Tech deals not limited to Black Friday

Being bilingual and bicultural I tend to get curious about many things that I didn’t grow up with in Japan. Although “etymology” refers to what a certain word may have meant hundreds or thousands of years ago, for me it might as well apply to culturally unique events unilaterally.

For example I never knew that the phrase “Black Friday” dates back to pre-1961, was used to describe the downtown streetscape of Friday after Thanksgiving in Philadelphia circa 1975, and eventually spawned the current usage where it marks the beginning of a profitable month for the retailers to end the year.

I can count with one hand the number of times I’ve ventured out together with my wife on Friday after Thanksgiving to “shop ‘til we drop.” I remember one year when, as newlyweds, we scored a bread machine for $15. Another was when my Mom came to visit us from Japan. We wanted to show her the wonderful Christmas light show in the neighborhood, especially the one on Gershwin Street in Westlake, but she had to fly back so Black Friday was an unique experience for her.

Over the years I’ve noticed Black Friday starting earlier. So much so that it starts even before the turkey-induced coma invades our bodies on Thanksgiving Day! Another phenomenon, probably owing in part to the ubiquitous nature of the digital world, is how local (aka brick-and-mortar) and online retailers “leak” Black Friday pricing information months in advance to entice consumers to their stores on that biggest shopping day of the year.

We are also seeing "pre-Black Friday" sales in weeks leading up to the actual day with similar prices to the actual Black Friday offerings (except perhaps for the limited-quantity doorbusters that people line up and camp out for a chance at scoring those "holy grail" doorbuster offerings; this year a "leak" stating a name-brand 50-inch smart TV offering for $199 caught my fancy for a split second).

One thing to remember is that technology is like fruit; they both have limited shelf life. This characteristic of technology guarantees a frequent clearance sale that is not limited to one Friday of the year. So enjoy the Black Friday bonanza while being a smart consumer looking for tangible deals on technology throughout the year.

As always lets not forget to enjoy the company of family and friends around the Thanksgiving dinner table. I know I will and our family has a lot to be thankful again this year! Happy Thanksgiving!



In your last column, you mentioned making free telephone calls using VoIP on tablets with Wi-Fi only. Can you elaborate?

Although there are several ways to accomplish this, the most straightforward that I know of currently is to use Google products, specifically their “Google Voice” and “Google Hangouts” services. With your Google account you can claim a 10-digit US domestic phone number through Google Voice and use that number with Google Hangouts to make/receive telephone calls domestically on a Wi-Fi only tablet such as Apple iPad, Google Nexus, Samsung Tab and others.

Have a question for Tak about computers, software or other technology? Send it to

Tak Sato

Business and technology strategist/consultant with 25 years of experience. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and MBA from Cleveland State University.

As founder of geek with a heart consulting, "Hand-holding You in the Digital World", Tak helps Individuals, Seniors, Families, Small Businesses, and Non-Profits utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

Read More on The Digital World
Volume 6, Issue 24, Posted 9:26 AM, 11.25.2014