When I was young, I was somewhat of an early adopter. Especially for new technologies and products. However, being an early adopter comes with some glaring disadvantages. In this post, I will write about how I got burnt many times throughout my life.
1. Nickel Cadmium rechargeable batteries
When I was growing up, I had many toys. Lots of them. Most of these toys were electronic and it was a pain asking parents to buy me batteries when they ran out. So when rechargeable Ni-Cd batteries were introduced, I was all over them. I convinced my parents to buy me some batteries and a charger. However, there were some major disadvantages.
- The batteries got extremely hot while charging – I had a few melt down over the years
- They produced only 1.2V instead of the 1.5V of regular batteries and some gadgets didn’t like that.
Eventually, they never caught on and I had to go back to regular batteries.
2. Hero Ranger Bicycle with shock absorbers
When we moved to Chandigarh, I was confronted with kids showing off everywhere. The cool kids rode fancy bicycles and the legendary kids already rode scooters and motorcycles at age 14. I started feeling real inadequate about my regular bicycle and asked my parents for a newer one. They asked me to chose between a bicycle with shock absorbers and a bicycle with gear shift (Hero Swing, which had both was out of the question). I (foolishly) chose the bicycle with shock absorbers.
For one, the bicycle had shock absorbers only in the front. Each speed bump still felt like a hammer to the tail bone. Secondly, the bicycle was heavy as fuck. It too much more effort to ride it compared to my last one. Also, within a few months, the shock absorbers started squeaking and sagging. There were no mechanics near my place who could fix it. Eventually, within a couple of years, the shock absorbers bottomed out completely. What a waste!
3. Royal Enfield Thunderbird (First edition)
This was my first bike and the only bike I loved. I bought it when it was just released. One highlight was that it came with an all new aluminium AVL engine. It was supposed to be lighter and more efficient (it was both). However, the engine was terribly unrefined compared to the traditional Royal Enfield engines. The main problem was that its tappets made a lot of noise and the pushrods needed constant adjustment. This continued to bother me till the time the bike got stolen. The bike also leaked engine oil like a sieve.
Subsequent versions came with self-adjusting pushrods and much better oil seals.
4. Nokia Lumia 900
I remember when I first saw the keynote for Windows Phone 7. I was blown away by how beautiful the OS looked and how smooth everything worked. As soon as I could, I bought a Lumia 900. However, the OS was still in its infancy and although polished, lacked a good app ecosystem. Even worse, the Lumia 900 got no major OS upgrades and the phone was obsolete within a year.
5. Reliance Infocomm CDMA phone
I was a super early adopter of Reliance’s CDMA phones. Like I got one within a few weeks of their network launching. My first CDMA phone was also my first phone ever, the LG RD2030. Only 1 other person I knew had a CDMA phone. We felt like pioneers. However, the experience was shitty.
- The phone became very hot when making calls or accessing the internet.
- The battery life was abysmal.
- The charger was a dock-type and it was impossible to use the phone while charging.
- The display was grayscale with a blue backlight.
- Your number changed every time you roamed into a new state.
When the CDMA network launched, it was marketed as a “Wireless Land Line” and all CDMA phones had a landline-like number with an STD code. In a couple of years, the government made that illegal and everyone had to deal with a number change without warning.
Reliance solved most of these issues after a few years, but CDMA never caught on and died a painful death.
6. Surface Pro 3
It is a testament to Microsoft’s shitty product quality that even a 3rd generation product provided an early adopter experience. The Surface Pro 3 was a gift from a fiend. It was a top of the line model but was the epitome of unrefinement
- The chassis got very hot and led to CPU throttling. The CPU couldn’t burst for more than a few seconds at a time.
- The fan whirred all the time and was very loud.
- The fan still didn’t provide sufficient cooling and I had to carry around an external fan to cool it.
- It didn’t go to sleep every time the lid was closed and led to it discharging in the bag.
- The pen randomly stopped working without warning.
I am sure if I were still in India, I would have been tempted to get an EV and consequently suffered again.