ELAYNE RIGGS: Still Life with Gadgets

Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs is the creator of the popular blog Pen-Elayne on the Web. She was a founding member of Friends of Lulu, an organization dedicated to increasing the involvement of girls and women in comics, as readers and creators. She is married to inker Robin Riggs, with whom she shares two cats, and has odd love/hate relationship with Hillary Clinton.

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5 Responses

  1. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    You've come a long way, dear. I can still remember when your mantra for any electronic nerny was "I'll buy this if you can promise me it's the last one they'll ever invent"! You were just buying your first Game Boy after I'd gotten my Game Boy Advance SP.The early adopters are how the lion's share of the cost of making something are gained back. Usually these expensive new gadgets aren't profitable for a year or more, as the development costs are recouped first. You always hear how a company is losing money on each thing they sell, followed by the classic gag "But they make it up in volume".Also, in the case of something like a new videogame console or DVD format, those initial sales are what tip the scales for more companies to support or not support the console. If sales for the iPhone were merely moderate, it would have been branded a failure.Nowadays, if people don't jump on something fast, they won't. The day of the word-of mouth phenomenon is rapidly coming to an end. It's the reason movie companies take more of a theater's ticket prices in the first two weeks of a film's release. That's when most of the money is made – a theater really only starts making money on a film (as opposed to concessions) after the second week or so, after the producers' cut is reduced.I'm at the point now where I don't get on line at midnight for anything. (Okay, Harry Potter 7, but that was special) Plus the fact that every thing is so damn expensive now, I don't hop on the bandwagon very quickly at all anymore. I waited a good three years before Tivo made a model that had everything I wanted (namely the ability to download the recorded shows to my computer so I can archive them) and now I can't imagine life without it. OTOH, I spent some serious change for my first-gen MP3-CD player, and I still use it with burned CDs over an MP3 player.Here's a joke about the first press conference for an invention. Thomas Edison has a room full of reporters sitting in the dark. He says, "Gentlemen, prepare to be amazed." He throws a switch, and a glass globe in the middle of the room begins to glow. Soon the whole room is filled with light.The reporters are amazed, and rise to report this miracle. Edison holds up a hand, and asks them to sit back down. He walks proudly up the the globe, leans down, and yells, "HELLOOO???"

    • Elayne Riggs says:

      Forgive me for not mentioning that you were the one who initially got me online, Vin. I don't know whether to thank or curse you for that one. :)

  2. Marilee J. Layman says:

    I was an early adopter when I worked, but now that I live on disability, I have to really need something tech to buy it. I think the most recent was my cell phone about 2.5 years ago and the doctors insisted I get that (Years before, they'd insisted I get a CB for the van).I have little green lights all over the house, but I also have nightlights in every room because I have a cat that's going blind and the green lights were not enough for her. I'm preparing to ask the vet for some Valium for her because she's getting more and more anxious as her sight diminishes.

  3. Rich Watson says:

    I've had the same computer system since 2000 and I never felt the need to upgrade any of it… until recently. The monitor occasionally flickers in and out of view and the printer busted on me awhile back. I don't understand why they can't make things last longer.

  4. Matthew Ceplina says:

    Seven years ago, I thought I'd never have a cell phone. Three or four years ago, I got one. It has proven invaluable ever since. Sort of opposite with computer literacy. I can get by with a modern computer although I don't have the knowledge that I had with a Commodore 64. Then again, while I'm an early adopter for some things, I'm not a technophile. I just don't have plentiful disposable income with which to purchase the latest gadget.