I didn't talk about this earlier, when I shared this image, so I'ma share it again and talk about it.


This is my friend Jon experiencing virtual reality for the first time. This photo was taken in my record store in 2015 or so.

He's using a $5 hunk of cardboard and plastic that I bought from a blisterpack at the corner store, and a Galaxy S3, which was already old enough that people were throwing them away (this was my step fathers.)

There's some stuff to unpack.

Okay, the first thing here:

This was clearly a magical moment in his life.

Like, you see that smile?

He was playing a space shooter. Not even a very good one. But that didn't matter.

And he was playing it on a two year old phone, with some cardboard, a washer, and some plastic lenses.

This was essentially garbage, that we turned in to something magical.

Eventually, we'll get in to what is represented by Virtual Reality as a medium, because I have Thoughts.

But right now, I want to focus on the fact that old tech and cheap tech and low-tech is valuable, viable, valid, and other v-words.

Ultimately, Google Cardboard will never be more than a simple toy, in a tech space full of $3-5k hardware.

But without that simple toy, who would be taking the $4k hardware?

Would anyone care, if they didn't have this $15 gateway?

We have a bunch of old phones, and old computers, and old tablets and laptops sitting in drawers and closets and basements.

This phone from 2012 could still make magic in 2015. Can still make magic in 2018. But it's sitting unused.

My primary laptop is an 8 year old thinkpad.

My primary desktop is a mid 2010 iMac.

I also use a 4 year old refurb chromebook from time to time. I stuck a new battery in it and I get 10+ hours out of it.

I used a 10 year old Kindle until I cracked the screen, and then got another about the same age.

What I'm saying is that we should focus on extending the useful life of our technology.

We have companies actively fighting against this. The companies that make are things make them to fail.

The companies that make our web services make them to require newer faster computers.

I spent half an hour today tooling around with the same Galaxy sIII and a google cardboard kit.

It was fun! There were some great games! I enjoyed it.

That's a 6 year old phone, $2 in cardboard, and $2 in plastic

This is what annoys me so thoroughly about phone models that die due to defects in the hardware. @RussSharek, @Avalon, and I have all had a Nexus 5X fail in rapid succession, and meanwhile certain older phones like the Nexus 5 just keep working. I wish it were easier to know at the beginning which would last like tanks, because older phones can be invaluable.

@Brennan @naugeleh @RussSharek @Avalon That's honestly what I do.

But also, not usually viable because there aren't many places to buy older hardware online.

@Avalon @RussSharek @naugeleh @Brennan Or rather, the only real places to buy older hardware are online, and ebay is kind of skeevy as heck.

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