The Month Of The Technology Upgrade
I wasn't planning on doing any of these things this year, but events transpired to force me into several technology upgrades. The first is that the check engine light came on one day in Courtney's Focus. She took it in to Midas to see what the problem was, and they couldn't even get the car's computer to respond when they hooked theirs up to get an error code. That immediately gave me a bad feeling, which was confirmed when C took the car to the dealership, and they said it would be about $2k to fix the computer and replace the timing belt that also happened to be dying. That was over half the value of the car, so we traded it in and bought her a 2011 Focus.
We decided to go with another Focus for several reasons: 1) Her first Focus had over 150,000 miles on it and had been a very reliable little car. 2) We didn't have to bail Ford out during the recession, and I believe a company like that deserves my support over one we had to hand millions of dollars to so they could keep afloat. 3) The new Focus had Ford's Sync system. After playing with this a little bit, I have to say that I'm very impressed. Nothing makes me feel like I'm living in the future more than dictating to the car what I want it to do. Voice recognition has come a long way.
Speaking of voice recognition, that happens to be a feature of technology upgrade #2: my new Droid X. I've wanted a smart-phone for a while, but we weren't going to get them until we were able to switch to FiOS and lower our monthly telecommunications bill to make it a budget neutral purchase. Well, last month someone posted a link on twitter to wireless.amazon.com where we could purchase new Droid Xs for $70 each. That is a ridiculously cheap price for this phone, which retails at $560. We just couldn't pass it up.
We ordered our phones, and Amazon informed us that they were back-ordered into January. We would have been content to wait until then, but they arrived about a week later. I love the new phone, especially the voice recognition system. I can tell it to send Courtney a text message and then dictate the message to it. It's really pretty amazing. It also pairs up with the new car through Bluetooth, so you can make and receive calls through the car's speaker system, as well as have the car read any text messages to you. I can't get over how ridiculously awesome all of this is.
The third technology upgrade I have made is the purchase of a new computer. My gaming computer died back in January, and I have been without one since. I wasn't planning on being able to get a new one until next year, but around Thanksgiving I found out that I would be getting a pretty sizable year end bonus! This is a surprise because my company stopped doing regular bonuses a few years ago. Once I learned that I would be getting one again, I started to plan out what I would buy, and I placed the order last weekend. It should be shipping out tonight or tomorrow, so hopefully I will have it this weekend. For the curious, I got an Intel Core i7 950 3GHz processor, 6GB RAM, and a Radeon 5970 video card. It should be beastly enough to last a long time before having to upgrade again.
And that sums up the month of the technology upgrade!