Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Yes, I'm Old Now...

After rereading the previous blog, and noting a friend's comment I realized that I hadn't actually finished with my thoughts. Those who know me well also know that I'm never really finished with my thoughts.

It seems odd to be able to remember things like the Commodore 64 computer with the tape cassette attachment. It seems strange to realize that my first LP was "Sargeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and that I played it on a homemade...thanks dad...portable record player. I look back and remember with fondness, a large white helmet looking radio/tape player where I listened to the latest thing, 8 tracks! What a joy it was to hear Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke" and Abba's "Waterloo" on this piece of modern technology. Then came the cassettes and the cds !

I was always one to be on top of the latest technology especially when it made life easier. In fact, I was among the first to complete report cards on an electric typewriter and later on a computer while others panicked and ran around saying "What's wrong with using a pen?"

Well, I suppose I'm not exactly saying "What's wrong with a pen?" I am however wondering whether all new technology is necessarily good or essential technology. Is it better or more efficient because it's "the latest"?

I recently went into an electronics store and asked for something akin to a transister radio. In fact, I even described what I wanted in fine detail and explained to the young clerk that I realized it was no longer in vogue. "It's for listening to AM, my favourite oldies station and sports while I'm out walking."

The teen sales person looked at me as though I had sprouted horns. Then he sighed as he clearly thought, "another old person trying to buy something from the middle ages".

"We don't sell anything like that, sorry. Would you like an MP3 player?"

"No thanks," I replied. "I have one of those but I use it strictly for hard rock, heavy metal and Bon Jovi."

I did happen to find exactly what I was looking for in a nearby department store. For only $8, I got a teeny tiny radio with duck shaped earbuds. Great.

I still have a cell phone that's a full three years old. It doesn't connect to the internet, turn off my appliances, take out the trash or park my car. Alas, the "apps" are limited. I use it mostly for (insert gasp here) telephoning. I admit, that I make fairly extensive use of texting and it has, I have discovered, the capability of taking poor quality photos.

I own both a portable cd player (as mentioned in "Who You Calling An Antique") and a cassette player. I find these to be quite necessary while I am out and about (see blog "Streetwalking"). Most libraries still carry books in both cassette and cd form. I also own a Wii , a Nintendo DS and a GPS. So you see, I'm not totally "out of the loop" as yet. Each item serves a different purpose and each is equally useful.

I read somewhere that over 90% of technology ever created has been developed since and is a result of space exploration. That's definitely during my lifetime and it's a small speck of time on the continuum.

How do gadgets that perform a multitude of tasks and never give your brain a rest make life easier? Sometimes I wonder who, other than the manufacturer, is actually benefitting from the latest craze. It's amazing how the hype each time a new device is unveiled attracts people who are actually willing to line up to be the first for the new toy. They purchase items that weeks down the road will be *discarded as outdated when the newer better "thing" comes along.

Well, all I can say is that when all my neighbours are sitting around wearing goofy glasses and watching their new 3D t.v.'s, I will not be among them.

*landfills, trash and wasting of resources...a whole other topic

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