Good Enough!

A blog about "good enough" things - for those who don't need, can't afford, or don't care about the "very best".

Saturday, July 24, 2004

The "good enough" line is changeable...

We bought a 27" Color TV about 3 years ago. At the time, we rarely rented movies, and we don't play video games (being of the generation where our mothers told us to "go outside and play"), so we didn't consider A/V or S-Video inputs as necessary. In other words that TV was "good enough". Then, I decided to buy a DVD player. I got an inexpensive one (that was "good enough" of course), but then I had to add an RF modulator to connect it to the TV, and of course the picture quality isn't anything like what you see in the store. The TV, without any failure on its part, had suddenly become not "good enough".  I write this to illustrate the point that the point where something is or is not adequate to the task can change over time, it's not a constant thing.  It can change again and again as the environment and variables surrounding it change. For example, I would now like to look at another TV, but if I buy one now it won't be "good enough" when the ATV standards (Advanced Television - which includes High Definition as part of its concepts) are mandatory. Buying a new, HDTV-compatible set right now, however, is beyond the "good enough" line in our household - they're too expensive for the limited additional benefits. So, I guess we will do what is often necessary: live with something  not quite adequate, and wait. Most people with a budget end up doing this several times throughout their lives - we're never the "early adopters", the people who buy the latest, neatist things when they first come out. We're the ones that wait for the second or third wave, the less-expensive "knockoffs", because those are "good enough" for us. I believe, also, that the "good enough" crowd constitutes a fairly large market out there, and I think (or hope) that the retailers and manufacturers are including us in their plans. One hopeful sign: the DVD player went very very quickly from an expensive new device to a commodity item, driving sales into the millions and also rippling into other markets, DVD rentals are now more prevalent than VHS tapes, I believe,  DVD sales are pretty strong from what I hear, and DVD recorders are almost ready for the third wave crowd.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

"good enough" for a dead person

I haven't been posting, because I've travelled to my father-in-law's memorial service.  Now, I've always thought that cemeteries were a waste of space, though I do understand some of the health reasons behind embalming. What made me write this post, however, is what is sort of the "norm" at the church he attended.  Members there are usually cremated and then inurned (thanks to my brother-in-law, who says that inurnment is the correct term), in a cardboard box.  They are then placed in the ground in the memorial garden - and this is why the cardboard box is "good enough" - where the biodegradable container breaks down, nature (bugs, worms, etc.) do their inevitable thing, and it all cycles back. I don't know what value ashes add to the garden soil, but it's got to be better than a lacquered wood box.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Another "good enough" tool...

I bought the low-end Sony Clie SL10, and use it to carry around an electronic version of the address book we use - my wife still prefers her paper DayTimer-type thing, but this is good for trips. At the time, this was the cheapest PalmOS PDA I could get, it uses AAA batteries, and as long as you stay on top of the battery level it's "good enough" for what I use it for. I don't carry it every day, and I don't run my work life via PDA, etcetera, so I don't need the latest-and-greatest. The Palm Desktop software is "good enough" too, pretty much - it handles the address book and the calendar in a Windows environment; I can HotSync the PDA to the Desktop on both of our PCs over our network and it works OK. The only quibble I have is the lack of import capability for iCalendar files, which is a "nice to have" not "have to have" feature.

I _have_ been thinking of downgrading, to an "organizer", which would have longer battery life, but I'm not sure the display is adequate and I'm unsure of how we'd synchronize and what we'd synchronize to. If you've experience with one that connects to a PC with Windows, let me know what you think.

Is a Kerry/Edwards ticket "good enough"?

While I consider myself in the "Anybody But Bush" camp - I wonder, is the Kerry/Edwards ticket strong enough to win? I haven't seen a lot of pizazz, nor a lot of smoke and thunder, from the Kerry camp. That may, however, just be good enough strategy: when your opponent continues to do stupid stuff all the time, just hold back until later in the campaign. The Bush camp seems mired, now, in the misfortunes of our poor military in Iraq. I feel for those soldiers - I didn't believe in the invasion, but I'm not in the military and I have the luxury of sitting home. If you're a military guy, you don't have that choice, and when your commanders send you on a mission out of stupidity and/or for misguided personal notions, you're bound by oath to try to comply. The result has not been pretty. I'm sure you've seen statistics of all of the American deaths, and if you're diligent, you may even have found the number of American injured, which is many many more. For parents, co-workers, siblings, and friends of these guys, it certainly is not "good enough". As long as the administration continues in this manner, the public will continue to lose faith, and Kerry and Edwards can wait before going into "major campaigning" mode. It may not be a matter of their being good enough, but rather of the Bush administration not being good enough.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Lights, Camera...

Some time ago, I bought a Radio Shack Flatfoto camera. It was "good enough" at the time, for what I wanted it for at the time: a camera I could always have with me, to take shots which I'd e-mail. The VGA resolution (640 x 480) works pretty well for e-mail and posting to the web, but the camera doesn't take great photos unless the light is just right. There's no flash, no memory card, and the USB driver for the camera is built into the photo-downloading software for the camera, so you can't download the photos in other ways. I'm not sure that it's "good enough" any more. That means I'll probably start looking into a "real" digital camera soon, I guess. I won't be in too much of a rush, since we own a couple of decent point-and-shoot 35mm cameras and one old SLR we inherited, so we still have the Photo/Picture CD (what is Kodak's preferred name for that, anyway?) option when we want digitized photos - which definitely is "good enough".

Why it's here

I intend to use this web log as a place to post thoughts and opinions about things which are "good enough". For example, I am posting this using a 366Mhz machine -"light years" behind current technology in the PC world. It's been upgraded somewhat - more memory, a second hard drive. Why haven't I bought a new machine? Simple - this one is good enough. I use it for e-mail, Internet surfing, some programming, XML, PaintShop Pro, burning CDs, and some other stuff. It's perfectly adequate for what I'm doing, so why should I spend money on a superfast machine? This is what I mean by "good enough" - something is "good enough" when it does the tasks you want, for a price you like, without hindering you in significant ways. There are other definitions, of course, for other situations, but we'll save those for the appropriate time. For now, I hope this explanation itself is "good enough".