Thursday, February 23, 2012

The best gadget for you

Men are born speco-file - we have the innate urge to compare everything we own in terms of measurable data, comparing them to 3 decimal places, and declaring something a winner. We just can't help it - when we read a review, we jump straight to the comparison section. 

Our buying decisions, the joy of owning something, our social prestige somehow depends on these small differences. If your fast car is revealed to be 0.02 sec slower than model X in 0-100 kmph drag test, life somehow loses all its meaning!

I was no different, but a few episodes over time have changed me somewhat.

Being a motorbike freak, I was looking to buy a new one. The usual modus operandi - pouring over magazines, websites, blogs - comparing data on BHP, torque, acceleration and everything else. Generally getting confused. A friend helpfully guided me to a web-site that had everything on bikes, but do you think these things help? 

While salivating over the sexily shot pictures I came across one small paragraph  near the end. As I loosely recall, it brusquely asked the readers not to worry about the specifications - unlikely that you amateurs would ever push limits - and basically any bike featured would be fabulous for you. Buy whatever your most trusted dealer offers you, as getting it serviced reliably would be your main concern once you own

Trust me, it read PROFOUND to me then. And has served me extremely well since.

The second involved my tennis skill (or the lack of it). Having taken to tennis as part of my keep fit regimen, I was soon consumed by desire to improve it. String type, racket balance, shoes, grip everything went through a makeover without any effect. Like every aspiring tennis player, I blamed my racket for it and went shopping. 

I had a friend accompanying me. Exhaustive search, trial swings and game analysis later, a $450 beaut of a Wilson was my baby. Sharing I tried persuading him to buy it too. The guy was ass-hole to reply "it's OK, I know the limitation in my game is due to my ability, not my equipment"! Well, that ass-hole saved me 300 bucks with his remark!

So sometime back, when I wanted to buy a dSLR, I lapped up a review of Nikon D90 which asked in the end - "D90 is very capable, the question is - are you?". I calmly went ahead and bought a D40. Great buy. I have only recently upgraded to a D7000 after being somewhat confident that I need a better one.

So if you feel caught up in the specifications-war just remember - what do you want it for? And stick by your answer.


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