Antique Computers? Let's Outlaw That

<b>Andy Rooney</b> Says Inventors Are Reinventing Too Fast

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The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.

I wish the people inventing things would slow down and give us some time to catch up with the last thing they invented.

They come up with new models before I know how to work my old model.

Pushed aside in my office are some old computers. I don't use them because they come up with a new model every six months and, typical American that I am, I buy them. Can you believe we're already at the point where we have old-fashioned computers? Some of my old computers go back as far as four years. When did four years get to be antique?

I bought a new printer for my computer. I hooked it up and it wouldn't print. I went back to the store and they told me the new model printer doesn't work with my old model computer.

Some of my cameras – Nikon, Canon, Rolleiflex – are some of the best cameras ever made. Now they're collector's items and I'm the collector. Cameras are all digital now. Forget those yellow rolls of film we used to have. You no longer take your film to the drugstore and get your pictures back the next day. With digital cameras, you need another gadget to get a picture that you can show anyone.

If you're 15 years old and have a cell phone, you may think people always had cell phones. Well, no one had a cell phone when your parents were your age.

Already, there are obsolete cell phones, too. I like the first cell phone I ever bought. It works. I took it into a store to buy a new battery last week. The guy looked at it, turned it over and over in his hand and said 'Boy, where did you get this?' To him, this was an antique.

Here's something you're going to have to get used to: A flashlight that has something called "diodes" in it instead of bulbs.

When I come in every morning, I make coffee, I use a Chemex, which I like. You put the coffee in the folded filter paper and pour hot water over it. Presto, it's coffee.

A while ago, I was on Don Imus's morning radio show and he sent me a high-tech coffeemaker. You have to use these special coffee pods. They cost $9.00 for five ounces or $29 a pound for coffee.

Well, is this progress in coffee-making?

I just got a new catalog from "The Sharper Image." One ad for a new model vacuum cleaner says, "These are gorgeous, brilliantly engineered machines...." Well, I like my old Hoover. I don't care whether my vacuum cleaner is gorgeous or not.

Reinventing anything ought to be illegal less than five years after it was first invented.
By Andy Rooney