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Have we become too demanding on tech?

Over the past couple of years, there has been a lot of stuff happening in tech — faster CPUs, better phones, broadband connectivity and digital entertainment.

Despite these advances, I often see or hear people wanting for more — faster, harder, better (much like that song). On top of that, we also want them cheaper. Nothing seems to satisfy us at all.

So when I look back on what has transpired in the last decade, I’m totally amazed at where we are right now. Consider this scenario from 5 to 10 years ago…

  • From 1999 to 2004, my PC has always been the same PC — an Intel Pentium III 350 with 512MB RAM and NVidia Riva TNT2 32MB. I did Photoshop, Premiere and played Warcraft 3 with it. It was a great machine.
  • When I finally upgraded that PC in 2005, I also bought a 17″ Sampo flat screen CRT monitor for Php7,000 and was loving it. Today, I have two 22″ and one 32″ Samsung LCD monitors in my room, yet sometimes I still find them a bit lacking.
  • In 2004, I tried to apply for a fixed wireless broadband in Bacoor, Cavite with Meridian Telecoms. I was willing to pay an installation fee of Php10,000 and a monthly fee of Php8,999 for a 128Kbps wireless connection. I moved to Makati and applied for a 256Kbps for Php2,995 with GreenDot. I was very happy with my 256Kbps. Thank goodness Smart bought Meridian the next year and dropped the price to Php999.
  • The very first laptop I bought was in 2006 — an unbranded OEM named eBox (Celeron 1.4GHz) and I paid over Php30,000 for it because I thought it was already very cheap for a laptop. Today, a netbook with the same or better specs as that one would be considered expensive at Php30k.
  • In 2005, I bought my first PDA — a Palm Zire 71, sporting a 144MHz Texas Instrument OMAP310 processor and 13MB of usable memory. I didn’t have 3G, WiFi — just Bluetooth, but it was cool.
  • In college, every time I go to my home province of Guimaras for vacation, I had to go outside in the plaza and climb up the basketball tower just to send and receive SMS. It was still cool since I am able to contact friends back here in Manila from the boondocks.
  • When net cafes started popping up in the metro, people were willing to pay upwards of Php60 an hour. Today, some people still find Php20 an hour on 3G expensive and want them cheaper and unlimited.

Today, we always complain on every drop of our bandwidth, on phones that do not have WiFi, netbooks that should be under Php30k or a WiMax service that’s capped at 512Kbps.

I’m sure a lot of you here knows how it was like when tech innovations in the 90’s and early 2000 are far apart and between. Looks like the faster technology updates, the more demanding we have become of it.

Updated: Here’s a clip shared by SpiderMang in the comments — People in Today’s Society Take Things For Granted.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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45 Responses

  1. anonimo says:

    One of the OJTs here in the office still can’t believe that processors run at a then-powerful 40MHz back, and you were considered blessed to have owned a 40MB hard drive. And he couldn’t believe that it was already considered powerful :P

  2. indeed sir yuga, i agree with you

  3. spidamang says:

    this reminded me of this clip…


    Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy. :D

  4. BrianB says:

    Of course, Moore’s law. You’re also forgetting productivity. How productive were you with a Meridian connection, and paying 9k a month for it?

    I was luckier. I bought my first laptop late 2006, paid 50k for a secondhand dell 700m, already with licensed MS Office and licensed Symantec corporate edition. I also remember paying 3,600 for a 2MB globe, and splitting the fee with five other flat mates. I had a huge living room (common room) but I lived in the maid’s quarter (alone,though, with my own bathroom). Cost of living was under 10k total.

  5. BrianB says:

    You may also have to thank MS Office if not too many people feel the improvements from Pentium to core duo. Word and Excel feel about the same after all these years.

  6. vern says:

    It is our every right and duty to demand more of what we pay for.

  7. Jhay says:

    It’s human nature I guess. We’ve always wanted things to be faster, better, and cheaper. Once we stop craving for these things, innovation may just come to a stand still.

  8. Reel Advice says:

    I guess one thing to consider is we already know what the capabilities are for what we bought. So if I pay for a net connection stating they can give me speeds of 2mbps, then my expectation is they should deliver. So any drop in that then we complain.

    The more we see that things are getting better around us, the more we expect and the more we get easily unsatisfied. I hope that made sense! :)

  9. koolitz says:

    kelan ba nagsimula ang SMS sa Pinas?

  10. a.cantos says:

    people always seek their limits… though it seems that for technology, there’s no boundaries.

    i think i’d be satisfied with today’s technologies, when it comes to gadgets, if manufacturers would also stop innovating…

  11. Patrick says:

    Well… duh! It’s a fact of life and human nature not to get contented with what we have. This also applies in other things not just technology.

    This reminds me of that amazing Pixar movie “Wall-E” which depicts one possible future of mankind. And with the rate at which our tech is advancing and how we humans use it, I’m afraid we’re just about to make that movie a reality in a few hundred years. Not that any of us will be there to see it happen. xD

  12. I can relate in net cafes, way back 1999 the cheapest rate is 30 and 60 is a regulare rate for mall net cafes today 30 is the cheapest mall net cafe rates and 15php is the regular rate.

    I saw 5php per hour in cebu you just need to give the owner of the cafe a drugs =P

  13. ador says:

    i was doing web designs projects on an amd sempron machine with 500mb ram since 2005. it just went bonkers recently and i can’t even open itunes on that thing and it takes like 30 minutes for windows to boot. now it can only run ubuntu. i hate it when i have to spend cash just to upgrade the machine. i think i’ll wait for windows 7 to arrive before i buy a new desktop.

  14. Neobux says:

    There’s no leverage on Technology, as more and more people are getting inclined with it.

    Guys, please feel free to sign up on my site.

    Add my messenger: neobuxfriendster and I’ll help you out.

    And by the way, Yuga — thanks for this very insightful post.

  15. sky says:

    On the PC side, everything changed with the advent of dual/multicore CPUs. The Pentium line was relegated from being Intel’s premium brand to Intel’s basic lower end brand.

    On the ISP side, broadband became cheaper and cheaper when people realized that there are actually other broadband service providers aside from PLDT.

    What I missed about CRTs were the viewing angles. While LCD technology has vastly improved since its birth, there’s just no denying that CRTs are still better when it comes to viewing angles.

  16. rene says:

    It seems it boils down to your needs. What is your needs. If its gaming surely you need the fastest to cope up with the fast actions. If its just word processing and surfing from time to time you’ll be contented with a 900mhz or lesser.

  17. Vidar says:

    I got my first PC back in 2001. It’s an AMD K6-2 500MHz with 64MB of RAM and 4MB onboard video. I was happy back then because I was able to play Counter-Strike and Diablo 2 with it.

  18. Men have unlimited wants–it’s a principle of Economics. :D It’s natural to ask for more!

    And complain for that matter. Haha.

  19. yuga says:

    @Patrick, my point exactly; but the question still remains — why with technology, we want faster and cheaper but with other stuff like fashion and lifestyle, it’s the other way around.

    I used to be a fan of Penshoppe clothing back in high school. Their Nature series t-shirts were only Php250, I think in early 90s. Today, that same t-shirt would cost at least Php600. A Levi’s 501 was around Php1,000 back then but today, they cost around Php2,000 or higher.

    Another example is the food industry. Wendy’s spag and hamburger was just Php16.75 in 1996. Today, that same spag costs at least Php50, 4 times more expensive.

  20. Neobux says:

    “Another example is the food industry. In college, Wendy’s spag and hamburger was just Php16.75. Today, that same spag costs Php50.”

    -oooohhh, the f*cking costs nowadays. Good thing I don’t live on those treats. Fish from the talipapa gave me a muscular body and a sound mind. All I get from McDonald’s was a queasy after-meal fallout.

  21. there’s only one thing constant in this world, “change”. the law of survival states that you change or you perish. and that’s why gadgets and computers change.

  22. drew says:

    blame it all on the innovators and.. the businessmen. lol!

  23. Neobux says:

    Just like what the Hippies say:

    “We’re all pawns of the big, greedy corporations. The only way we can avert the likeliness of this is by living a normal life and elude from the casual use of the internet… It’s draining our metaphysical awareness”

  24. i agree..nothing more.. nice post there yuga

  25. good for you. in my case i never had a desktop, probably because my job sytarted off as sales, then marketing, then both marketing and technical. i bought palm m105, then upgraded to sony clie sj30. my first lappie was an acer apire. then two years after hp mini 1000.

  26. Khairul says:

    Sorry but I need to ask about feedburner. And i got problem with it.

    After registered my blog with feedburner, my blog link become a feed bulletin of feedburber when added into blog list. Why?

    [email protected]

  27. mish says:

    These days, I consider adopting and maintaining a more/better/faster/now/damnit attitude obscene. It’s just, well, wrong, given the context we’re currently in.

  28. Bon says:


    The Wendy’s and Penshoppe examples you cite are mostly the result of inflation – we expect prices to go up as a matter of course. The Wendy’s spaghetti price, for example, is equivalent to a year-on-year increase of 8.8% over the 13 year period between 1996 and 2009. What’s different about technology is the exponential increase in processing power for a given area on a microchip (i.e., Moore’s Law). As new, more powerful chips come onstream, the older models get discounted. The increase in processing power, as well as intense competition in the tech sector, is more than offsetting the inflationary effects.

  29. Darren says:

    same reason that you want your girlfriend always hotter than others!

  30. Marissa says:

    Ah my first laptop had a whopping 700MB hard drive and a 75Hz processor!

  31. yuga says:

    @bon — ahh yes, inflation. But if we are looking for a faster, bigger and cheaper PC then why are we not also looking for a faster delivery, bigger hamburger patties and cheaper fries? :D

    @darren, then why aren’t married people divorcing their old wives for younger more beautiful ones? wait, they do. :D

  32. Bon says:


    The tech industry has conditioned us (and therefore our expectations) to think in terms of Moore’s Law. It will always be cheaper and better next year. :)

    OTOH, food is a major component of the consumer price index – it naturally rises with inflation.

  33. I remember, back in 2004, I was happy na with a 56KB Dialup modem hooked up to PLDT Vibe.

    I also remember na 40GB was enough space for me, nung mga 2002.

    pero now, 1mbps plan is not enough for me. and I have almost 3.5TB of space in my PC.

  34. Cheftonio says:

    Back then, we had a pentium 3 500mhz 6gb computer that we said was impossible to fill.
    Our internet was as fast as 32kbps and all of our cousins and friends was very impressed.

    My first cellphone (1999) was an Ericsson GA628, a one-liner gsm that i had the antenna change to a blinking one.

    Today, all of these are near worthless.

  35. andy cruz says:

    very nice post..

    3 months ago nung d pa naka out ung 5800
    sobrang gus2 ko na palitan ung nokia 6288 which is ok nmn .. i chose n81 8gb then after a month of use at lumabas na ung 5800 kamuntik ko na benta nga half price un a month old n81 at ung 6288 nakatambak lng kahit ok pa sya…
    buti na lng na pigilan ko urge…

    may dell 1405 me core 2 du0 gud specs and when i sent it sa dell repair sa antel global dko makatiis sa small screen ng aspire 8″ ng sis ko so while in repair i bought new acer laptop 4736z… now i have dell from repair and got new one…
    i want to get acer timeline.. eh nung binili ko aceraspire 4736 la pa daw news kelan dating un.. i even emailed acer sales directly and called them la pa din daw… 2 days ago villman websit nakapost na yang acer timeline…. ayaw ko na ung acer 4736 … considering dell ko na sa akin pa wala pa week ung acer ko … hay .. BAON na BAon itong post mo sa aKIN…

    in short demanding me unnecesarry na….

  36. spidamang says:

    I use my fast desktop (1 gb or ram) to play games.

    I use my old sempron rig (128mb ram) running zenwalk linux for work (writing in abiword, spreadsheets in gcalc and some coding). I am able to be productive kasi walang distractions.

    That’s pretty much my take on PC specs. It should be dependent on what you need and how will you be using it.

    It’s like getting a Ferrari only you can’t really crank it up because the roads suck. hehehe

    But when it comes to my internet, there will never be enough bandwidth hehehehe

  37. Jun Velasco says:

    Hi Abe,
    I forwarded your feed to everyone else at Friendster and they had a blast reading about your experiences. The youtube link was hilarious which I forwarded to some other friends.

    But on a more serious note, technology has indeed evolved faster than we can ever learn and relearn their practical applications. I have yet to discover what else my MsWord can do and yet I use it on a daily basis and still not know what else it can offer.

    Technology can be good, but wasted if we cannot learn fast enough how it is really good for us.

  38. gio says:

    nice article yuga.

  39. cobi says:

    Technology has grown exponentially due to our hunger for communication, socialization, and networking. Having a faster rig, larger disk space, or having an LCD with the highest contrast ratio will eventually, though not directly point out to our need for connectivity… and all the other stuff comes with it… if you know what i mean.

    Nice article yuga…


  40. jude says:

    i agree that nice post

  41. RICH says:

    never ending technology! we are all victims here.
    hehe.. hayden cam scandals and more to come.haha

  42. Techie says:

    People wants the highest specs. and the best components for their gadgets. Specially for their PCs/MAC. But in reality, VERY FEW utilizes their computer’s processing capability. There are a lot of MAC users today but majority of them uses their mac just to show off or type documents with. =p

  43. paul0 says:

    What’s ironic is that most Filipinos play games that doesn’t need much computing horsepower.

  44. Ramil Kue says:

    actually yuga, you can’t compare technology to food. because food as a basic need was being manipulated its price due to the increase of tax and the like. however technology on the other hand is trying to give the best and will be. who knows one of these days, food will become more cheaper because we’ll be eating via machine. joke.seriously that’s life facts.

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