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Save Me From Shiny Kit Syndrome

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A picture of a plasma ballI have to admit it. In many ways I’m just a stereotypical male. As the quote goes: “Human nature is what we’re here to rise above”, but I don’t always succeed. My Achilles heel, like many, is shiny bits of technology. I’m like a Magpie. I see something shiny and I want it.

I’ve tried to control this urge to buy high-tech gadgets for many years with varying degrees of success. I’ve got gadgets coming out of my ears: laptop, digital camera, photo printer, mobile phone, my own bowling ball, car with lots of fancy toys, mountain bike, a watch that I’m not even going to mention because you’ll think I’m insane for buying it and many more things that I don’t really need, but make life more fun anyway. It’s a terrible affliction really. Take my current obsession.

I’ve had various mobile phones for years and for the last year and a half I’ve had a Nokia 6210, which is a fine piece of kit. It synchronises with my laptop via an IR port and my contacts appear in Outlook for my convenience. The battery needs charging about once a week and it does everything I’d ever want in a phone. End of story? Not quite. Nokia have brought out a new phone that has caught my eye, the 6610. I first spied this one about six months ago and it was scheduled for release about now, so I’ve been waiting. It’s got a colour screen, polyphonic rings tones, FM radio, hands-free speaker mode (how cool is that?), is tri-band and you can run java applications on it (like games). But now that the phone is about to be released (in the next couple of weeks) I’m not so sure.

I’ve spent a lot of money lately on one thing or another and the price of the phone is going to be around 170 UK pounds. Which is a lot to pay to replace my current phone when there’s nothing wrong with it. My long-suffering girlfriend (who has good monetary sense) says that I shouldn’t waste my money. And she’s right. But the problem is that I’m quite impulsive and I know that within ten minutes I can walk into a shop and buy the phone. So this is a test. A test of discipline and mental toughness. She suggested I wait until after Christmas to see if the price has gone down (which it inevitably will) – and that makes perfect sense. So that’s what I’m going to do. Really.

But one of my friends has just gone out and bought an even fancier phone priced at around 200 quid. Playing with his phone reminds me of why I’d like to buy a new one, so my brain was constantly saying “can the Nokia do this?” and “can the Nokia do that?”. My imagination also wanders a bit and without realising it I’m visualising going to the shop, buying the phone, taking it back, plugging it in (you need to charge them for ages the first time), reading the manual, fiddling with all the new options and features, choosing my ring tone, messing about with photo messaging and adding all the swear-words to its internal dictionary.

I’ve got to snap out of it. I don’t need it. My current one works perfectly. And by buying a new one I’m just falling into the hands of all those evil marketing people out there who try to persuade you that everything is obsolete as soon as you’ve bought it. Everybody’s got to have a vice. Some people smoke. Some people take drugs. Some people smoke and take drugs. I buy shiny kit. Maybe I need some sort of support group. I could start a charity and call it: Support and Help for Idiots with Technology Engrossment (or SHITE for short)…

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

12 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Just the fact that you mention “reading the manual” says to me that you are unworthy and undeserving of such a phone. For shame!

    It’s a damn sexy phone, though.

    Reply

  2. You really don’t want to be listening to those marketing people; Nokia use VI Technology on the fancy Nokia (#25,000) phones with the embedded rubies etc.

    And just the one misplaced capacitor and you have dropped calls etc etc. Just think of the chances of getting a duffer with all that extra functionality in the same box.

    Stick with what you’ve got…or wait until they’ve perfected the manufacturing process.

    Reply

  3. I suggest buying a 25m roll of aluminium foil and wrapping inanimate objects with it.

    This way you can have a variety of interestingly shaped gizmos that are shiny, but for a fraction of the cost.

    You could then take up smoking and drug abuse with the excess money you’ll acrue.

    Reply

  4. Joel, that talking dalek is awesome! I used to have one when I was a youngster but I no doubt broke it or ate it’s arms. I hope you realise that I’m going to have to buy one now!

    Andy, thanks for the insider information. And Ade, I’ll give it a try…

    Reply

  5. Glad you like it, John. They also do a red one but for some reason it’s not listed on the site. I had one as a child too but these new ones are better as the voice is digitally sampled, the lights flash and the heads turn! Hmmm…I wonder if there’s a higher prevalence of dalek ownership amongst computer programmers than the general populace…

    Reply

  6. shiny toys is good, the best i have is a portable DVD player, priceless when i was in hospital last year after being knocked off one of my shiny toys

    😉

    Reply

  7. I’ve just checked on that link I posted and I see that they have two news ones! :-O I actually bought mine from The GadgetShop.com store in Oxford Street but they don’t appear to stock them anymore. Collect an army of daleks…must obey…

    Reply

  8. Re: To Ade (Wrapping inanimate objects in foil. DON’T WRAP YER TV IN FOIL cos it will blow up like mine did. Luckily it was repaired at no cost. But the repair man asked 20 times How did this happen?

    Reply

  9. Something tells me that sales of talking daleks have just gone through the roof.

    I couldn’t resist either

    Reply

  10. Too late – I’ve blown up my microwave, TV and toaster!!! And am currently finding it VERY hard to breathhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…….. ,ur
    l

    Reply

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