Monday, 7 May 2012

Technology, Friend or Foe

The weather today (7 May) has stayed dry enough for me to cut the grass. The weather is unseasonably cold for the time of year, but as the old adage suggests: 'ne'er cast a clout till May is out.' In other words expect cold weather snaps and over the last few nights, although we seemed to have avoided them, there have been rural frosts not too far away.

I've been in a contemplative mood these last few days hence why no blog and I'm doing lots of reading at the moment and a bit of tidying up. I'm thinking about a new computer to replace this ageing beast and I'll give this model to my son but looking for a new one is not so easy. Looking for reliability and sustainability and trying to future proof myself by making this new machine last a few years is the stuff of nightmares as technology rumbles ever on. 

Do I go over to the dark side and get an Apple Mac or do I stick with Windows? The trouble is they are all now so interlinked as I discovered when I decided to move into the modern world and get an Android smart phone. The Android stuff is not compatible with Apple and vice versa. My e-mails, Twitter, Facebook, G-Mail account are all synchronised neatly through my phone and on the move, I don't really need a computer - I have the phone. Okay, it doesn't have any Office stuff on it and writing a lengthy report or memo on a phone would be a pain in the ass and a strain on the eyes. 

I was looking at the iPad the other day (on the computer, not physically), smallish, light, simple and clever but no Microsoft Office (or so I'm told) and frankly not too robust looking for someone who is clumsy and has fingers like sausages.

Oh what to do - continue with Dell or move to something like HP; move from a desktop to a laptop; go from Windows to Apple? Decisions, decisions.

In an act of necessity and economic sense, I have decided not to pursue a new camera but to stick with the Canon 40D I have which is a lovely piece of kit and does what it says on the tin. I just need to use it more but it's not exactly the sort of thing you slip in your pocket which is why I am still in love with my Panasonic Lumix which goes with me everywhere. Even my Samsung phone has an 8mp phone on it although it is a little limited - for example on a bright day, it's virtually impossible to see the screen to set up and take shots; cameras are much preferred.

With the help of my son John, I managed to update my phones software last evening which seems to make it run much quicker and smoother and it looks slightly better too. Oh how we rely on technology to help us on a day to day basis. Banking is done on line, I rarely write personal letters any more, "what's your e-mail address?" I don't publish letters, I write a blog, I don't advertise in the newspaper, I am constructing a web site. I talk to my friends and relatives on Facebook (other social sites are available) and if anything exciting happens (no it hasn't) I Twitter it.

All good fun, but a little limiting. It doesn't cut the grass, paint the house, feed me, give me love and  affection, etc. Not that I would want it to.

I'm not complaining really, I have been using computers for over twenty years and the truth is that although they are a pain, I do enjoy them by and large.

You know I don't normally do much in the way of politics, except when I'm in rant mode (another technical term) but have been fascinated by a distinct move to the left of politics with resounding defeats for the Conservatives in this months local elections in the United Kingdom, a socialist President in France (congratulations Sir) and Greece turning away from centre/right politics. Ye the Chancellor in the UK says we must trundle on on our current course, (and presumably ignore the message they have received from the electorate - not very democratic is it?)

I've had a week off work on a bit of a break, back tomorrow - shame. I've rather enjoyed this start of the journey to rediscover myself again.

Chat soon



  1. I am a bury your head in the sand kind of person on all things technological. I too am thinking of changing my computer. Luckily my great nephew works for PC world and intends to advise me on what to get.

  2. I've always built my own desktops, which is quite easy to do, and cheaper, imho. There's a little magazine with a forum out there called 'Micromart' that I've found invaluable.

    I'm a bit dubious about laptops. Perhaps that's because we have three, two of which need repairing after 2-3 years. Mainly because I have a touch-typing wife who seems to beat them to death :)

    I found the trick is not to go for the latest and greatest computer, but to have good think about what you'd use it for.

    For instance, if you are into photography, and you use Photoshop a lot, you'll need something that can cope with large RAW files, plenty of memory (8 Gb or more) a dual core or more processor running at 2.4 Mhz or above, with at least 1 tetrabyte of hard drive space.

    On the other hand, if using facebook, office software, a bit of web design and email - most people well overpay. A second hand lappy at £120 would do the job :)

    The thing about self discovery is that it isn't something you can go into alone. It needs honest trusted community. Oddly, it also needs a goal? Depends whether you are looking for who you are, what you want to be, or do you just want to be accepted?

    As Derek Trotter would say, 'Mon Dué' :)

  3. Hi Weaver
    Good luck with that.

    Hi Wheelie
    Many years ago, I bought a magazine and was going to build my own hi-fi which didn't seem too difficult, but the cost put me off I'm afraid. Laptops are ok, but they don't seem to have the sustainability of desktop PCs and don't respond well in the medium term to being knocked about. I do quite a lot of photographs to the memory and processor are quite important - i just need another mortgage to buy it.