January 29, 2012
Old Stuff From 2003
I have been going back and clearing out some old dead wood from Ron's Log. This version you are reading extends back to August 2003. A lot of links have died since then, so I'm fixing the ones that can be, deleting the ones that can't. In the process I've come across some items that I guess I included because either the technology was pretty gee-whiz for the time, or the price was impressively low, or both. Here is some of what I found between August and December 2003:
- 4 Gb Microdrive $500 (Microdrives were little hard drives in Compact Flash format). I think they are no longer being manufactured, but you can buy a used 4Gb model for $10. A regular 4 Gb Compact Flash card can be had for as little as $13 now).
- 4 megapixel camera with 10x zoom, $500
- The 40 Gb iPod cost $500. Today it's 160 Gb and costs $250.
- 6 Gb Compact Flash card for $5,000. They don't seem to be selling 6 Gb CF cards these days. You can get 4 Gb or 8 Gb. An 8 Gb card can be had for $15.
- 2 Gb SD cards predicted to be available "soon." Today you can buy 128 Gb SD cards.
- Recommendations for your first digital camera from SiliconValley.com:
- 3 megapixels is enough
- Don't go less than $200
- Upgrade the memory card to at least 256 Mb. Yes, megabytes. You can still buy a 256 Mb SD card for less than $5.
- A 5 megapixel camera was introduced for $400.
- A 20 Gb USB hard drive for $250. Today there are lots of choices in USB hard drives. I found a terabyte drive (1,024 Gb) for $145. It's hard to find one as small as 20 Gb, but I did, and it's $38.
- Google labs unveiled a new experiment they called "Search by Location" which has since become their standard feature "Search Nearby."
- A 20 Gb USB device with a built-in compact flash card reader. The killer feature was that it could output video and jpegs directly to a television. In addition it could simultaneously play MP3s while showing jpegs! Also, you could rotate the jpegs! It came with a remote control so you could use it in presentations. $400. Or you could go up to the 60 Gb model for $600. At the time I thought $400 was incredibly cheap for all this power.
- Kodak announced that it would stop making slide projectors by June 2004, but they had no plans yet to discontinue any slide films.
- A USB-powered "personal vibrator" could be had for £30 in 2003. The link is dead, so I can't say for sure exactly what features this might have included - remote control? Synch to music? A quick Google search turned up one available today with remote control for $11.80.
- Stories of Google's impending IPO in 2004 were circulating. There were estimates the initial value would exceed $15 billion. It turned out to be $27 billion. Today its market capitalization is $205 billion.
- A Pioneer DVR with an 80 Gb hard drive and the ability to burn DVD-R for $1,200.
- A waterproof, 2 megapixel camera for $200.