I am a member of our local Mac Users Group, SBAMUG, and one of the really valuable benefits is our e-list where people can ask questions and get them answered, or others post things they have learned. One of our older members was recently lamenting having to buy a new computer--again--to get all the bells and whistles, most he probably didn't even want. Member Gordon Apple responded with this incredible e-mail which he gave me permission to reprint:
I usually figure the half-life of computer value at about a calendar year (15 months, absolute max). This includes warrantee, wear, and obsoleteness. Unlike automobiles and other commodities, computer technology is still advancing at a substantial rate. Changes are coming at an astounding rate.
Music has moved from records and CDs to totally electronic distribution. Video tape is gone and DVDs are not far behind. Network television is dying and being replaced by VOD. Books are totally moving to Kindle/iPad. Newspapers are going totally electronic. USPS is dying. No one sends mail anymore (except junk mail). Checks are now obsolete (England is totally discontinuing them). Home phones are almost gone. Money is almost obsolete. (The next iPhone will support near-field standards for “cash” transactions, receipts, coupon redemption, vending machines, gas pumps, etc.) PicturePhone (which I worked on at Bell Labs in the early ‘70s) is finally here in high-resolution color and portable (FaceTime). Education is moving out of the classroom onto the web. Cameras are mostly gone, now part of phones. Maps have been replaced by GPS and maps on your phone. On and On.
Prediction: TVs, phones, and computers will eventually be replaced by corneal and other implants. These will also monitor your health, call 911 if needed, remind you to take your pills (my age is showing). They will also recognize the person you are speaking with and remind you of their name (gawd, I need this one :-)