Pooh Was Not an Early Adopter

I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me.

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”

“An early adopter or lighthouse customer is an early customer of a given company, product, or technology; in politics, fashion, art, and other fields, this person would be referred to as a trendsetter.”

I’m not old enough to have bought RCA’s CT-100, the first production color TV, but I did carry the first battery powered transistor radio to my elementary school so I could be schooled in the proper musical offerings of WFIL.

And speaking of appliances, we were about the last on the block to get a television at all (it was a 19″ black-and-white RCA that my dad bought used for $75 in 1955) and the last to get a microwave oven. I bought that new, but it was by then deeply discounted.

The “early adopter tax” refers to the trend of new products costing more when they first go on sale than later in the product cycle.

I hate to pay taxes. Hate it.

On the other hand, my great-grandfather had the first railroad train in a front yard in Doe Run and we were the first on our block to own a boat.

I’m a gadget guy from a long line of gadget guys but since bright and shiny long words like early adopter never swayed us, we ended up buying what we needed at the time we needed it, rather than the moment it appeared on the market.

I may not have been the first kid to trade my slide rule for a calculator but I was certainly in the top few; that was in the days when a good K&E slip stick cost $29.95 and the nixie-tube, 4-function calculator cost $179.95, about six times that. Of course the calculator could add and subtract, something I have never done effectively on a slide rule.

I never owned an IBM 5150, but I did build a Sinclair ZX80 which I replaced with one of the early Commodore C-64s. I ran my first business on that Commodore computer and might still be using it today had not the spreadsheets gotten too large for storing on a single floppy disk. My friend Rufus has a Betamax somewhere. On the other hand, he gave up his Pulsar watch for a Casio C-801 about 30 seconds after it arrived on the market. He still has a couple of those.

Liz Arden switched briefly from a standalone GPS to the Google™-driven app in her smartfone. She just bought a new GPS because it works better.

Today, I travel with a GPS (see above paragraph), an iPod Touch which I use as my PDA, and a “feature” cellphone. I think that’s all I need for now. Of course, I’ll be on a great silver bird in the sky on Wednesday where I’ll find a Sky Mall in every seat pocket.

Is it time for lunch yet?

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