Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Technology Time Warp

I've always been one too embrace new technology. I remember my first computer, a Commodore 64. It didn't have a hard drive, but a tape drive. This was back in 1983. Then I added a floppy disc drive and a 300 bps modem. When I think back, I was excited about being able to text message. At the time, you had to dial the telephone number of the recipient. They could accept or reject the call. One thing for certain, you had to be patient. It was a hit or miss situation. More misses than hits.

As I've aged, I still am excited about new technology, however I am beginning too realize that technology is moving at warp speed and I'm beginning too move at snail speed. When I purchased my current computer, I thought 160 gigabytes was an enormous amount of storage. Now computers have at least 500 gigabytes of storage. Of course, that was before the digital camera and iPods became hot items. Not having enough storage on the computer, I purchased an external hard drive with an additional 160 gigabytes of storage. I'm quite sure 320 gigabytes will seem paltry and inadequate in the not to distant future.

Last week I was visiting my elderly aunt. She mentioned she was having trouble with her VCR. She said the tape she was using was producing grainy looking pictures. She only records Regis and a soap opera (she calls it her "stories"). I asked her how old the VCR tape was and she said, "I can't remember how old it is." I told her that nobody is making videocassettes any longer. I told her I would bring a used taped of mine the next time I visited. Well I took a tape to her and tried it out. The picture still was terrible. The VCR isn't that old. I bought it for her when her last one went belly up.

And so it goes. I have a closet full of 8 track tapes, a stack of LP record albums in the basement, and about 80 recorded videocassettes in a cabinet collecting dust. I shutter too think how much money I spent on these once prized possessions. All for naught. I will never again use these items, yet hold on to them like a mother holding her newborn baby.

I know the time will come that I will purchase a new high tech gadget. Our television is an RCA with a 36" screen. I think it's about 8 years old. Still has a wonderful picture, but occasionally the sound shuts off. No problem, just unplug it for a few seconds and plug it back in. Voila! The sound returns. It's not even a flat screen or high definition picture. Why pay a lot of money for a new television when the one we have still has a picture?

I still enjoy new technology, but now live with the motto "If it ain't broke don't fix it". Time and technology marches on. But for me, I've become cautious and feel the technology time warp is passing me by.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Papa Mark,
I'm with you. I rely on The Boy and Heidi to deciepher a lot for me. I don't know what I'd do without them. I probably wouldn't even have a cell phone, had it not been for them! I feel ancient.
Love to you. I enjoy when you blog.