Wired Magazine/Online isn’t what it used to be. They get a lot right, but sometimes they are just a little bit insane. Take for instance this, article which was emailed to me by a friend:
Five Useless Gadgets You Should Throw in the Trash Right Now
What are the five gadgets that you should throw away right now?
3. All optics drives that are built into your computer (CD/DVD)
5. All landline phones
Before I delve into why this list is utterly brainless, I want to point out that this kind of attitude that Wired’s editors have taken reminds me of the dickish antics of “Nick Burns, your company’s computer guy,” one of my favorite recurring SNL characters.
Good ole Nick Burns represents everything that is obnoxious about your stereotypical nerdy tech guys and gals.
Namely, this concept that you, the user, are an idiot and will always be an idiot because you just don’t have the superior intellect to keep up with technology.
That being said, every person should use the technology they are most comfortable with. There isn’t and should not be a one size fits all approach to hardware. Every once in a while you will reach a point where your technology of choice has become completely outdated, and it is time to upgrade, but that doesn’t mean everyone needs to sit on the cutting edge.
Printers have been a staple of the personal computer rig for a long long time. Before trashing your printer, you should ask yourself, “Will I need this?” If you are in school, or have kids in school, you need a printer. If you are ever going to want to get information off of your computer without writing it yourself, you need a printer.
Maybe you don’t need a big color printer. You can get a laser printer, and keep it turned off and unplugged until you need it. It won’t draw power, and you can still print when you need to.
Scanners aren’t necessary for everyone, and never have been, but if you use one, you probably have good reason.
Getting rid of your optics drives now is a little on the extreme side. I have a MacBook Air, and love it, but I also have a Mac Pro with a CD/DVD reader/writer because plenty of programs, movies, and music still come on CD and DVD. Maybe in a few years this will make sense, but we aren’t quite there yet. Not everything is completely digital. Wired is correct about how cheap hard drives are. You should use them to backup your computer in place of CD/DVD backup.
Fax machines, like scanners, are useful to those who use them regularly. Don’t feel bad if you still have one.
Landlines phones are cheaper, and more comfortable to hold. They don’t drop calls, and I will say it again, because it bears repeating, they are cheaper than comparable cell phones plans. They are also much more useful in the event of an emergency at home.
Now that I am thinking about it, the name “Wired” is pretty antiquated. Geeks of their “caliber” should really be completely “Wireless.” Especially since it sounds like they have thrown out everything but their MacBook Airs, and iPhones.