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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Behind the Technological Curve

When I was younger -- and by that I mean any age to about 15 years ago, I was always the one who was quickest in checking out the newest in electronic stuff.   I think that among my friends and acquaintances I was the first to get a tape recorder, then an open reel tape deck, then a cassette deck, and probably still the only one to have bought all the generations of PC computers, from the XT, through the 286, the 386, the 486, and on into the modern string that is identified mostly by the CPU chip on the motherboard.   And they didn't end up with such a vast colleciton of PC computer games either, great games now rendered unplayable because of the tyranny of the technological curve.

But now all that is over, and I am hopelessly behind the technological curve, of which the worst manifestation is that I have never had a cellphone, and still don't have any hankering for one, first because I don't go anywhere, and second, because there are few if any that I am likely to call and that are likely to call me.  So when people talk about Androids, I-phones, Kindles, and the like, I barely know what they're talking about.

The only computer area that is still familiar to me is the world of desktop computers   That is because though I stopped playing computer games (except Tetris) at least 15 years ago, I still use my computers for other purposes every day, and unlike laptops and also modern cars, PC desktops are still entirely modular and non-proprietary, and that makes them easy to build and to fix, and the parts are not expensive.

I have  two pairs of desktops.  Each pair consists of a computer with an older motherboard rated at speeds of about 1 gig,  ganged by a KVM switch to a newer machine that is  at least 1 gig faster.  The KVM switch allows me to use a single monitor, mouse, and keyboard for both computers in the pair.  I also have a wireless printer, which means that I can use that one printer for all four machines, plus the fifth one that my wife uses.

Yet I am still not as far behind the curve as I would be if I lived in a more urban setting, because hardly anyone around here pays as much attention to their desktops as I do.  They seem to see computers as being mere appliances and not the wonders that I decided they were as soon as I saw the first "Pong" game in a store window, so long ago that I'm not even sure which decade it was.

I guess they never hoped to get erector sets for Christmas when they were kids.



Blogger LeftLeaningLady said...

You really are NOT behind the curve. Sure, maybe you don't have a Kindle or a Droid (wow, I LOVE mine) but many people MUCH younger than you could not run a KVM switch OR a wireless printer. I am trying to talk my mom into getting a Kindle ( I WOULD pay for it) but she isn't sure she would be able to run it). You could read from a Kindle.

9:43 PM  

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