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Technology is no longer an ends onto itself

29 Jan

Once upon a time, I was a very early adopter.  I had the first IBM PC, HP’s first DOS laptop (I actually wrote communications software for it under contract to HP), the first Palm, the first smartphone, and the list goes on and on.

There was a lot of personal satisfaction in taking on new technology and making it my own.  In one case, a MIDI tone generator from Yamaha (that’s a box that makes musical sounds under the control of a computer), I actually had to write the Windows device drivers for it to work on Windows

You see, Yamaha had built the device for Macs and didn’t believe it could be made to work on Windows. They thought the Windows operating system was too slow  I said that it could… if you knew what you were doing.  They gave me the device and when I got it working, I sold the device drivers to them.  Yamaha was happy, their product was now Windows compatible.  I was happy: I got some money and a really sweet tone generator that worked on Windows.  A few years after that, I saw my software operating the tone generator at Disney World and the Smithsonian.

(For the geeks out there: I had to write a significant part of the device driver in assembly language and do some low level buffering directly in the interrupt handler.)

But, today, thinks are different for me.

For example, let’s talk about tablets.  I’d really love to have a tablet but, as great as even the iPad is, it will not replace my Mac Book Air.  I need a serious OS and a keyboard.  I would, however, love a tablet to replace the 5×7 notepad I carry with me to take notes.  So, I’ve been looking and waiting for a notepad that is really suitable for that.   But I’m not buying a tablet without it being the right size (a seven inch), the right weight (should approximate my current paper notepad and the leather portfolio I carry it in), and with a dependable OS. I’m really hoping that might be the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7.  We’ll see.

Likewise, I think I’ve pushed my HTC Incredible smartphone as far as it will go.  The Gingberbread 2.3 upgrade now causes HTC’s Sense UI to reload every time I use the browser.  From what I read, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is a superior architecture… but the only phone with ICS now is the Samsung Nexus, which is said to have battery life problems along with reception problems (similar to the iPhone 4’s “AntennaGate”).

(By the way: I’d love an iPhone if it only had some sort of AUDIBLE missed call reminder like virtually every other cell phone in the market has).

The point is that I’m in a place where new technology actually has to bring me more value than just being new technology. And I am less tolerant of compromising with problems just to have the latest. I’m not sure if that’s a sign of my maturity or the demands we all place on more mature technologies.

That being said… I’ve seriously got my eye on the Lystro camera….

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Posted by on January 29, 2012 in technology

 

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