“The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” – William Gibson
Many people are excited by gadgets, myself included. Whether it’s Apple’s iPod or Google Glass, these futuristic tech toys are fun and exciting. When a new model comes out, people queue up, sometimes for days, in front of the store to be one of the first to own it. The early adopters pay the most for it. After some time, there is usually a price drop, then another, until eventually sometimes people simply discard the item in favor of the cutting-edge replacement.
Obviously gadget collecting is an expensive hobby, and the farther you lag behind the technology curve, the cheaper everything is. As exciting as these things are, I try to practice restraint and avoid being an early adopter of anything. As cool as they are, I’ve actually never owned an Apple product. I’m not sharing this with you to make a statement about this one particular company; their products are incredible, like something out of an old science fiction magazine. Rather, I want to point out that over my lifetime I’ve spent a total of $0 on Apple products. I’ve never really felt that I NEEDED any of them.
Earlier this month, I discovered Project64. This program emulates the Nintendo-64 video game console, and is available for FREE! Pretty much any N64 game has a “ROM” available on the internet somewhere. This means that anybody with a laptop can play and appreciate the entire library of N64 games today for free. I never had an N64 as a kid, and I’m glad I never bought one for the original retail price of over $150, or any of the games for $50 or more. Because now, I can enjoy them all for free!
Project64 isn’t even that new, it’s just that I only just discovered it. There are plenty of other emulation programs for other systems out there too. By just waiting a couple of years, you can eliminate nearly 100% of your video gaming costs! And this same concept applies equally to other non-necessities like carrying your music around with you as well. It’s totally cool, but do you really want it right now, at that price? Try waiting, and saving that money instead.
We live in an age where the rapid advancement of technology makes these waits trifling. Don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for a flat-screen TV? I bet somebody, somewhere is trying to give away a perfectly good tube TV. Let the early adopters have their fun, and let their business ensure that companies like Apple will continue to create and innovate, with the pleasant knowledge that you will have access to all of the same things without needing to pay for the privilege.