Thursday, December 4, 2008

Modern Marvels

I've always been a friend to technology. I don't fear it and mostly put it to good use. I offer a few comments on the gadgets and appliances that make me appreciate the age I live in:

I never was much into using VCRs, they served merely as a playback device for rented and purchased VHS tapes. The quality was low and the switch to DVDs relegated my VCR to being available for the copying of old home viseos to DVD. Once DVRs did HD, I jumped in. Now I can't do without. Everything from time shifting to avoid commercials to saving episodes for late-night viewing (without the hassles of tapes) is beneficial. Replaying a bit of dialogue if interrupted is a plus.

Wireless Home Network
Three computers, a printer and an iPod touch are all connected. No more being chained to the big desktop. The laptops / iPod become ready fact checkers while watching TV or settling an argument.

iPod Touch
A must if you have wireless at home. Not only can you carry photos, music and video around, but you have plenty of little apps, adequate browser and other conveniences within the reach of this little wonder. No big fee for data like on the iPhone.

Digital Camera
I'm not much for pictures and Patti is slow to migrate from film. Our camera was pricey a few years ago and a similarly capable model can be had for under $100 now. This is one purchase that has not panned out.

HDTV / Home Theatre
I'm very picky about such things. Sure, a 19" tube would do just as well. -BUT- this one thing I treat myself to. I'm spoiled. I won't watch standard programming if at all possible. I even shy away when something isn't in true 5:1 digital.

I shop mostly online and won't buy anything until I've researched first. As mentioned before, fact checking is at the core of my online experience. I also maintain a web site, and run a very small business online.

This is one area where I am content with low tech. The convenience of a cell phone is great, but all I need to do is talk on it when necessary. No texting, no walking around with a dorky ear piece, no surfing the mobile web while driving. Dial, answer, talk, hang up. That''s all I need.

Ink Jet Printers.
Get a photo printer and a color laser printer. Ink Jet printing is expensive and of far lower quality. I'll never have another.

Got a factory set up in the car. I forget to use it half the time, but it has enough utility to it to make me glad I have it.

Satellite radio
Being doomed to listen to the same old classic rock tunes, yakity-yack radio "personalities"and strings of commercials was frightening. Hopefully the price won't be jacked up too high after the XM / Sirius meager.

The calculator
I don't always need to go to the spreadsheet. Nothing beats negotiating a price on the phone with calculator in hand. Believe me, I came up thinking slide rules were amazing and actually know how to manually find the square root of a number or determine the standard deviation for a population. This is the most amazing thing to come along in my lifetime.

No comments: