I could just throw it on a thumb drive, and I could play videos off the thumb drive on my television just fine.

However, looking at these thumb drives, I'm reminded of a rule of thumb, especially in regards to technology: Early adopters get screwed.

Take thumb drives. I paid maybe $20 for a 256 MB drive in the early 2000s. $90 for a 4GB, $60 for a 8GB, $90 for a 16GB, and last $90 for a 32GB. My next purchase will also be a $90 32GB, but it will be eSATA compatible. Tested at about 60 MB/s. That's fast. I also bought most of those on sale, and the transfer rate is in the gutter.

Also look at hard drives. 2 terabytes, that's 2,000 GB, for $220, external USB/eSATA. I could find it cheaper than that without the eSATA, or just buy an internal and put it in an enclosure. 1 TB 3,5" drives came out in early 2007, at $500. Not you can get them for under a hundred. 2TB 3.5" drives just came out in January of this year (2009). WD just announced the first 2.5" (laptop-sized) drive, 1TB. It was announced three days ago and is expected to sell for $250.

Now think of the first laptops, that cost more than the most expensive laptops today, before anyone believed a GB herd drive would be possible or necessary. See, early adopters get screwed. More on this later,


PS - Don't even get me started on minidiscs.

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