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Author Topic: Is Blu Ray dying?  (Read 48648 times)
Ray
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« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2009, 06:35:27 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
And you're stuck yet again on the pointless downsizing to 'improve' quality nonsense. I want the good quality at full size, not half size. It's a very stupid way to compare best quality. No idea why you keep banging on about it.  
Not to mention I was talking about cameras with RAW ability.  

What is full size? That's a new concept. I've heard of A4 and A3 and A2 etc., but what size is 'full size'?
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Ray
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« Reply #61 on: January 27, 2009, 07:47:23 PM »
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Quote from: cmburns
To get back to the topic, yes Blu Ray is dying. I don't see it ever getting to critical mass before it becomes unnecesary. Global recession means adoption rates will fall even more. I am the target audience, gadget addicted disposable income having geek and I have only recently joined the blu ray revolution and even then dipped the smallest of toes in the water. I would have preferred HD-DVD since I tend to hate Sony and their proprietary crap but that was not to be.

Is there any evidence to support this view? Blu-ray has been around for little more than 2 1/2 years. Initial take-up was slow because of competition from the HD-DVD format and consequent indecision on the part of some potential cutomers.

After a Google search on the current state of the technology, I came across the following claims.

(1) 1220 titles on Blu-ray are currently available in the US.

(2) In the first week of November 2008, sales of Blu-ray recorders surpassed sales of DVD recorders in Japan.

(3) In December 2008, Pioneer Corporation unveiled a 400 GB Blu-ray disc, which contains 16 data layers, 25 GB each, and will be compatible with current players after a firmware update. A planned launch is in the 2009-2010 time frame for ROM and 2010-2013 for rewritable discs. Ongoing development is under way to create a 1 TB Blu-ray disc as soon as 2013.

Wikipedia covers the subject quite well at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc
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samirkharusi
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« Reply #62 on: January 27, 2009, 09:19:55 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
Is there any evidence to support this view? Blu-ray has been around for little more than 2 1/2 years. Initial take-up was slow because of competition from the HD-DVD format and consequent indecision on the part of some potential cutomers.

After a Google search on the current state of the technology, I came across the following claims.

(1) 1220 titles on Blu-ray are currently available in the US.

(2) In the first week of November 2008, sales of Blu-ray recorders surpassed sales of DVD recorders in Japan.

(3) In December 2008, Pioneer Corporation unveiled a 400 GB Blu-ray disc, which contains 16 data layers, 25 GB each, and will be compatible with current players after a firmware update. A planned launch is in the 2009-2010 time frame for ROM and 2010-2013 for rewritable discs. Ongoing development is under way to create a 1 TB Blu-ray disc as soon as 2013.

Wikipedia covers the subject quite well at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc
I am an ardent fan of BD and I always buy my movies in BD, if available. Just finished watching 16 hours(! Never thought I'll become vegetative to this extent!) of the BBC series "The Tudors" on my 70" Sony. This is the way all TV should be. Superb cinematography, superb sound, good script even if historically inaccurate. But Sigh... Most of the people I would happily let borrow my discs still do not own any way of playing BDs. They all own (with mis-adjusted aspect ratios) HD displays, but the highest resolution they have ever watched at home are pirated download movies and DVDs. They are generally early adopters and all seem to have terabyte drives full of pirated movies. These pirated downloads are surprisingly good for not much more than a GB per hour (slightly better quality than the HD LLVJ but still very far from a BD movie). But I think there have been too many hurdles imposed on BD, primarily by Sony and other studio owners like Warner Bros. After brilliantly making the PS3 the early-adopter BD player of choice, they still insist on Region Coding, 20 to 30% premium for a BD version of a movie over a DVD, ridiculous price for blanks, still too high a price for burners, etc, etc. Yes, pity, but I think it may indeed be dying.
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« Reply #63 on: January 29, 2009, 10:53:54 AM »
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Quote from: Ray
What is full size? That's a new concept. I've heard of A4 and A3 and A2 etc., but what size is 'full size'?
Not downrezed. There is no set physical measurement as it depends on image dimensions and dpi. Now if I am comparing a 8mp camera against a 28MP camera I do not print both images at A5 to compare differences. I would compare them at A1, as that is when it matters.

Plus unlike with film printing much smaller print sizes can actually result in a loss of quality. I had to argue with my idiot printers to print one side of my business cards at 600dpi as the downsampling of some of the images to 300dpi, markedly reduced quality [which would not be fixed by sharpening]. But they trotted out the dumb 'no need for more than 300dpi' mantra which is based on ignorant nonsense as it comes from the 'no less than 300dpi' guideline, which is a different suggestion altogether and was a guideline before digital resizing even existed.
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Ray
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« Reply #64 on: January 29, 2009, 07:02:28 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
Not downrezed. There is no set physical measurement as it depends on image dimensions and dpi. Now if I am comparing a 8mp camera against a 28MP camera I do not print both images at A5 to compare differences. I would compare them at A1, as that is when it matters.

Plus unlike with film printing much smaller print sizes can actually result in a loss of quality. I had to argue with my idiot printers to print one side of my business cards at 600dpi as the downsampling of some of the images to 300dpi, markedly reduced quality [which would not be fixed by sharpening]. But they trotted out the dumb 'no need for more than 300dpi' mantra which is based on ignorant nonsense as it comes from the 'no less than 300dpi' guideline, which is a different suggestion altogether and was a guideline before digital resizing even existed.

Printing both images at A5 would be going to extremes. Let's be sensible   . The 8"x12" standard at 300 ppi, that DXO uses, is representative of an 8mp image.

I rarely downrez images in practice. I print from Qimage which I believe never uses less than 360ppi at default and can interpolate up to 720ppi.

I could be wrong, but I get the impression that the purpose of downrezzing (as opposed to uprezzing) is to eliminate as many variables as possible for the purposes of an easier and less distracting comparison of those image qualities such as dynamic range and noise. We all know that the camera with the higher pixel count can deliver greater resolution. If your purpose is to compare the resolution from cameras with different pixel counts, then uprezzing is the way to go.

I have little doubt that I would be happier making a 24"x36" print from a 15mp 50D image than I would from a 10mp 40D image of the identical scene, but it gets expensive on ink and paper to satisfy my curiosity in this way.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 07:03:39 PM by Ray » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #65 on: January 30, 2009, 09:00:41 PM »
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Quote from: samirkharusi
I am an ardent fan of BD and I always buy my movies in BD, if available. Just finished watching 16 hours(! Never thought I'll become vegetative to this extent!) of the BBC series "The Tudors" on my 70" Sony. This is the way all TV should be. Superb cinematography, superb sound, good script even if historically inaccurate. But Sigh... Most of the people I would happily let borrow my discs still do not own any way of playing BDs. They all own (with mis-adjusted aspect ratios) HD displays, but the highest resolution they have ever watched at home are pirated download movies and DVDs. They are generally early adopters and all seem to have terabyte drives full of pirated movies. These pirated downloads are surprisingly good for not much more than a GB per hour (slightly better quality than the HD LLVJ but still very far from a BD movie). But I think there have been too many hurdles imposed on BD, primarily by Sony and other studio owners like Warner Bros. After brilliantly making the PS3 the early-adopter BD player of choice, they still insist on Region Coding, 20 to 30% premium for a BD version of a movie over a DVD, ridiculous price for blanks, still too high a price for burners, etc, etc. Yes, pity, but I think it may indeed be dying.

As I see it, if Blu-ray is dying then it is likely to be true only within the context of optical media in general, dying. I cannot see a situation where Blu-ray would die and standard defition DVD would continue. If optical media is superceded by cheaper, sold state and/or 'race track' hard drive storage (whatever), in conjunction with increased internet speeds, then possibly all optical media will become obsolete.

However, there are large areas of the globe where fast and affordable broadband internet is not available. Even in Australia, 25GB of internet downloads currently can cost a lot more than a 25GB Blu-ray movie, without even including the cost of the storage of that download.

If we go back in time to the introduction of the music CD, and then the DVD , I think probably 2 1/2 years after the introduction of those media formats, prices were then far greater than they currently are for Blu-ray, whether blanks or recorded data, if one takes inflation into consideration. In fact, I recall paying as much as A$25 for a single music CD in the early 1980's, which by today's value would be at least A$100.

Nor do I believe that 2 1/2 years after the introduction of the DVD, I would have been able to buy a multi-region DVD player for even close to A$250. I can get such a Blu-ray player in Australia today, albeit made in China, multi-region for both Blu-ray and DVD movies.

50" Plasma displays, Blu-ray players and Blu-ray movies are all tremendously good value. The recession will of course have an impact, as it will in most areas, but entertainment seems to be relatively immune to recession. People need to be entertained   .


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daws
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« Reply #66 on: February 02, 2009, 06:12:15 PM »
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I think the question relates very much to Michael's Feb. 1 column, "Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough."

I'm a lifelong audio-and videophile who gladly plunked down US$80 to $100 for the first CDs and pre-recorded Beta video tapes (I eschewed VHS), and was first in line for LaserDiscs.

But not a dime for Blu-Ray.

Why? Because in a market already saturated with DVD upres players the improvement in spec isn't worth the cost.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 06:18:50 PM by daws » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #67 on: February 02, 2009, 07:28:40 PM »
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Quote from: daws
I think the question relates very much to Michael's Feb. 1 column, "Quality vs. Value - When is Enough Enough."

I'm a lifelong audio-and videophile who gladly plunked down US$80 to $100 for the first CDs and pre-recorded Beta video tapes (I eschewed VHS), and was first in line for LaserDiscs.

But not a dime for Blu-Ray.

Why? Because in a market already saturated with DVD upres players the improvement in spec isn't worth the cost.

This is the sort of argument I find very odd indeed. If we were talking about small increments in improvement, such as moving up from an SVGA projector to an XGA projector at great expense, or moving up from an NTSC 480 lines SD system to a PAL 525 lines SD system, I would agree. We'd be into marginal improvements that only the most dedicated videophile would be interested in.

But HD video is in a different ball park. At it's best, as manifest in Blu-ray discs, HD video has approximately 6x more picture resolution (detail) than standard definition at its best.

The comparison would be between Canon's first DSLR, the 3mp D30, and the 16mp 1Ds2. The difference is so huge I hardly think that Michael's recent essay is relevant in any shape or form to this situation.

There's something else going on here, which is very puzzling. The difference between video from Blu-ray on my 50" plasma set and SD video from a DVD on my 50" plasma set is so obvious, from an appropriate viewing distance, that I can only assume that those who think the improvement is marginal are simply switching off their brains.
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daws
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« Reply #68 on: February 02, 2009, 10:30:54 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
There's something else going on here, which is very puzzling. The difference between video from Blu-ray on my 50" plasma set and SD video from a DVD on my 50" plasma set is so obvious, from an appropriate viewing distance, that I can only assume that those who think the improvement is marginal are simply switching off their brains.

There is indeed a difference in the quality of the image.

And you're right that something else is going on here.

What it is, however, is not people switching off their brains.





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« Reply #69 on: February 02, 2009, 10:47:51 PM »
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Quote from: daws
I'm a lifelong audio-and videophile who gladly plunked down US$80 to $100 for the first CDs
That's a contradiction as the early CDs sounded awful - mainly due to the kit they were being played on. I waited until the 90s and only bought a CD player as stuff I wanted wasn't available on vinyl, though plenty of other music I bought wasn't available on CDs.
Ironically it was DJing that totally swung me to CDs, as after playing with some Pioneeer CDJs, I realised, how much better there were was compard to a Technics 1200.
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Ray
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« Reply #70 on: February 02, 2009, 11:26:55 PM »
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Quote from: daws
What it is, however, is not people switching off their brains.


Well, tell us what it is. No need to be smug. Switching off their brains is the only explanation I can think of. If you have a better one, please enlighten us.
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Ray
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« Reply #71 on: February 02, 2009, 11:38:57 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
That's a contradiction as the early CDs sounded awful - mainly due to the kit they were being played on. .

The early CDs had brick-wall filtering and harsh high frequencies as a consequence. However, they had the advantage of freedom from pops and crackles, and background 'hiss'. This is a bit analogous to the sudden blowing of highlights in digital images, as opposed the the gradual shoulder of film.

The sound recording engineers, when confronted with digital recorders, were a bit like photographers who had switched to digital. They would often use the same techniques they were familiar with when using analog tape recorders, and blow the 'sound equivalent' of highlights on the digital recorders.
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daws
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« Reply #72 on: February 02, 2009, 11:57:04 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
That's a contradiction as the early CDs sounded awful

For so many of us audiophiles there was no contradiction at all between the amount of our individual GDP's that we plunked down to purchase early consumer digital, and how it sounded (sucky, in fact). It was <drum roll> hot, new, and Cutting Edge. And that was key.

Nigh on thirty years later, I and my friends who weep at the the mass popularity of MP3 groan at Blu-Ray. Not at its video spec, but at the sham that the industry made of the development and marketing process. High-definition DVD formats are perceived by the public as "gimmicks" -- the result of years of publicity bought and paid for by the manufacturers and movie studios themselves in their myopic spec-wars with each other.

In a world with an enormous SD DVD installed base, many of whom have been through at least one standards conversion that rendered their entire collection of media un-hot, not-new, and Dull Edge, there seems little likelihood of a mass embracing of Blu-Ray or any other new DVD spec -- until and unless the new spec hardware & media is the same price and availability as the existing popular spec; is transparently compatible with existing spec hardware & media; and is of such quality improvement as to create virtual ecstasy for the eyes and ears of John and Jane Q. Public.

Blu-Ray, improved video notwithstanding, isn't it.

Or as a friend of mine pointed out when we were jawing about this very topic, "If consumer audio & video was driven by considerations of technical quality, FM would have been the rage in the 30's and everyone would know who Ed Armstrong was."
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 12:07:29 AM by daws » Logged
daws
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« Reply #73 on: February 03, 2009, 12:03:09 AM »
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Quote from: Ray
Well, tell us what it is. No need to be smug. Switching off their brains is the only explanation I can think of. If you have a better one, please enlighten us.

Believe me, no smugness or disrespect is intended: if the only explanation you can think of to explain why Blu-Ray isn't being better accepted is the mass stupidity of people, I'm truly the least qualified person I can think of to persuade you otherwise.
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Ray
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« Reply #74 on: February 03, 2009, 02:44:36 AM »
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Quote from: daws
Believe me, no smugness or disrespect is intended: if the only explanation you can think of to explain why Blu-Ray isn't being better accepted is the mass stupidity of people, I'm truly the least qualified person I can think of to persuade you otherwise.

I didn't use the expression 'mass stupidity'. You did. I will always opt for any explanation that is reasonable as opposed to no explanation at all.

I'll expand upon my theory. The mass of video material available to watch on TV, including most movies transferred to video tape and DVD, requires no more than a low order of intelligence to appreciate. The average Joe Blow, after a hard day's work, plonks himself down in his favourite chair to be entertained. He switches off his mind. The emotional impact and excitement of Arnold Schwarzenegger smashing someone's brains onto the concrete floor, or the sight of a car being chased by the cops and crashing through a restaurant window, is not greatly enhanced when seen in high definition. It is enhanced to some degree but not to a sufficient degree to get most people concerned, just as most people are not concerned about the quality of their snapshots, and for the same reason, why P&S cameras are far more popular than DSLRs.

Perhaps this is a weak explanation and perhaps also derogatory. Let's have a better one, then. Your explanation that 6x the picture detail is too marginal an improvement, just doesn't make sense.
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #75 on: February 03, 2009, 09:07:17 AM »
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Quote from: daws
In a world with an enormous SD DVD installed base, many of whom have been through at least one standards conversion that rendered their entire collection of media un-hot, not-new, and Dull Edge, there seems little likelihood of a mass embracing of Blu-Ray or any other new DVD spec -- until and unless the new spec hardware & media is the same price and availability as the existing popular spec; is transparently compatible with existing spec hardware & media; and is of such quality improvement as to create virtual ecstasy for the eyes and ears of John and Jane Q. Public.

Agreed, as I (probably badly) phrased it myself early in this thread.

Ray, I don't say that a DVD SD TV picture is as nice as the image on large HD screen. It isn't. All I am saying I don't think that the improvement matters enough to enough people. I think for most people, most of what they watch on TV for home entertainment does not need high quality reproduction. What I have is good enough for my purposes, but it goes without saying that my needs are not the same as those of others. If I could have better at zero (or near zero) cost, then sure, why not. But I will likely not budge until I have to. My old TV is working fine and so long as I can rent DVDs at my local rental store, it is not important for me to upgrade.

You asked in an earlier post why people who care about image quality (presumably people on this site) can live with substandard TV reproduction. It's easy. Different standards for different purposes. Not all my meals are gourmet feasts, sometimes I listen to music in my car with lots of ambient noise, and sometimes I watch some films on VHS. In the grand scheme of things, it's not that important. Anyway, there is always something better out there to measure against.
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« Reply #76 on: February 03, 2009, 04:10:09 PM »
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Quote from: Robert Roaldi
I don't say that a DVD SD TV picture is as nice as the image on large HD screen. It isn't. All I am saying I don't think that the improvement matters enough to enough people.

Bingo. In marketing-speak, BD's OOB* doesn't have enough WOW.

Just ask the folks who sell BD at the retail level: the buying public clearly sees BD's improved video quality yet doesn't purchase in mass numbers -- a pattern which was established well before the economic bubble burst.

Arguments of working-class aesthetics aside, BD simply doesn't have sufficient Wow to overcome SD DVD's combination of installed-base ubiquitousness, low cost and enormous selection of media. Nor can its superior video quality change the popular perception that it's a videophile's luxury toy at best and a gimmick at worst -- just another combatant in the ongoing post-modern Beta-VHS wars.

As a result, the thing that anoints all commercially successful consumer tech as Must-Have -- enthusiastic word of mouth -- isn't generated.

And so, as noted earlier in the thread, BD sits at sub-critical mass.

Dead? Not in the sense of having to nail the parrot's feet to the perch.

But dying? Well... even without the current recession, what industry would continue to shovel money into a new, proprietary DVD format in the hopes that it eventually catches on?



*Out of the box experience.


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« Reply #77 on: February 03, 2009, 05:31:39 PM »
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Our local big box store has many more BD movies than ordinary music CDS at the moment. Probably about 30% as many BDs as standard def DVDs right now. I'd say BD is doing fine. It may or may not eventually supplant DVD, but everyone I know who has seen BD has either bought a player already, or is planning to. My family members all claim to see a very big improvement, and my wife won't consider buying or renting a regular DVD now, even at a discount.

I'm also convinced that content delivered over the net will eventually kill off all prerecorded media. The big question is how the production and distribution companies will divide that pie. Undoubtedly, they'll make the same kind of short-sighted mistakes they did with MP3. The music industry acted like they could force people to continue buying standard CDs forever, but it hasn't taken long to prove otherwise. I've never been impressed with the quality of MP3 (or WMA, etc., etc.), but it sure is convenient to carry 7,000 songs in the car (which is the defintion of a bad listening environment). It would be great to be able to watch, say, some obscure episode of a long-cancelled TV show at a whim. But speaking striclty for myself, it will be hard to tolerate low quality video from now on. BD, and to some extent broadcast HD, has seen to that.
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« Reply #78 on: February 04, 2009, 11:06:18 PM »
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Quote from: daws
For so many of us audiophiles there was no contradiction at all between the amount of our individual GDP's that we plunked down to purchase early consumer digital, and how it sounded (sucky, in fact). It was <drum roll> hot, new, and Cutting Edge. And that was key.
An audiophile cares first and foremost about the quality of the sound, not how new the equipment is. As I said contradictory.
I'd be likely to describe you as an early adopter/ gadget freak instead.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 11:06:44 PM by jjj » Logged

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daws
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« Reply #79 on: February 05, 2009, 01:00:00 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
I'd be likely to describe you as an early adopter/ gadget freak instead.

Merely a temporary lapse of sanity. (Something in the water that year, I suspect.)
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