Monday, 10 October 2011

21st Century living and computermabobs...


I read this blog recently and it got me thinking. Is the tech I use like a toaster? How much knowledge and training do I have that I use like second nature?

I'm 54, and consider myself quite 'tech' savvy. I believe this stems partly from undertaking distance learning in the early 1990's. I was training as a Lay Minister and used the family computer to write essays and conduct research. We were connected to the Internet via dial-up. I became adept at reformatting the hard drive as my family invited viruses in via music downloading and games. I could achieve this in a day - it was reinstalling all the software that took time. We graduated, in time, to a better computer, a more reliable operating system, and broadband. When I set up home for myself in 2006, I had a desk top PC and a notebook. I must admit I needed my son to set up my wireless for me, but in my defence it was because my ISP would not support my router! As time has passed, I equipped my home with freeview (easy peasy), games consoles etc. I have an ipod (damn you itunes), a Nintendo DS and a basic mobile phone. I have not bothered with a smart phone - I don't really need one. Mr G and I currently have a laptop each and have a desk top pc too. The processor was too slow in my notebook and it had insufficient RAM for my needs so it went to laptop heaven about two years ago.
At work, I have a laptop. This connects to a Smart Interactive White Board (IWB). I am not as good at using this as I would like, this is largely because I don't have time just to play on it. We have access to visualisers, and the school owns 3 Wii consoles. I have used the Wii's a lot - having one at home helps.
I have toyed with the idea of owning an ipad and/or a Kindle. We own a Sony Reader, so don't need a Kindle really and I'm not convinced by an ipad, largely due to the high cost. I've heard that the Kindle is being reworked as a tablet, this may interest me more.
 I guess all this proves that I am interested in things technological. I would be very interested to know how many other women of my generation are using these tools daily as I do. I know my contacts on Twitter, Google+, and facebook must be using tech as otherwise they would not be in these online communities.
I probably will not get an answer to my question via this blog. Personally I feel my life is enriched by my use of tech and my interaction with online communities. I love online shopping. I adore seeing my granddaughter's antics on video. I like the immediacy of email. I do know that there are those who are fearful both of tech and the perceived danger on 'online life'. Referring back to the blog above - maybe we need to explain that toasters and washing machines contain many similar parts to computers (they are just in a different order and do a different job). All my gadgets, gizmo's and computermabobs are not dangerous in themselves. I protect myself online by not responding to dodgy requests from people I don't know - just like in real life. I take care to keep private things private - as I do in real life. Many new computer based products are being offered as having intuitive operating systems, as they can still baffle me, perhaps not intuitive the way I am. The next step must be the development of a better type of bluetooth that removes the need for wires and connectors. To be truly 'toaster' functional, we need to be able to press a button, add a passcode and be able to move 'stuff' from one device to another easily.
However, despite my love of tech, I still prefer a paper and print book. I use a fountain pen daily. I still like mooching around and purchasing things in shops.
I like to think I've got the best of 21st century living with the bits I love from the past.