A draughty step in Leeds…

By | January 11, 2016
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I had got an idea of what I was going to write about today (mainly about using security software like Norton on a touchscreen tablet – and the difference between their premium and free versions).  But then last night something else occurred to me that I want to say, so Norton will have to wait until next time!

I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that I like technology – otherwise I wouldn’t be likely to be writing about it.  But there are two reasons why I think technology is great.  I think a lot of people (especially experts, techies and people who write about technology) never stop to think of the second – and yet it’s important.

The first reason is I just like tinkering with it.  Playing with technology is a bit like my equivalent of a “man-shed”.  From when I was a kid, programming a computer to turn the screen different colours or building a working capacitor (you can do it with a plastic bag and some tin foil), I just like tinkering, even if what you create isn’t as good as what you could buy for 10p (or however much a capacitor goes for nowadays!)

That’s probably a bit unusual.  Most people are probably too sensible to spend half an hour making a poor version of something they could buy for 10p… and that they don’t need anyway!  Oh well – it amused me!

But the second reason I like technology is more important.  I was thinking about it last night.  Julie’s away for a few days, in a hotel.  It’s pretty unusual for one of us to be away without the other and we were talking on Skype – complete with video at the same time so we could see each other and the boys could see her and tell her their new jokes (“What do you call a torch with no light?  Broken” – that was one of the better ones…)

It reminded me of 13 years ago, before we got married and she was living in student digs in Leeds, while I was up here in Cumbria.  She’d be sat on a draughty step to talk to me on the phone while I tried to convince her to move up here with me once she’d finished in Leeds. (As you might have guessed, it worked!)

Now, it’s so much easier – neither of us has to sit on a draughty step, we can see each other instead of just hearing each other and when the boys have finished having a chat with her, I can just pick up the iPad, walk into another room and carry on talking without being interrupted with jokes.  Oh, and since we’ve already got the ipad and wifi at home, the actual phone call is free!

It’s not just Skype that I think is great, either – that’s just one example that I’ve been really glad of over the last few days.

But when you hear journalists or techies going on about the latest advance in technology, they often get carried away with how clever it is and how impressive and tend to forget to talk about how you’d actually use it and why it matters.

Because, when it comes down to it, technology is about people, and what it can do for you.

And to me, that’s why technology is (or can be, if you know what to do with it) great.

Anyway, next time I’ll get back to the things I was going to talk about – security on tablets, amongst other things.

6 thoughts on “A draughty step in Leeds…

  1. S Benton-Tarry

    That is your opinion. I find technology has destroyed many freindships – I use it as little as possible. No SKYPE – no one I know has it, no Social Menace – er I mean media. I have a basic mobile and my laptop does not leave home. The world has gone FUBAR

    Reply
    1. Tim Post author

      True – it’s just my opinion. And I always stress that everyone should use what’s right for them, not what’s right for someone else (it drives me nuts when PC salesmen assumes everyone wants the latest version of everything – it just might not suit that person). But I know I was very glad to be able to see and talk to Julie that night and the boys were too. And personally I find Facebook really useful, too. I don’t understand why people like to have hundreds of “friends” on it that they’ve never met, but it’s a handy way for me to share photos of the boys or news of what we’ve been up to with family and a few other friends, including people who live scattered around the world.
      It’s horses for courses but I think pointing out how I’ve found it useful might be helpful to other people who might also find it useful in the same way. And everyone who wouldn’t want to use it in that particular way can just ignore it!
      I’m interested in you saying that technology has destroyed many friendships, though – it sounds like something I would write about as the risks to using something in particular… can you be more specific about how (without breaking any confidences, of course)?
      Tim

      Reply
  2. Anne McIntyre

    Modern technology is great until it breaks down or malfunctions, usually when you need it the most!

    Reply
    1. Tim Post author

      I’ve often wondered how the computer knows when I’m in a rush – it always seems to pick that moment to have a hissy fit and refuse to do what I want until I’ve restarted it or fixed the problem. It’s like how printer ink always runs out when I need to print something urgently, not when I have plenty of time. How does it know to do that?

      Reply
  3. Keith Marshall

    When you write about touch screen tablets next time, please include Surface tablets. We seem to be in a forgotten world.

    Reply
    1. Tim Post author

      Good point – they’re generally far less common, so I tend to talk about the other types as well but will try to remember the Surface (and the other Windows based tablets – there are a few others) as well!
      Thanks
      Tim

      Reply

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