The Early Adopter
We’re all aware of the technology price curve: When first introduced, products have the highest prices and the most instability. As these products settle into the market, they become more reliable and the prices fall, sometimes very quickly. People who make those first-release purchases are called early adopters. What are the advantages to being an early adopter? What are the disadvantages? How do you decide at what point you should step into the technology price curve for any given product?
Responses may vary, but advantages of being an early adopter may include the coolness and prestige of being the first to own a new item, access to new information and technology, and the opportunity to be ahead of the learning curve. Disadvantages may include the expense of the product, uncertainty regarding its reliability or staying power (for instance, PDAs or Windows Vista), and lack of supporting products or technology.
- A Green Machine
Review the impacts on the environment of your computer during its entire lifecycle. How do the production, transportation, and use of the computer affect the increase of greenhouse gas emissions? How does the selection of materials and packaging impact the environment? What restricted substances (like lead, mercury, cadmium, and PVC) are found in your machine? Could substitute materials be used? How would the ultimate “green machine” be designed?
Students should locate information about the manufacturing of the components in their computer, as well as the packaging and transportation methods. Students should attempt to identify any restricted substances and research alternative materials. Students’ ideas regarding a “green machine” may focus on using renewable resources and materials (solar or kinetic power, sustainable materials, etc.) or they may suggest environmentally-friendly production methods and factories.