There's an interesting article at the Mercury News about how low the DVD player prices have fallen and the amazing drop in prices in general for technology over the past 6 years... Here's the interesting bit:
I took a nostalgic journey to our newsroom library, pulling out microfilm for the Friday, May 23, 1997, Mercury News, and printed out the eight-page Fry's Electronics advertising section. Then I placed the copies next to the eight-page Fry's Electronics section from last Friday's paper.
Then-and-now comparisons are astounding:
San Jose-based Fry's sold a 2.1-gigabyte hard drive for $179 in 1997; this year, a 200-gigabyte hard drive -- 100 times bigger! -- cost $139 after mail-in rebate.
A 27-inch color TV was $249 in 1997, $129 in 2003.
A digital camera with a measly 76,800 pixels of resolution was $199 in 1997; a digital camera with 1 million pixels is $97 in 2003.
A Sony desktop computer with a 200 megahertz processor, 32 megabytes of random-access memory (RAM), 3.8 gigabyte hard drive and a CD-ROM drive cost $2,199 in 1997; a Sony desktop PC with a 2.4 gigahertz processor, 256 megabytes of RAM, 80 gigabyte hard drive, DVD recorder and CD-ROM drive is $799 in 2003.
There's also a long list of products advertised this year that didn't exist in 1997, including flat-panel LCD displays for desktop PCs, high-definition televisions, MP3 music players, satellite radio receivers, digital video camcorders, WiFi wireless networking equipment and USB thumb drives.
It's insane really. I ran into this recently when my parents bought a run-of-the-mill PC at Walmart and it was easily four times the computer that I'm using right now. My goodness, 200GB for $140? I've got to get out of the house more, I hadn't realized the prices had gone that low.
That scariest part is thinking about what it's going to be like in ANOTHER 6 years...