Friday, March 4, 2011

Upgrading Technology

I finally got around to upgrading my home technology. I hooked up the wireless router that's been sitting around the house for a year so I finally have the PS3 on-line. I also picked up a printer/scanner/copier/fax for $89. My old printer came "free" when I bought my computer. It runs out of ink after printing 4 or 5 pages and then I have to replace the color-only ink cartridge for $49, which can only be purchased from Dell. Bend over!

I've been meaning to upgrade things for a long time but kept putting it off. I used to be different. I'd always be the first one on the block when anything new came out. It was a little easier back then. New technological advances came slowly and a lot of old fogies didn't care about the newfangled gadgets being sold.

I had one of the first digital watches which was impractical but looked really cool. It must have weighed 7 or 8 pounds and it was huge. More like a wrist weight than a watch. There were no commercial liquid crystal displays so this one had a LED display and went through a battery every week. To save battery power the display was not always on. To see the time you had to push a big round metal button that was really hard to press and left a circle imprint in your finger for a few minutes.

I started worrying about the battery burning out so I started checking the time more often, not to see the time but to check the battery. The more often I checked, the faster the battery ran out. It became a vicious circle. It was like being on a carousel that I wanted to jump off but couldn't. Faster and faster! Round and round! ARRRRGGGGG!! (That was supposed to be a scream but it came out more like a pirate explicative. I'll have to think about how to spell a scream.)  Now there's a digital clock on everything whether you want it or not.

An original Atari Pong video game console on d...
Buying that watch turned out to be a chump move because the smaller, energy saving liquid crystal displays came out shortly afterward. Had I kept it, it would be worth a lot of money today but of course all the junk I've kept for thirty or forty years isn't worth squat. I threw out the comics and the GI Joes and my dad gave my Lionel train set to some needy kid that wasn't going to have any Christmas presents. Stupid needy kids. He probably sold it and retired with the money. I held onto the 70's era NY Islander ceramic skate bottle opener. I checked on Ebay and it's now worth less than when I bought it. Nice.

Then there are video games. I still remember my first game of Pong. It seemed unbelievable back then. The first time I played was when I went to visit a friend up at Stony Brook University. There was a stand up machine with a CRT display in the cafeteria and I waited in a long line to put my quarter in and try it. It was amazing! I could actually move the white line on the screen up and down and hit a square ball by turning a knob. I played a lot and the more I played the better I got. Soon I was beating people left and right. I was the king of Pong. Master of this new technology! King and master in this instance eventually became what is known today as a nerd.

C'mon we both know you wanted 
to see it
 I looked up nerd in the dictionary and the definition was a little unclear, but dork was listed as a synonym. I looked up the definition of dork and found it's a whale penis. The first thought that popped into my head (and the head of every guy reading this right now) is "That's not so bad. A whale penis must be huge." As I said that to myself I threw my shoulders back and puffed my chest up until a second later when I realized it didn't mean I had a giant penis, it meant I was a giant penis. Chest in, shoulders down.

No one wants to be a penis. Can you imagine? I can because I'm thinking about it now.Trapped all day inside a cotton sack or hanging upside down behind a silk curtain. You hear the sound of a zipper and you know you're finally going to get out for some air, but you're terrified because you know in a second someone is going to grab you by the neck and pull you through what appears to be some sort of cloth vagina with metal teeth. Whew! It's a good thing you got out when you did because you have to take a wicked wizz. Funny, that seems to happen almost every time you get out. Suspended over a toilet bowl and thinking about falling in and getting flushed literally scares the piss out of you. No sooner are you done when you again get grabbed by the neck, except this time you're shaken violently before being shoved back into the black hole. The only other time you get out is better experience, for the most part anyway. You enjoy the massage but for some reason you always spit up at the end. But I digress.

I'm a step or two behind on cell phones. It took me forever to get texting and I still don't have a smart phone. I'm waiting for them to get better apps. They have one that allows you to scan your phone around the room and any business within a certain range pops up on the screen. I want one I can scan over the lottery tickets at 7/11 and see the winners. There is also an app that makes you look fatter when you take a picture of yourself. Where's the one that makes you look thinner and 20 years younger? Or how about letting you turn on Skype without permission? I could get to see all the contents of a woman's purse for the first time ever.

The wife is actually a step ahead of the game, believe it or not. The other night we were watching TV and she asked me to fast forward through the commercials. I told her I couldn't because we were watching the show in real time. She said "I don't want to fast forward through the show, just the commercials." Apparently she thinks the DVR is some sort of time machine. Rather than try and explain I just told her the remote was broken. I know it was bad. I know, I'm a dork.
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  1. I like your comment about the watch. I had a watch with all sorts of alarms. I could set it to alarm at 5 different times. I had alarms for meetings, lunch and other things at work. Then I retired. My wife and I went to lunch. The alarm sounded while we were eating. I cut it off, put it in my wife's pocket book and never put it on again. That was 4 years ago. Retirement is wonderful.

  2. Thanks JT! I have a little while to go but can't wait to cut the watch off myself.