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I am really not very i, am I?

I was just taking a bath, before dinner, and I started to think about how few gadgets have entered my life in this age that seems increasingly gadget-centric. And, also, I tend to hang onto any given electronic device pretty much as long as it has a spark of life.

I've had the same television since 1995. We haven't had cable since we came to Providence in 2008.

My iPod died back in early October, and I haven't yet replaced it. It dated back to early 2005.

My current computer is an iMac, which I got in April 2007, when I thought the screen on my iBook (purchased in 2001), was about to blow. Four years later, the iBook is still going strong; I use it to play DVDs while I sleep. Before the iBook, I had a Macintosh Color Classic that I bought in July 1993. The Color Classic worked until it was dropped by a mover in December 2004, after which it grew fritzy. So, over the course of eighteen years, I've had only three computers (a testimony to the durability of the Mac).

I don't have an iPhone, or Blackberry, or anything of the sort. My cellphone was purchased in January 2003, and it still works for the only thing we use it for, making phone calls (no landline). I've never sent a text message via any sort of phone. I've never used Skype, etc.

I use Twitter and Facebook, but only from the iMac.

I don't have a Kindle or any other sort of ebook reader (and have no desire to own one).

I don't have an iPad. I might like to own an iPad, if there wasn't the monthly fee.* Though, I suspect the iPads produced a couple of years from now will be far more impressive than these earliest models.

We have two digital cameras, a Canon PowerShot A75 we got in 2004, and it still works fine. We also have a Canon PowerShot A1100IS that Spooky was given as a birthday present in June 2009. No, our cellphone doesn't take photos.

Our car lacks GPS and it doesn't talk to you, unless you count the radio.

We use the PlayStation 3 as a DVD player, and to stream movies via Netflix. We had an XBox (from 2004), but it croaked a couple of years ago. My old PlayStation 2 still works fine.

I have a perfectly functional VHS player I got in 2000, when the one I'd had since 1990 died.

Oh, and there's the Hello Kitty boombox we've had since 2005. And my big-ass Sony stereo, which I got way the hell back in 1988 (Sony and Mac have the best track record, so far as me and electronics are concerned).

And I think that's about it. I don't believe I'm a Luddite, exactly. I'm not even immune to gadget lust. Mostly, there just always seems to be something I'd rather spend the money on, or something I need more than I need another gadget. I think I'm most impressed by my 1941 Royal typewriter, that still works like a charm. I want to see a Blackberry that's still chugging along in 2081...

* scarletboi has informed me that iPads do not require a monthly fee...which shows how gadget savy I am. So, what kind soul wants to give me one?

Comments

( 15 comments — Have your say! )
scarletboi
Jan. 4th, 2011 12:16 am (UTC)
There's no monthly fee for the iPad. If you get the wifi version, there's not even a cell antenna. I have the 3G version, and I've only actually turned on the cell part of it for one month, when we travelled to Atlanta. The death star has a plan that has no contract, so you can turn it on and off when you need it.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 4th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)

There's no monthly fee for the iPad. If you get the wifi version, there's not even a cell antenna. I have the 3G version, and I've only actually turned on the cell part of it for one month, when we travelled to Atlanta. The death star has a plan that has no contract, so you can turn it on and off when you need it.

Okay...I didn't know that (being somewhat ill-informed regarding gadgets). Wow.
scarletboi
Jan. 4th, 2011 04:28 am (UTC)
It's a justifiable, tax-deductible business expense as a writer, too. You need to be able to proof the electronic versions of your books.
hidheart
Jan. 4th, 2011 02:01 pm (UTC)
And being able to do some convenient editing and such while away from one's usual writing desk is very handy, at least for me. I think it's helping me whittle down an enormous mass of writer's block, by cutting associations of the "I can only create in this spot, and I'm not feeling it here, so I must not feel it anywhere" sort. (Admittedly, people who can write by hand have an advantage here, but neuromuscular junk means that I do it on a keyboard or not at all. A highly portable thing with a nice virtual keyboard is therefore extra liberating.)
greygirlbeast
Jan. 4th, 2011 03:39 pm (UTC)

You need to be able to proof the electronic versions of your books.

To date, no publisher of an ebook version of one of my books has allowed me that opportunity. Virtually no publisher does. It would cut down on the quick and easy profit. For the most part, texts aren't even reset (and I keep hearing about how this leads to all sorts of problems on the Kindle).
jacobluest
Jan. 5th, 2011 06:31 am (UTC)
I use Macs, and I really would recommend trying out the iPad before committing to asking for one. They're in the same price range as a shitty laptop, but you already have a good laptop, so I'm not sure what the need for mobility will be. And the virtual keyboard doesn't lend itself to typing for long periods of time, especially if you type fast. Maybe you don't.

Also, the Mac you're synching it to has to be OS X v10.5.8 or later.

They're neat devices, don't get me wrong. But they occupy a space I think is perilously close to obsolescence pre-senescence. It's too new a usability field. Plus, if you waited a year you could get one with a camera, and use it for augmented reality applications. Now THAT will be interesting!
robyn_ma
Jan. 4th, 2011 01:24 am (UTC)
'I want to see a Blackberry that's still chugging along in 2081...'

Have you not seen The Book of Eli, wherein Denzel Washington is still rocking a first-gen iPod far into a post-apocalyptic future?

'I don't have a Kindle or any other sort of ebook reader (and have no desire to own one).'

I was with you here until I got an iPad. I have a Kindle app for it, and the appeal of having the complete works of Cormac McCarthy (not to mention Shakespeare, Lovecraft, Infinite Jest, etc.) on this thin thing is probably indefensible but no less fun. I still love 'analog' books — I already have the complete Cormac McCarthy on my shelves — but having them all at the touch of a fingertip is, for me, kind of nifty.
scarletboi
Jan. 4th, 2011 04:27 am (UTC)
That's basically where I am. I love books as artifacts, but having access to so many at a whim no matter where I am is kind of intoxicating. For space reasons, I have become a lot pickier about which books I end up with the physical version of, but even the books I own, I prefer to have the ePub version as well.
robyn_ma
Jan. 4th, 2011 04:41 am (UTC)
Well, you agree with me, anyway. Our hostess, on the other hand, is probably currently fulminating vehemently: 'How dare she read Cormac McCarthy on an...an iPad?? I cannot bear such tragic bad taste! Hubero, fetch me my absinthe!' and so forth, while the cats blink quizzically at her, in unison.
humglum
Jan. 4th, 2011 04:45 am (UTC)


Pretty much...
robyn_ma
Jan. 4th, 2011 04:55 am (UTC)
As long as Hubero is quick with the absinthe, she'll be okay.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 4th, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)

I simply can't reduce "book" to "artifact" or "data." The information inside a book and the book containing the information are, to me, one and the same. I have no desire to have huge libraries in digital format. If I did,' they'd just sit there. I hate reading off electronic screens.

About the only plus I find in a etext is the ability to search.
kurtmulgrew
Jan. 4th, 2011 01:30 am (UTC)
Sounds like me. Most of the time I don't have that kind of money to blow. I wish some kind of typewriter could keep track of what you type so it could be digitized and saved because I've always loved how punching the keys feel.
(Deleted comment)
alumiere
Jan. 4th, 2011 08:55 pm (UTC)
Scary, but I am much the same. I don't own a TV, a stereo, or an ipod/ipad/etc. I've had the same macbook pro since 2007, and I'll never buy another PC. If we watch movies, hulu, netflix etc it's on my mac, although we did buy a set of bose speakers - I'm still an audiophile even if I don't own a stereo (college radio roots never die).

About the newest piece of tech I own is my cell, and that's 2 years old; I upgraded from an ancient palm to a newer one when mine died. And the reason I have a palm is that my job required internet connectivity, and my phone works as a high-speed modem; now that I'm not doing that job anymore I doubt I'll replace the phone unless it dies. Although I do use text and google maps on my phone - it's awesome when you can't remember where you live or how to get to the doctor's office down the street.
( 15 comments — Have your say! )