Like Gareth I like my technology, however I am starting to despair at some of the items I have bought over the last five years.
Minidisk... Waste of money! It was handy for about 6 months and then it was just too much hassle to use it. I suppose it could be used as a Dictophone as it has a microphone socket, but generally made obsolete by MP3.
DVD Recorder. We suffered VCR problems just before Christmas and our Sky+ was out of commission so I bought a DVD Recorder from ASDA. Now I didn't pay a huge amount of money for it and you generally get what you pay for, but ours is just crap! The menus are unfriendly. It is unreliable. It has a habit of corrupting disks that were working fine when you tried them last week and I can't get it to work with anything but rewritable disks (as it corrupts every DVD-R + or - that I have used in it). I can't even be bothered to EBay it! It's one redeeming feature is that it is small and multiregion, so I reckon it will end up in either the bedroom or kitchen as a DVD player.
PDAs. In theory my Dell Axim should be in use every day... But instead it sits on its charger at home and pings at me when someone's birthday gets close. It is too bulky to be used for the purpose I need it for... (address book / diary / plus other bits a bobs). I could even use it as a mobile media player (MP3 and MPG) but the in build audio device is shockingly bad that it just isn't worth it, and the battery life means that 30 minutes of video is your limit! I think I may invest in a decent smart phone, once whatever new job takes off, as it makes sense to me to have diary and address book linked to your phone. I'll let Gareth bamboozle me with smart phone science as that is one of his pet topics!!!! I'll also leave the mobile media player to a decent Laptop and MP3 player as they do the job so well!
What else... Hmmm... How about the switch over to Digital TV?
I think this is both needed and being handled disastrously.
The key points that no-one in power seems to have picked up are as follows:
1/ The majority of people in the UK will need an new aerial to get Digital TV, unless they seriously boost the signal. I am in a really good reception area and I still can't get freeview through our roof aerial. Your average granny is going to get ripped off if they don't get proper assistance!
2/ Going back to your average person on the street who never bothered with Sky/Cable TV (and I am thinking of my Mum here)... The concept of keeping your TV on one channel whilst you change channels on the Digibox will be new (even though they could have been doing that on their VCRs for years - but they just didn't). The fact that they won't be able to easily watch one programme and record another is also a factor and will be complicated even further if they need to either (a) leave the digibox on the correct channel whilst they are out or (b) remember to program the digibox to change channel! Don't even go there about trying to record Eastenders and Coronation street whilst they are away for 2 weeks! (With most digibox guides only being 7 days and not having a "series link" option.)
I really want to get my parents onto Digital TV, but I am lost at the best way of implementing this! (Don't even mention the old TV in the study that doesn't even have Scart sockets!) If I could get them on Sky I would but they aren't allow a dish on their house! Maybe in the loft?
Sigh... Rant over!