The hi-tech revolution continues at almost impossible speed. You can buy the latest and greatest cell phone, computer or computerized gadget only to be told a few weeks later that it’s obsolete and a new super model is out with all kinds of new apps. Uuuurm, apps means mobile applications you can install on your latest gadget.
Terminology is fun isn’t it? There are iPads, iPhones, iPods … and apps to be installed like iTunes, iMovies, iLife, iBooks … etc. No, an iPad is not a sanitary device, a hard drive and a floppy do not pertain to sex and a download has nothing to do with bowel movements. Equally, a dongle is not necessarily sexually attracted to a widget. Now, the iGadgets are all part and parcel of the Apple Computer Empire, but – surprise, surprise – there are now Blackberries, Oranges and Raspberries (nothing to do with passing wind, although by now you might think I’m full of hot air). The first two ingredients of the hi-tech fruit salad are cell phones, while the rather appetizing name Raspberry Pi refers to a tiny computer used for teaching purposes. Before you rush out and buy a Raspberry Pi make sure there’s not a Strawberry Soufflé on the horizon.
The other day I checked with Charlie who has always been in favor of the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle of boating. I was surprised to discover that Charlie has fallen victim to the hi-tech revolution. Charlie has always had a small portable GPS for confirming his latitude and longitude, but that was all. However, he recently weakened to include in his gadget inventory a Kindle e-reader. “Great,” he said. “It’s sometimes hard to get good books in the islands, but with this the book world is at my doorstep – and many classics are free!” His enthusiasm was unexpected.
The next time we met it was just after Christmas. “I got a smart phone,” he said. “And then I got a tablet. Now I can tether the smart phone to the tablet when I get a hotspot.”
“Sounds like you’re going through menopause,” I said.
“Hey, it’s all part of the textual revolution,” replied Charlie.
And that was it. Another good friend from the 70s had been consumed by modernity; swallowed up by the digital age and sucked into cyber space all in the name of instant gratification and convenience.
But then there was a sudden about face. It was just the other day when I saw Charlie in a veritable state of stress. “It’s all the wires,” he moaned. “They’re driving me crazy. I need an adaptor, a charger for every device, ear phones, USB cables, converters … they’re all different; all have different connections and all are the same color. It’s a nightmare. I can never find the cable I need.”
“What happened to the KISS philosophy,” I said. “Keep the e book and …”
Well, it’s not my job to tell Charlie what to do, so I didn’t, but the Information Age doesn’t appeal to everyone.com.
Julian Putley is the author of ‘The Drinking Man’s Guide to the BVI’, ‘Sunfun Calypso’ and ‘Sunfun Gospel’.