Monday, March 18, 2013

Tech NO logy

I'm unhappy that I complain about technology.

Let me consider that. I am not unhappy that I complain. Complaining is fun. And I don't particularly feel bad that I complain about any one particular thing like technology -- if any one thing gets on my nerves repeatedly, it deserves to be called out repeatedly. And It isn't that I feel like a stereotypical "old man" who can't see anything but the worst and who decries anything new simply because it didn't exist when he was young and playing kick-the-can while paying 10 cents for a candy bar. I have enough technology and know how to hold my own in a conversation with a teen ager, and I know how to fix my own devices better than (so it seems) the entire of the Indian Subcontinent.

What makes me feel so bad is that the only way that I can ensure than ANYONE reads what I have to complain about is through that same technology which I am criticizing. It isn't about hypocrisy, but about irony. I promised myself I wouldn't be ironic and yet here I am.

I bought a new computer recently -- a Surface pro (128). his is neither the time nor place for a formal review (and I am not the person to review it) but I can say the following:

I like the split personality (the Metro interface for swipe-type-apps and the Windows 8 desktop for old fashioned computing).
There are still little glitches in the use of the keyboards (screen and physical).
Windows 8 is a hostile environment if you are another browser.
The charger access plug is incoveniently placed and shares the port with the stylus so you can't store both at the same time.
The USB port is on the wrong side (my USB mouse should be on the right, not the left.
Yes, the system software takes up a huge chunk of the solid state storage. You need the 128 in order to have anything to work with.
It is fast and responsive and does what I need it to do.

So there I am tweaking it to get the right software to set up where I wanted it and someone comes over to me and asks "how about watching movies on it?" Let the complaints begin.

I didn't buy a computer to watch movies on it. I don't know how to get movies on it (at least for free...) and I don't have the time or energy to devote to watching movies. Why, if I wanted to watch a movie, would I want to stream it (knowing how tempermental a simple video is when I try to watch it)? Are people that addicted to movies that they are starting to rely on computers to provide a venue for movies? Do I write papers on a calculator? Can't we have our interactions with our culture and our educational venues stay discrete? The notion of convergence will turn our home PC into our everything box -- imagine getting a tuna sammich from the same device that does your laundry and provides you with the traffic report.

And when I say "I don't really have the time, energy or interest to watch movies" the response I get is "so why did you buy a tablet?" There is something very un-PC about this.

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