Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

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Jags4186
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Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Jags4186 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:13 pm

So like many here I am somewhat frugal. When I was in my early 20s I love gadgets and gizmos and upgraded pretty regularly. As I got my finances in order I stopped wasting money on this stuff.

Well the problem now is my wife and I have a ton of old stuff.

My wife has a 16gb iPhone 5 that has no more memory and I can tell is starting to go because it's getting "no sim" errors.

My wife has an iPad 2 which no longer can be upgraded and I have an iPad 3 which can no longer be upgraded.

I have a 2010 MacBook Air. My wife has a 2011 Thinkpad.

Our only TV is a plasma tv which I bought in 2008.

The only "new" piece of technology we have is my iphone 7 which is provided by work and a Sonos sound system we received as a gift.

So now I'm faced with waiting for things to break, or slowly upgrading things now. How have you all handled this?

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FiveK
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by FiveK » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:16 pm

By not buying IPhone, Ipads, or the like at all. ;)

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by KlangFool » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:19 pm

OP,

This may or may not apply to you. I work in the high-tech industry. So, I consider keeping up with the technology as part of the cost of keeping my job. I buy a new computer every 2 to 3 years. I upgrade my phone every 3 to 4 years or any significant technology changes. Ditto on the tablets and so on. I may stop doing this after I retired.

KlangFool

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:25 pm

If there's something you could do by upgrading you can't do if you don't, then for any individual device consider whether the cost is worth it to you.

If it's important that people admire all your newest technology I suppose it would be something you couldn't do if you don't upgrade. I personally don't need it, but as the previous poster wrote, it can be very important and practical for people in some situations.

Thieves may also be impressed. I'd hate to be injured just because whoever mugged me was angry that my mobile tech was too out of date to be saleable. :wink:

PJW

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rob
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by rob » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:27 pm

FiveK wrote:By not buying IPhone, Ipads, or the like at all. ;)
Agree... Don't buy from a vendor that deliberately stops "old" hardware from upgrading. I have some iStuff stuck at older software versions... some apps no longer work... some new apps refuse to install... It's a mess unless your driving revenue :shock:
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

Silk McCue
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Silk McCue » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:49 pm

rob wrote:
FiveK wrote:By not buying IPhone, Ipads, or the like at all. ;)
Agree... Don't buy from a vendor that deliberately stops "old" hardware from upgrading. I have some iStuff stuck at older software versions... some apps no longer work... some new apps refuse to install... It's a mess unless your driving revenue :shock:
There are good reasons why significantly dated hardware can't accommodate the demands of new operating systems and applications. Faster processors, larger memory capacity in smaller form factors, improved screen resolution and many other factors leave old technology in the dust as newer applications take advantage of those enhanced operating environments. At some point you would benefit from upgrading to new technology when what you have begins to slow down based upon the burden being placed on it by new demands. We hold onto our iPhones and iPads for for 4 to 6 years before upgrading. The latest greatest doesn't tempt us whenever it comes out but when we do buy we buy the best as it is a multi year investment in something we use a lot. PCs are handled in similar fashion. My Family Room TV is a Pioneer Elite 60" plasma from around 2008 and it is still a superior product with great blacks and range of view. It will be with us for many years to come.

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jharkin
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by jharkin » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:56 pm

My desktop PC is even older than yours... 09 or 08 I think. Im contemplating upgrading it because there are some design programs and games that could use a little more RAM to run optimally. But its not critical. If all you use the computer for is websurfing and office tasks that old Macbook could go years yet.

My TV is a lot older than yours also. And covered in scratches from the kids. I'll only "upgrade" it if we move to a larger house with a larger living room that makes it look small.

The tablets - do they still run all the apps you want to use? If yes, then why bother? If no than upgrade.

The phones, maybe worth an upgrade if the new OS has features you want and you are out of space. If not, hten certainly they are due for new batteries.

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Ged
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Ged » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:04 pm

Phone technology seems to be improving rapidly. I'd say phones are worth updating on a 3-4 year cycle at present.

Computers? MAYBE. If you are happy with the performance and have upgraded to Windows 10 you may be just fine with a 6 year old laptop.

IPads? Can't see why. Tablets were great when phones were tiny. Not so much now. Anyway the low demand for these means the costs have been falling.

Plasma TVs are hard to improve on. Unless you have a specific reason like a screen defect a 1080P plasma should be fine for current source material.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by obgraham » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:10 pm

My plan is not to buy more tech than I need: my PC's are in the $400-$600 range, and work fine for me for a few years. Easier to toss one of these than a $1700 high end one.

Phones? Bought a Note 4 when it came out, still not much behind the latest and greatest.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:12 pm

If your devices will do what you expect and need them to do without compromising your security or privacy, don't obsess about it.

Upgrade when there is a need to or a desire for functionality that you don't presently have.

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just frank
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by just frank » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:13 pm

I start budgeting to replace iPhones at 2 years, and replace at 3 years.

iPads are budgeted at 3 years, replaced at 4. We downsized the pad as the phones got bigger.

MacBooks are budgeted for replacement at 5 years, and replaced at 6 or 7. Might refresh the memory or battery half-way.

I also replace the battery in my car when it is 5 years old, even if it seems to be working ok. :D

For the love of all that is holy man, get rid of that plasma. :shock: TVs are so cheap now, the new one will pay for itself from the savings on your light bill!

IOW, those items have a natural life. Trying to go beyond it is no different than wearing shabby clothes or shoes that are worn out...are you really saving anything?

Life is good.
Last edited by just frank on Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kenkat
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Kenkat » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:19 pm

When the device no longer is meeting my needs, I upgrade it. I used an iPad 2 for nearly 6 years; when it finally started feeling dated, I bought myself a new iPad Pro 9.7. Posting on it now, in fact. I consider the 6 years I got out of the iPad 2 to be pretty impressive. It is technology - it doesn't last forever as the improvement curve is very steep.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:56 pm

Ged wrote: Plasma TVs are hard to improve on. Unless you have a specific reason like a screen defect a 1080P plasma should be fine for current source material.
Respectfully I must disagree. More than any other technology (with the possible exception of cathode ray tubes), plasma displays are subject to screen burn if left on a still image for too long. In fact plasma technology is getting harder to find compared to newer technologies such as OLED. I would never suggest anyone buy a plasma display.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by simmias » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:09 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Ged wrote: Plasma TVs are hard to improve on. Unless you have a specific reason like a screen defect a 1080P plasma should be fine for current source material.
Respectfully I must disagree. More than any other technology (with the possible exception of cathode ray tubes), plasma displays are subject to screen burn if left on a still image for too long. In fact plasma technology is getting harder to find compared to newer technologies such as OLED. I would never suggest anyone buy a plasma display.
It would be really hard to get burn in on a 2008 plasma TV. They'd pretty much fixed the problem by then. If you're referring to image retention, that goes away. And it happens with OLEDs as well, by the way.

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KlingKlang
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by KlingKlang » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:26 pm

If anyone wants to send me their 'old' technology feel free as its almost certainly newer than what I'm using: 22 year old Toshiba 36" CRT TV; 19 year old Sony CD/cassette/radio; 18 year old LG flip phone. I am typing this on my 5 year old Dell XPS running Win 7.

masteraleph
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by masteraleph » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:02 pm

Jags4186 wrote:So like many here I am somewhat frugal. When I was in my early 20s I love gadgets and gizmos and upgraded pretty regularly. As I got my finances in order I stopped wasting money on this stuff.

Well the problem now is my wife and I have a ton of old stuff.

My wife has a 16gb iPhone 5 that has no more memory and I can tell is starting to go because it's getting "no sim" errors.

My wife has an iPad 2 which no longer can be upgraded and I have an iPad 3 which can no longer be upgraded.

I have a 2010 MacBook Air. My wife has a 2011 Thinkpad.

Our only TV is a plasma tv which I bought in 2008.

The only "new" piece of technology we have is my iphone 7 which is provided by work and a Sonos sound system we received as a gift.

So now I'm faced with waiting for things to break, or slowly upgrading things now. How have you all handled this?
To cover this a little more step-by-step:

1) If the phone is going, it's going. The iPhone 5 came out in September 2012; if you bought it within the first year, then it's upwards of 4 years old, which is pretty old for a phone. If you like the iOS ecosystem and prefer the 5 size to something larger, the iPhone SE starts at $399 and 32GB of memory; its processor is the same as the one on the 6s (released in September 2015). It's worth noting, given your upgrade concerns with the iPads, that the next OS is very unlikely to work on the iPhone 5, because Apple is getting rid of 32-bit support entirely. The 5 was the last model not to have a 64-bit processor.

2) If you're ok with what the iPads are doing now, then by all means stick to them. If you want something newer, Apple just, as in last week, released a new iPad to replace the Air 2. Same processor as the iPhone 6s/SE, and starts at $329. From there, it's a leap to $599 for the iPad Pro.

I do want to note, though, that all OS/software manufacturers will stop updating old hardware at some point. That's actually more true of Android manufacturers than it is of Apple; many Android phones don't even allow regular updates of the OS they're sold with.

3) If the laptops work fine for you, then enjoy them; unlike phones/tablets, Intel has hit something of a wall with processor speeds in the last 5 years. The one thing that could make a significant difference on the Thinkpad, if you're willing to do a little tinkering, would be adding a solid state drive to the Thinkpad (presuming it has a spinning hard drive). That would make it feel much faster and should be under $200.

4) If you're otherwise happy with the tech you have, keep it. I occasionally like to build a new desktop, which I did last year; my wife is using the previously built one, which I put together in 2007 (I did add a solid state drive when I gave it to her, though). The CPU in that is roughly equivalent, performance-wise, to a 2011 Macbook Air, and while Intel processors are now faster, it's not by that massive a margin.

Bottom line: If it breaks and you need it, replace it. If the manufacturer is generally giving you 4 or so years of use on a mobile device, that's about what's expected at this point; if you need to update it, then get something new, and if not, feel free to wait. If you're otherwise happy, keep it.

rgs92
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by rgs92 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:19 pm

I actually don't think your stuff sounds so old. The only thing I would replace is the TV because those plasmas generate a lot of heat and eat a lot more power and are heavy, something I would avoid if hanging on a wall.

My computer is from 2010 and works like a dream. If your phones work well for you and feel good in your hands, why replace them?

From the title, I thought you were using a Windows XP box with a core i3 or Celeron or something or had a CRT TV.

You are fine and not that behind the times.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:28 pm

rgs92 wrote:I actually don't think your stuff sounds so old. The only thing I would replace is the TV because those plasmas generate a lot of heat and eat a lot more power and are heavy, something I would avoid if hanging on a wall.

My computer is from 2010 and works like a dream. If your phones work well for you and feel good in your hands, why replace them?

From the title, I thought you were using a Windows XP box with a core i3 or Celeron or something or had a CRT TV.

You are fine and not that behind the times.
Isn't if funny how people's opinions differ? I would keep the plasma--particularly since OP hasn't voiced an issue with it--and look forward to phasing out of all the iStuff.

Disclaimer: I have three plasmas that I will hang onto as long as possible.

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camillus
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by camillus » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:35 pm

Jags4186 wrote:So now I'm faced with waiting for things to break, or slowly upgrading things now. How have you all handled this?
I'd wait for things to break. The nice thing about older tech is that you aren't putting a premium on screen time.

I'd research how to care for your wife's iPhone, backing up pictures to google photos for example, or cleaning the connection to the SIM card. Easy fixes can keep things going for a long time.

Jags4186
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Jags4186 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:36 pm

I'm not super concerned about the speed of the machines, except wife's phone and computer (very slow and she uses it for AutoCAD), but more concerned about stuff all breaking around the same time. I guess we'll just deal as it comes.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:05 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Our only TV is a plasma tv which I bought in 2008.
Plasma screen TVs eat power. Really really eat power. Even when switched off, if the "instant on" is still on. That would be one I would look at carefully in terms of replacing.
The only "new" piece of technology we have is my iphone 7 which is provided by work and a Sonos sound system we received as a gift.

So now I'm faced with waiting for things to break, or slowly upgrading things now. How have you all handled this?
Only upgrade when you need to. Future proof with big memory and above bottom-of-the-range processors, if you can.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:11 am

Jags4186 wrote:I'm not super concerned about the speed of the machines, except wife's phone and computer (very slow and she uses it for AutoCAD), but more concerned about stuff all breaking around the same time. I guess we'll just deal as it comes.
Right somebody using AutoCAD is a serious player, and has their own business?

You can depreciate the cost of a new machine, and amortize the software, against her income?

I'd have an Intel i7 processor in a desktop, with as much RAM memory as I could shove in, and probably an SSD these days. And replace the machine every 3-4 years, if not sooner. I am no expert on GPUs (separate graphics cards) but this is something where you would need to take advice. Manufacturer of software may have system recommendations?

If you are using something like AutoCAD it is just not worth the hassle of a slow machine-- the software will be updated to the latest hardware specs fairly frequently.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

bondsr4me
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by bondsr4me » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:55 am

Jags4186 wrote:So like many here I am somewhat frugal. When I was in my early 20s I love gadgets and gizmos and upgraded pretty regularly. As I got my finances in order I stopped wasting money on this stuff.

Well the problem now is my wife and I have a ton of old stuff.

My wife has a 16gb iPhone 5 that has no more memory and I can tell is starting to go because it's getting "no sim" errors.

My wife has an iPad 2 which no longer can be upgraded and I have an iPad 3 which can no longer be upgraded.

I have a 2010 MacBook Air. My wife has a 2011 Thinkpad.

Our only TV is a plasma tv which I bought in 2008.

The only "new" piece of technology we have is my iphone 7 which is provided by work and a Sonos sound system we received as a gift.

So now I'm faced with waiting for things to break, or slowly upgrading things now. How have you all handled this?
Some people spend money on tobacco products, I don't.
Some people spend money on booze, I don't.
Some people spend money on expensive, show off cars, I don't.
Some people spend money on expensive jewelry and watches, I don't.
I happen to really enjoy technology, so that's what I spend some money on.
I still have my 2006 MacBookPro. Last year I bought my wife and myself a new MacBookPro.
We also bought iWatches. A few years ago, we upgraded from iPhone4 to iPhone6sPlus.
I don't regret buying any of these items.
If you enjoy technology, if it makes your life easier or more enjoyable, go for it.
Some people would still be using rotary phones given the option.
It all depends on what YOU like, not others in this forum.
I hope this helps a little.
Have a great week....go buy some new technology....
Don

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:15 am

Ged wrote:
Plasma TVs are hard to improve on. Unless you have a specific reason like a screen defect a 1080P plasma should be fine for current source material.
Except that they suck power, really suck power.

If they are only "on" a couple of hours a day when OP is watching TV, then that probably is OK. If the TV is on 6+ hours a day (as some stats seem to say about American homes?) as background, and if the "instant on" is left on 24 hours a day, then there is serious juice.

Let's say 150 watts/ hr x 8760 hours. Something over 1000 kwhr pa-- nearly 1500 kwhr pa. That's a cost, but it's also a significant environmental cost.

I don't have air conditioning. And I heat with gas. And I live in a small house by American standards. But that's c. 40% of my annual consumption (more than, in fact). Even if I am wrong by 50% it's still an amazing number.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ged
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Ged » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:59 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Ged wrote:
Plasma TVs are hard to improve on. Unless you have a specific reason like a screen defect a 1080P plasma should be fine for current source material.
Except that they suck power, really suck power.
Yes it's true that they consume a lot more power than a equivalent LCD TV. That was one of the reasons I went with an LCD model when I bought my set.

However I can't see a valid economic or environmental justification to replace it for that reason. $1000 buys a lot of kilowatt-hrs (about 7000 depending on where you live, which corresponds to roughly 40000 hours of viewing), and disposing of an old large screen TV and manufacturing a new one has its own environmental impact.
Last edited by Ged on Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

Valuethinker
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:03 am

Ged wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
Ged wrote:
Plasma TVs are hard to improve on. Unless you have a specific reason like a screen defect a 1080P plasma should be fine for current source material.
Except that they suck power, really suck power.
Yes it's true that they consume a lot more power than a equivalent LCD TV. That was one of the reasons I went with an LCD model when I bought my set.

However I can't see a valid economic or environmental justification to replace it for that reason. $1000 buys a lot of kilowatt-hrs (about 7000 depending on where you live, which corresponds to roughly 40000 hours of viewing), and disposing of a large screen TV has it's own environmental impact.
It depends how your electricity is generated. And the disposal cost is going to be incurred anyway-- you can only defer it.

BTW 7000 kwhr where *I* live would cost you about USD 1600 ;-). If you live in California, New England (parts of) or of course Hawaii (or any other place where electric power is generated using oil) then you face comparable power costs. But it's in the Midwest or the South where the environmental gains are maximized.

There are certain classes of appliances (fridges in particular) where it pays to replace early, from an environmental viewpoint.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Ged » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:08 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Ged wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
Ged wrote:
Plasma TVs are hard to improve on. Unless you have a specific reason like a screen defect a 1080P plasma should be fine for current source material.
Except that they suck power, really suck power.
Yes it's true that they consume a lot more power than a equivalent LCD TV. That was one of the reasons I went with an LCD model when I bought my set.

However I can't see a valid economic or environmental justification to replace it for that reason. $1000 buys a lot of kilowatt-hrs (about 7000 depending on where you live, which corresponds to roughly 40000 hours of viewing), and disposing of a large screen TV has it's own environmental impact.
It depends how your electricity is generated. And the disposal cost is going to be incurred anyway-- you can only defer it.

BTW 7000 kwhr where *I* live would cost you about USD 1600 ;-). If you live in California, New England (parts of) or of course Hawaii (or any other place where electric power is generated using oil) then you face comparable power costs. But it's in the Midwest or the South where the environmental gains are maximized.

There are certain classes of appliances (fridges in particular) where it pays to replace early, from an environmental viewpoint.
Yes, you will eventually have to dispose of the Plasma TV. However you are still prematurely manufacturing a new set which will also eventually have to be disposed of as well.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by jharkin » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:16 am

Ged wrote:P
Computers? MAYBE. If you are happy with the performance and have upgraded to Windows 10 you may be just fine with a 6 year old laptop.
Why would he want to put Win 10 on a Macbook? ;)

KlingKlang wrote:If anyone wants to send me their 'old' technology feel free as its almost certainly newer than what I'm using: 22 year old Toshiba 36" CRT TV; 19 year old Sony CD/cassette/radio; 18 year old LG flip phone. I am typing this on my 5 year old Dell XPS running Win 7.
I cant touch the TV and the phone but I have you beat by a mile on the audio... Listen to music on 1960's vintage McIntosh gear.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:39 am

The phone has nothing to do with being old, and in fact has to do with being too new with Apple's failings in their software. I have an iPhone 4S which doesn't have the bloatware that fills memory with mealworms. It works as well as it did 5 years ago when my employer gave it to me.

To point to other technology that is old but works fine, the laptop I'm using right now is 8 years old and I have no plans to upgrade. Unless you're doing gaming, a computer that came with Windows 95 is fast enough to communicate and do emails and excel and word. What is it that it's too slow at?

My older son has his desktop that he built as a gaming computer as a sophomore in high school. He's now a 3rd year engineering student in college and uses this same computer and it'll run circles around many new computers.

Don't fall for the marketing out there that says things are too old. Revert your phone to factory settings. Watch the TV till it doesn't work.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Da5id
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Da5id » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:34 am

Jags4186 wrote: So now I'm faced with waiting for things to break, or slowly upgrading things now. How have you all handled this?
My opinion: never upgrade until your things break OR until you will get a meaningful increase in functionality. Don't upgrade to keep up with the Joneses. Do upgrade if your device is no longer getting the job done satisfactorily, or a new device has significant features you want and will actually use. When upgrading, often a better deal to get middle of the line devices or last year's hot model. All IMHO of course.

A sluggish phone can sometimes be "repaired" by factory resetting and installing back only the things you really use. Devices tend to get crudded up over time. Same with a laptop.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by lazydavid » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:36 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Ged wrote:
Plasma TVs are hard to improve on. Unless you have a specific reason like a screen defect a 1080P plasma should be fine for current source material.
Except that they suck power, really suck power.

If they are only "on" a couple of hours a day when OP is watching TV, then that probably is OK. If the TV is on 6+ hours a day (as some stats seem to say about American homes?) as background, and if the "instant on" is left on 24 hours a day, then there is serious juice.

Let's say 150 watts/ hr x 8760 hours. Something over 1000 kwhr pa-- nearly 1500 kwhr pa. That's a cost, but it's also a significant environmental cost.

I don't have air conditioning. And I heat with gas. And I live in a small house by American standards. But that's c. 40% of my annual consumption (more than, in fact). Even if I am wrong by 50% it's still an amazing number.
You're wrong by WAY more than 50%. My Plasma is rated by the manufacturer as consuming a maximum of 190W when on ("Torch" mode, in actual usage it's half that), and one-half watt when in standby. CNET tested the 64-inch version (mine is the 51"), which is rated at 653W/0.5W, and measured actual consumption at 276W screen-on with a normal calibration, and 0.07 Watts in standby. For reference, my 65" 4k LED set is rated at 280W/0.5W.

150W vs. 0.07W is off by 214,286%

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by TSquare » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:37 am

OP, threads like these on bogleheads typically become a loop of point and counter-point comments from luddites and techies. It's ok to want something new once in a while. Do your homework on the items you'd like to upgrade, figure out a price point that suits your budget, and pull the trigger when you are comfortable. You only go around once.

-Tsquare

Jags4186
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:40 am

TSquare wrote:OP, threads like these on bogleheads typically become a loop of point and counter-point comments from luddites and techies. It's ok to want something new once in a while. Do your homework on the items you'd like to upgrade, figure out a price point that suits your budget, and pull the trigger when you are comfortable. You only go around once.

-Tsquare
Thank you

DetroitRick
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by DetroitRick » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:21 am

Our stuff is all over the place age-wise. 3 things make me upgrade (all considered together) - improved functionality of new technology, decreased reliability of old equipment and the importance of the items to me. For example, our tv is ancient at 9 years old (don't care much as long as it keeps working, although I do really ike the UHD sets), smartphone is 1 year old (heavy use), desktop 3 years (heavy use), laptop 6 years (basic usage), tablet 5 years (basic usage), pc peripherals 1 to 3 years old.

For computers, it comes down to whether I can easily keep the software up to date, and whether there are new functions that I need. I tend to overbuy on specs a bit, which often gives me a bit more usable lifetime. As these items reach middle age, I start to research their replacements. Even if I postpone actual purchase until really needed, it makes it quicker and easier for me when that time comes. Of course, I'd take a different approach if I didn't actually enjoy the process.

Conversely I made a mistake in keeping an old, cheap, under-powered smartphone way to long. When I replaced it last year, I was stunned at the functionality I missed. Stuff that I use everyday. That one I blew.

In the end, I like staggering all this a bit. Both from a budget perspective, and from the underlying learning curve. I would not want to do all replacements at once.

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BL
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by BL » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:36 am

Set aside money for replacements.

If you need something, get it. If you want (and can afford), take your time and watch for "deals".

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Toons
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Toons » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:37 am

Start with a ChromeBook :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

Fox
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Fox » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:49 am

I like gadgets but I'm frugal... I often read reviews, learn about technology and dream about this or that, then keep going with my old stuff!

My wife still uses her iPhone 4 but has mentioned wanting an upgrade to get a better camera. I use an LG G4 which I upgraded to 1.5 years ago since I managed to get it free with some trade in rebates. I'll keep with it until I can see a great deal, or my LG simply breaks.

My dell PC from 2009 still works well and I can upgrade or change parts that need to be adjusted.

Our iPad 2 was an xmas gift and is only used for streaming stuff and some browsing. It is slow, but no need to replace it....and I turned off the update notifications so the older OS is still working fine.

You may want to consider home computing stuff that is easier to keep upgraded than Apple products. Or, products that are less expensive to begin with and you won't have as hard of a time upgrading.

Also, old electronics still have value...don't forget to check trade-in values or sell online to put towards new stuff!

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by BeerTooth » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:53 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Jags4186 wrote:
Our only TV is a plasma tv which I bought in 2008.
Plasma screen TVs eat power. Really really eat power. Even when switched off, if the "instant on" is still on. That would be one I would look at carefully in terms of replacing.
The only "new" piece of technology we have is my iphone 7 which is provided by work and a Sonos sound system we received as a gift.

So now I'm faced with waiting for things to break, or slowly upgrading things now. How have you all handled this?
Only upgrade when you need to. Future proof with big memory and above bottom-of-the-range processors, if you can.
I had the same thought, until I measured my TV. I have a 2008-vintage Panasonic plasma, 42-inch screen. I plugged it into a Kill-A-Watt meter for three days, and when it's off, it's OFF. 0 Watts. Granted, when it's on, it draws ~225 W, but that's only a few hours a day.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by bluebolt » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:42 am

Regardless of whether you are an early or late adopter, you should *not* purchase newly released products immediately upon release, nor should you upgrade OSes immediately. Wait a few months until the issues are ironed out and/or the first major updates to the OS are announced. That way your device/OS will be much more stable and you can let other people deal with the inevitable issues that arise.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:10 am

TylerDavis wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
Jags4186 wrote:
Our only TV is a plasma tv which I bought in 2008.
Plasma screen TVs eat power. Really really eat power. Even when switched off, if the "instant on" is still on. That would be one I would look at carefully in terms of replacing.
The only "new" piece of technology we have is my iphone 7 which is provided by work and a Sonos sound system we received as a gift.

So now I'm faced with waiting for things to break, or slowly upgrading things now. How have you all handled this?
Only upgrade when you need to. Future proof with big memory and above bottom-of-the-range processors, if you can.
I had the same thought, until I measured my TV. I have a 2008-vintage Panasonic plasma, 42-inch screen. I plugged it into a Kill-A-Watt meter for three days, and when it's off, it's OFF. 0 Watts. Granted, when it's on, it draws ~225 W, but that's only a few hours a day.
Energy Savings Trust is annoying because they don't give you the kwhr just the "estimated savings" which, of course, change with every change in power prices

http://www.sustainablehomes.co.uk/switc ... -per-year/
The recent trend in flat screen TVs highlights the power they consume – an LCD TV costs £29 per year to run, and a plasma screen as much as £95 – compared to an old style CRT TV (just £17 pa).
Given the date of the article I am guessing electricity then cost about 13p per kwhr so 1100 kwhr or so for a plasma screen TV. They don't tell us their hour assumption.

Again, I think it's the instant on that does it. Yes a plasma screen burns juice, but if you only watch it 2 1/2 hours a day on average, that's not going to be a big amount.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6188940.stm
EST points to research from the government-funded Market Transformation Programme, which advises the government on sustainability policy.

This says that, on average, the power consumption of a cathode-ray screen is 3.4 watts per screen inch, while plasma uses 9.4 watts per screen inch - based on figures from 2005.

http://greengumption.co.uk/live/wp-cont ... esBack.pdf the underlying EST pamphlet. Note all this data is from c. 2006.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by URSnshn » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:19 am

OP, At first I upgraded all the time and then I realized I could wait .... so I upgraded in 2015 from 2007 technology basically because the OS was no longer being supported.

I saved money by waiting, but I am now updating on a regular basis and saving for new technology - figuring I'll have five years or so. For me it is a matter of:

* money (not buying the latest, but keeping up)
* security
* it is important for me to connect and I find when I don't embrace newer technology ... I have not only a learning curve to go through but the eventual update may be more difficult. It was the last time - because of the advances in technology I lost documents as I it was too time consuming to transfer them.
* considering what technologies I embrace to begin with ... there are some great ones, but I think twice about the time and energy and if the software or app might not be around and will that be an issue
* using technology is a part of my work and I enjoy it, but I don't want it to rule.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by VaR » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:30 am

Before you go ahead and throw away your plasma tv, make sure your new tv produces a better picture than your old one. OTOH, unless it's a Panasonic Kuro, which is a keeper, your old TV is likely worth upgrading.

I'm keeping my plasma despite the fact that it pulls up to 800 watts at times, according to my kill-a-watt. The picture is fantastic, though!

I'll only upgrade once OLED TVs get a little cheaper. OTOH, it may be the case that the top-of-the-line LG OLEDs will never get cheaper because they'll just think of cost-inefficient ways to improve them to keep the price around $6-8k.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by lazydavid » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:38 am

VaR wrote:Before you go ahead and throw away your plasma tv, make sure your new tv produces a better picture than your old one. OTOH, unless it's a Panasonic Kuro, which is a keeper, your old TV is likely worth upgrading.
Pioneer Kuro, which continued to be the best of the best in terms of black levels and color reproduction for years after being discontinued. My Samsung F8500 (the last plasma model they ever made) is one of the few that approached the performance of the Kuros from ~6 years prior.

But Panasonic plasmas are also excellent. My parents bought one almost a decade ago on my recommendation, and they still love it.

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climber2020
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by climber2020 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:02 am

One thing you may want to consider: do you really need an iPad? I recently sold my iPad because over time I found my Macbook Air easier to use and preferable in almost every way. Plus, as phone screens have gotten bigger over time, they've become good enough (for me) for entertainment purposes while traveling. That's one less thing to have to upgrade every few years.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by dumbbunny » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:53 am

I replaced my phone and computer when they weren't supported and required me to upgrade. But I upgraded from an iPhone 5 to a Moto G at a fraction of the cost of a new iPhone. And I upgraded from a 2006 Macbook to a 2012 Mac mini, again at a fraction of the cost a new Macbook. With the savings, I bought a Chromebook for my daily driver. Keep the plasma TV if you like it.
“It’s the curse of old men to realize that in the end we control nothing." "Homeland" episode, "Gerontion"

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:43 pm

URSnshn wrote:OP, At first I upgraded all the time and then I realized I could wait .... so I upgraded in 2015 from 2007 technology basically because the OS was no longer being supported.

I saved money by waiting, but I am now updating on a regular basis and saving for new technology - figuring I'll have five years or so. For me it is a matter of:

* money (not buying the latest, but keeping up)
* security
* it is important for me to connect and I find when I don't embrace newer technology ... I have not only a learning curve to go through but the eventual update may be more difficult. It was the last time - because of the advances in technology I lost documents as I it was too time consuming to transfer them.
* considering what technologies I embrace to begin with ... there are some great ones, but I think twice about the time and energy and if the software or app might not be around and will that be an issue
* using technology is a part of my work and I enjoy it, but I don't want it to rule.
Security is the killer. One has to be on top of that one.

And yes re changing document formats and storage connections. I still have floppy disks sitting in boxes, but no way to access them.

The other is OS "upgrades" a la Apple. 5 years of a piece of hardware, and it can't handle the latest versions of the software.

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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by dratkinson » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:05 pm

KlingKlang wrote:If anyone wants to send me their 'old' technology feel free as its almost certainly newer than what I'm using: 22 year old Toshiba 36" CRT TV; 19 year old Sony CD/cassette/radio; 18 year old LG flip phone. I am typing this on my 5 year old Dell XPS running Win 7.
I'll see yours, and raise you reading this over a dial-up connection on a 22yo Dell OptiPlex GXa running Win 98SEC. :)

My newest technology is an out-of-contract flip phone (and power cable) in the vehicle's glove box for use in case of an emergency. (Note to self: need to paste instructions to phone back to remind me how to use it to dial 911.)

I will buy a new PC this year as I'll need it to do my taxes next year. (I've used my neighbor's PC for the past few years to do my taxes online, but they're moving.)
d.r.a, not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:15 pm

One way to be "frugal" and yet stay up better with technology is to get away from Apple products which are the highest priced in the industry.
Instead of paying $2000 for a macbook air and keeping it for 8 years - you can buy a new $500 Dell laptop every 2 years.
Similarly with iPhones. Buy a Android at a cheaper price and you can upgrade more often.
Same goes for iPad...

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just frank
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by just frank » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:16 pm

Disagree. My MacBook Pro is 5 years old, completely 'up to date', and only cost $1000. And quite preferable to 2 (or 2.5) 'Dells'.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:06 pm

just frank wrote:Disagree. My MacBook Pro is 5 years old, completely 'up to date', and only cost $1000. And quite preferable to 2 (or 2.5) 'Dells'.
It might be preferable to you but it's further behind on technology. For example - The OP mentioned MacBook Air. If I buy a "new" MacBook Air today I am getting a 5th generation intel processor. If I go with a Pro I am getting a 6th generation Intel processor. Or I can spend less money and buy a Dell which is already shipping with a 7th generation intel processor. It's okay to prefer an Apple because you prefer the interface - just realize you are getting less for your money.
The same can be said for iPhones - they were still shipping 3G when everyone else had 4G. Their cameras were never in the lead, etc - yet they still charge more.

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