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Where Have All the Gadgets Gone? 278

waderoush writes "How many electronic gadgets did you own in 2005? How many do you own today? The answer is almost certainly a lot fewer. Counter to the dominant trend in consumer technology since the 1920s — and despite predictions of a coming 'Internet of things' — there may actually be *less* electronic stuff in our homes and offices today than ever before. That's thanks largely to the rise of multipurpose wireless devices like smartphones and tablets, which are now powerful enough to replace many older, dedicated devices like point-and-shoot cameras, music players, digital voice recorders — even whole home entertainment systems. To prove the point, here are before-and-after photos from one San Francisco household (mine) where the herd of digital devices has been thinned from about three dozen, eight years ago, to just 15 today."
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Where Have All the Gadgets Gone?

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  • by drolli ( 522659 ) on Saturday March 16, 2013 @07:18AM (#43189717) Journal

    a) I still own all electronic devices which i owned in 2005, so the absolute number has increased

    b) I did not have three dozens of Gadgets in 2005

    c) Not even the number of "active" gadgets has decreased. active back then:
    * camera (compact)
    * mobile phone (Nokia 6310i)
    * palm (z31) (replaced also a stolen mp3 player)

    *camera (compact)
    *mobile phone #1 (galaxy note II) - playing/reading documents/consuming media/surfing the web/feeds/google+
    *mobile phone #2 (nokia e63) - workhorse for phone calls and emails
    *ebook reader (sony) - use it when in eant a quite time in a bright place on a bench to read a good book (leave the other devices at home)
    *mp3 player (Used for sports/biking - before owning the galaxy note used also everyday)
    *tablet (galazy tab - surfing on th couch)

    I like that the gadgets got more diversified. Its just convenient.

  • Microwave mea culpa (Score:4, Informative)

    by waderoush ( 1271548 ) on Saturday March 16, 2013 @06:47PM (#43193463) Homepage

    Author of TFA here. So many people have mentioned the microwave that I had to respond. Yes, I still have a microwave! It's built into the kitchen and it belongs to my landlord, so I wasn't about to rip it out for the "after" photo. I should have made that clear in the original text, which has now been updated.

    Thanks, (almost) everyone, for engaging seriously with the premise of the article. Of course it's anecdotal, of course I was writing about my own experiences. This is a given when you're writing a personal essay. But my guess -- and it seems to be correct, from a lot of the comments -- was that a lot of other people have also noticed that they're able to get along with fewer gadgets, especially since the new wave of touchscreen mobile gadgets are basically the Swiss army knives of electronics. Others haven't had this experience, and that's fine. My real point was that it's possible to get the same stuff done today with fewer tools.

    Sorry if my preference for Apple products put off a bunch of readers, but the theme would hold up even if I were an Android or Windows customer.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller