Finding something that more or less meets a need you have had for some time is always great.
When I was travelling to ‘foreign parts’ frequently and lugging a laptop with me, I often wished for a smart phone that could run PowerPoint presentations and drive a projector. The idea of walking in with just a handbag and taking 5 minutes to set up the small device was so very appealing.
Well I am now close to that. I bought an I-pad and yesterday used it for the first time running a class. The problem is that the battery is just not enough for 8 hours of driving a projector. I managed yesterday by plugging in and charging it at lunch time. The problem being that it has just one port which must run everything, power in, link to a pc, link to a display device.
A kind friend explained there is a docking station one can buy, and that one can therefore maintain the power and do the display at the same time.
So I am hopeful that I have nearly reached the point where my ‘want’ has come to a reasonable reality.
Thinking about it when I woke up, that interesting stage between asleep and walking around I started giggling. When I started out computers took up a whole room. Now I’m carrying around more processing and storage power than they had, and it doesn’t weigh very much at all, in fact if I just buy a handbag that will carry an a5 sized book, it will fit in there easily.
I can still marvel at how far we have come, but it really does take ‘having been there’ to really appreciate what technology has done for us. I remember a school holiday on a farm, where we drove to the little town in a horse cart. All part of the experience, but getting down to where we were dependant on an animal for transport, one that needed care, before, during and after the trip still remains with me. What a difference, my car sits patiently (I believe) in the garage, just waiting for me to be there and turn it on. It will run on all day, into the night and again the next day with little sign of fatigue, except for needing fuel.
If I find it difficult to relate to horse-drawn transport, how much more difficult is it for children growing up now to imagine an era when a calculator was a machine a lot bigger than your hand and that spewed out paper all the time when in use. How can they, when they see it as an integral function of a cellphone?
As I lay drowsing I was wondering, what do I take for granted that my parents would think of as a surprise? My touch functioning flat stove top? My non-stick iron with built in silicone screen?
Possibly, but I suspect the TomTom navigation gizmo would really surprise my mother. I inherited her delight in taking the byways,” just to see if this way gets us there’.
How she would have been amazed by the thing always knowing where we were, and how it would know the routes to get to where we should be.
She too would have despised its lack of adventure in telling us to always take the same route.
My father I suspect would have loved the Ipod or any portable MP3 player. He loved music, and would have so loved having his own little device to take all his favourite stuff along. And of course to be able to shut out the clamour of the world and luxuriate in heavenly sound!
Then I started thinking further back. I only knew my grandmother and great aunt. One grandfather is a rather blurry memory from my extreme youth.
My parents both died more than 10 years ago.
My grandmother would have loved the intelligent sewing and knitting machines, she was very creative in that area. My great aunt would have loved a DVD player and high definition TV, she loved taking me to the movies or to live shows. This pair were both dead before the 1980’s.
What marvels will I miss out on when I am gone?