Andrew (R.S Admin) is a user on retro.social. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse.

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

retro.social/media/IdmtAQCJKDC

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

@ajroach42 eh, part of the problem is that stuff gets released that wasn't ever that good in the first place. so when it gets old, it's even worse than that. not much ages gracefully and even less so with newer products. the oldest phone i'd consider "usable" is my htc one m7 if its battery wasn't completely degraded. generally, lack of lte + aged battery + tiny internal storage = obsolescence

Andrew (R.S Admin) @ajroach42

@trwnh as a phone, sure.

I’m not advocating that we carry old phone.

But a phone is not all it could be.