That thud you heard in the background is the sound of falling prices for high-tech gear. According to PCRetailMag.com, retail prices for high-definition camcorders have fallen 75 percent over the past two years. Prices for new desktop computers are down 56 percent and laptop computers down 46 percent. (A background note: Video-tape players cost $3,000 when they first came out about 30 years ago but can now be purchased for less than $50.)

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