For Christmas , my nephew gave me an Apple device that enables me to stream movies to my TV set. He was also good enough to install it ,a very good thing because otherwise it’d still be in its box ! ( LOL). Thanks to him I’m able to watch Netflix movies on the TV instead of on my computer and that’s a big, big improvement. The device itself is amazing . It’s about the size of a deck of cards and comes with a sleek remote with only three buttons that is unbelievably easy to operate. Even a Luddite like me is able to work it without any difficulty.Earlier I had often thought how nice it’d be to have a device like this but I’d thought it’d be necessary to attach wires from the TV to the device and I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to hook up the TV to the computer ( which is on another floor). Seeing this Apple device made me realize how far behind the times I am when it comes to technology. It also made me think how many changes there have been in the past forty years .
When I was in engineering college , we used slide rules . In fact, slide rules and engineers were synonymous in those days . When pocket calculators first came into widespread use in the early seventies , they were a big improvement but they were relatively expensive . A simple calculator which did basic arithmetic operations set me back $50 ( remember the dollar was worth much more then) ; in the nineties , that same calculator ( albeit a smaller, sleeker version ) was being given away free by insurance agents and others. The early eighties saw the first word processors and I remember how they were welcomed by typists and secretaries. No more white out . As copiers became more affordable it meant no more carbon paper, no more carbon copies . Now everybody could get his own copy. When computers became readily available , it also spelt the end of secretaries as there was no more need for typing or filing . Everyone typed his own memos and stored them in their PCs.
And then came cell phones , on-line banking ,e-mail, video games, Blackberries , iPhones, iPads, Kindle, digital cameras, WiFi, and cloud computing ( did I get that right ?). All this is hard on older people. At our bridge club , there are some people in their eighties who are OK with e-mail but several others are intimidated by computers. I’m not quite that bad but my nephew’s gift made me realize how far behind the times I am and how much I’m missing.
S0-0-0-0-my first New Year resolution is to become more tech savvy. I don’t want to be able to play video games but I intend to explore at least some new areas of computers , cameras and other digital devices .
My second resolution is to learn to eat with chopsticks , something I’ve put off for forty years . Most times when we eat out , we do so at Asian restaurants . I’ve done fine so far with a fork at these places but we may be taking a trip to Japan this fall . I don’t want to be the odd man out with my fork while the others expertly manipulate their chopsticks .
I have also resolved to post more often on this blog. I seem to go through cycles in which I publish several posts in a week then am quiet for a fortnight . In December, for instance , I posted only three times even though my 2011 total was over one hundred. My target for 2012 is 125 posts .
And then there are the resolutions I make every January first : Lose weight . Exercise more .
Some things never change .