Thursday, December 13, 2012

Also a phone!

My son visited from California last week and was aghast at my old, small, black cell phone, that was only a phone.  It couldn't do anything else but be used as a phone, what was the good of that?  He insisted that I had to come into the 21st century with an up-to-date, super, large-screen, multi-purpose, mini-tablet computer that incidentally is also a phone.  What's the good of having such a device if you can't enter the internet at a moment's notice anytime, anywhere and look up any fact in a few seconds.  Why not use apps all the time, why waste time when you could be preoccupied all the time checking your e-mail and playing any piece of music anytime. So we went out and bought the latest Samsung Galaxy SIII cell phone.  What an amazing machine, what a toy!
There is an aphorism that the one who has the most toys wins, and on that basis I am collecting more electronic toys.  My son also brought me from CA a 1 terabyte external disk drive on which I can download the whole contents of my computer. What amazing progress has been made, I remember when a megabyte was a big deal.  So now I have on my desk, apart from the external drive, my desktop, my laptop (Sony Vaio),  my GPS (that I keep here to avoid it being stolen from the car), my e-book reader/small tablet (B&N Nook color) and of course the cell phone.  Most of them allow access to the internet, so that I can never be caught off-line (unless the server crashes).  Frankly I am over-subscribed, I don't use all of them all the time, but I have to say its nice to be able to switch depending on the circumstances.
We live in a new world of instant communication, using Twitter (that I avoid), Facebook (that I use sparingly) and e-mail (that I use constantly).  Without the web, life itself would be impossible. It is more than amazing what one can find on the internet, anything about any subject or person, instantly.  For example, the thylacine or Tasmanian tiger, that was neither a tiger, nor a dog, nor even a cat, it was a unique marsupial, that went extinct in 1936 when the last one died in the Hobart Zoo.  I also looked up MK Einat Wilf, who I wanted to check facts on. Life is infinitely more interesting when you can learn about anything immediately, although many young people use the device mainly for social purposes. And by the way, it can also be used as a phone.


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