Last year's model

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In an old Bloom County, the young hacker Oliver Wendell Jones saw an ad for a new, updated version of his computer, the Banana Jr. 6000, "now with tint control!"

He promptly dumps his Banana Jr. 6000 in the trash, explaining "As a rule, hackers do not deal well with obsolescence."1

Last year's model is a website promoting a straightforward idea: continue to use things you already have that serve their purpose instead of replacing them with something a little smaller, a little shinier, with a few more bells and whistles.

Jen and I are still using a digital camera that's about 5 years old whose best resolution is under 2 MP, ridulously underpowered by modern standards. But it's fine for our uses. Our home theatre PC is a modded original Xbox, and our TV is a CRT we bought used. We'll probably eventually go HD, but every year we put it off, we're saving money, and prices go down. Our cellphones are basic, things we could get free or cheap with the plan.

I'm as technophilic as the next geek, and routinely need to make saving throws against getting an ebook reader, or a netbook, or whatever the latest shiny thing is. But frugality, along with an awareness of how much I can do with my current stuff, is good for about a +19.

When new things are worth it, we'll get them. We'll probably get a GPS soon, because that provides real utility we don't currently have, and old models have gotten fairly cheap. The point is, we're not suffering for our choices here. What we're doing is saving. And this gives us more options in the long run.

1 (This is from memory; please excuse me if I've gotten some words wrong.)

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