[OT] Personal Finances: Was The perfect MP3 player

Shane Hathaway shane at hathawaymix.org
Mon Sep 19 01:24:23 MDT 2005

Ross Werner wrote:
> I personally think it's a great plan so long as you're still having a 
> good time while you're waiting for that dream-filled day when you pay 
> off the house/retire/whatever. Like I said before, if you're living your 
> life in misery because you're saving so much money so you can have a 
> debt-free future, then (at least in my opinion) that's not worth it.
> Of course, it doesn't sound like you're miserable at all :-) I imagine 
> you have your own hobbies and you spend your spare time doing things 
> that you enjoy doing, like posting to the plug list or whatever. It 
> certainly doesn't have to be blowing hundreds on mp3 players every 
> couple of years. (That wouldn't make me happy, anyway.)

Between the ages of 8 and 15, I only had about $10.  I spent a lot of 
time figuring out exactly how to spend it.  That $10 was worth so much 
to me that I didn't dare spend it on anything less than spectacular. 
Not surprisingly, I never found the right thing to spend it on.

However, my research to find the Spectacular Ten Dollar Thing became a 
great hobby.  I got into electronics and software.  I loved the free 
catalogs from All Electronics and other distributors.  My parents gave 
me a Radio Shack 200-in-1 kit for Christmas once and I played with it so 
much that I wore out all the springs.  People gave me worn out 
electronic devices and I did dangerously fun things with the innards.

Now that I have money to spend on a hobby, I've bought a few of the 
gadgets I always wanted--but I haven't used them much.  It turns out 
that I really liked building stuff; playing with a finished, polished 
product often isn't very interesting.  While it's unfortunate that I 
spent a bunch of money on things of low value to me, at least I learned 
the lesson before I lost money on some silly music player. :-)

Anyway... now I'm thinking about reviving the electronics hobby, but 
this time with the help of some money: getting a real soldering iron, a 
multimeter, maybe an oscilloscope, new components instead of recycled 
resistors, some kind of computer control module, etc.  And I'm going to 
have a lot of fun researching exactly what I want to buy.


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