Goodbye Flip

I was quite surprised to read today that Cisco was planning to essentially kill the Flipcam, the small, digital camcorder used by millions.  Pure Digital, a company that Cisco acquired for $590 million, first released the iconic personal cam in September, 2007. Since then, I’ve owned about ten of them and have probably given away an additional ten.

You see, for years and years I had wanted a little camcorder just like the Flip. I even recal buying something similar from, of all companies, Gateway Computers around 2004. It cost $300, and the video resolution was poor (like 320×240 poor). The buttons and menu system was bulky. It was, overall, a bad experience.

When the Flip came out, it changed that entire space and enabled everyone to generate video content on the fly–even schmucks like me could manage it. I would take these cams around the local tech. scene and out to conferences. It was fairly common to see me as pictured above, obnoxiously videotaping you while you tried to get work done and/or get drunk at a mixer. It made for great content and terrific storytelling.

It’s probably not terribly healthy to feel sad about the demise of a device, but this particular end- of-an-era stings a little bit. I don’t publish as many videos as I did in the past, but for some reason, I still keep a Flipcam with me. I suppose it helps to know it’s there just in case. For instance, maybe aliens will land in my back yard, or I’ll see something unique that I must capture and directly profit from on YouTube.

Now please excuse me for a moment; gotta hit up Amazon to buy some of the last existing Flips for a rainy day–or for Ebay and some poor person with still more vintage gadget-lust than even I possess.

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Photo via (CC) Brian Solis, and

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