A view from my side.
Physician…heal thyself! Or, in my case, TechGuy…fix your own!
Years ago, I was a high-tech junkie. My friends used to joke that I wasn’t cutting edge, I was “bleeding edge.” If it was new and awesome and related to computer systems, I would try to find a way to acquire it. I remember testing a system for online banking, ordering groceries, checking movie start times, etc., back in 1992. It didn’t work very well, but largely because it had limited vendor participation. Regardless it was still pretty cool from a conceptual standpoint. Totally self-contained, it consisted of a monitor with a built-in modem, and a keyboard. All I had to do was plug it in to a phone line and it was good to go.
We’ve come a long way since then. And, I have not been on the bleeding edge in a long, long time. Every now and again, I will make a purchase that is a bit out there, such as the Galaxy Tablet I bought last year. I figured since everyone and their mother had an iPad, I would see what the Android tablets were like. I must say, I’m still impressed with it. It is much easier to use than the iPad and connected to my printers both at home and at work much easier as well. I’ve also set it up to print to either location from basically anywhere. Of course, the printers need to be turned on, etc., but it was still pretty sweet. Apple and Samsung have been suing each other all over the world over alleged patent infringements and just a few days ago, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 became unavailable in the US marketplace. Of course, the court ruling did not apply to Samsung’s newest tablets, so yeah, well…life goes on.
I’ve had an iPhone for a while, but am perfectly satisfied with my iPhone 3GS. I will probably update it to the new one in October when it comes out, but I’m not one of those that has to run out and spend hundreds of dollars every year just to have the coolest boutique offering. I don’t mind having a boutique piece of electronics, but one of the reasons to buy one of those is its longevity. If I can’t use it for 3-5 years, then why spend the money? The one I have won’t hold a charge for a full day anymore, but I’m often close enough to an outlet to give it some juice before I go home and it will last until I put it on the charger overnight. It runs all the apps I need it to for now and it keeps me company on my runs.
I did recently acquire the new MacBook Pro. It’s nice, my first Apple computer since around 1990. Boasting a quad-core i7 chip with 8 GB of RAM and a 248 GB solid state drive, it is fast, thin, and light. The Retina display is pretty nice and I’m learning how to do things in the gilded cage that is Apple. I am kinda curious about why it comes with a DVD player, but no DVD drive. I figure Apple assumes I’ll buy an external DVD Drive if I want one and they thought it prudent to put a player in the OS. But what do I know…
Still, it is just a computer and for me, that means it is a tool in my life, not my life. I do a very good job of putting away the gadgets, unplugging and living life in the real world. My virtual existence is fun, to be sure, and I enjoy activities such as writing this blog and reading others. I don’t “tweet”, but overall, I think these sorts of activities are phenomenal game changers. As we have seen in the recent “Arab Spring” uprisings, the Occupy movement, the rise of the TEA Party…the ability to “get the word out” uncensored and to the masses is a great equalizer. It gives the common person a voice that has, heretofore been quashed by others.
Another problem with being bleeding edge sometimes is when the technology I come to rely on just doesn’t work. My internet connection at home is through a device that connects directly to a 4G tower not too far away and provides me with an internet connection. There is no cable or wire involved. It is completely wireless. Well, except for the power cord, of course. It’s a little “mifi” type of device, I’m sure you’ve seen them. It’s not all that fast but has been fast enough for my needs. It has also been fairly reliable up until this past Monday when it went out. I figured it had something to do with the storms and let it be for a few days. I called yesterday and was told something along the lines of “yeah, we know something’s not quite right out there and we’ll get someone on it soon.” No definition of what “soon” means of course. They told me to just leave the device plugged in and when it could connect, it would. Until then, not much else they could offer me.
Joy. Rapture. My bleeding edge use of the technology has left me with no working internet connection at home. It’s actually not that bad really. Like I said, I’ve always done a pretty good job of shutting the stuff down. But I did get used to checking on a few things before going to bed at night. I can still do that on either my iPhone 3 or my Android phone (yeah, I have one of those too) but it just isn’t the same. Either way, as always, I’m loving the technology.