Saturday, March 10, 2012

Is there an App for that?

I’ve always been one to pick and choose my technology. Some things I’ve embraced before most people: alternative energy is one area that comes to mind. Other technologies I’m perfectly happy to be a generation or two behind: computers is one area that’s true. My computer needs are modest enough that slower speeds and lower tech is fine. Some technologies I’ve yet to find a need for. Right now, I have nothing that runs “Apps.”

Cell phone technology is one area I’m definitely way way behind the curve. My first cell phone was one of those bag phones. I got one just as the whole bag phone technology was almost completely replaced by smaller and smaller pocket phones.

Why did I embrace the older tech? Power. The old phones had one feature that was important to me over all others. The old phones had a lot more range than the pocket phones. At the time, my wife was working 50 miles away. Her drive took her through the mountains. Cell towers were few and far between, so having more power and range was important in an emergency.

Today, there still isn’t reliable cell phone service at my house. My wife and I have only one cheap $10 cell phone between the two of us. It makes phone calls, that’s it. That’s all the cell phone tech I need right now.

Friends and family have phones with all the Apps. I’ve played with them, but have no justification for getting one. While some functions would be useful to me, they aren’t useful enough for me to get an expensive phone and pricey monthly service plan -even if I could get a cell signal at my house.

The new tablets is another technology that my record is spotty on. In a way, I was a pretty early adopter of the technology. I had a series of early model PDAs. Anyone remember Palm devices? Now most of their functions are in cell phones. For a number of years, I used to review a lot of documents. I’d download them onto my computer than transfer them to my Palm device. Then I’d make notes, upload the notes onto my computer, then e-mail my notes.

One would think I’d be one of the early adopters of the new tablet devices. I’m not. My days of reviewing a lot of documents are in the past. I do have the most basic of book readers. Much like the old PDAs, it must be physically connected to my computer to load books. All it does is display books and store and play music files. The more advanced technology tablets do not interest me. Rather than buy a tablet, I spent my money on a cheap netbook -it was more useful to me for the way I actually work. Having a decent keyboard is what’s important. Heck, even back in my PDA days, I had a folding keyboard that would connected with the device.

Now I’m not saying that my technology choices are the only right choices. They are my choices for the way I live. I’m pretty much immune to advertising and peer pressure. Technology has to sell itself to me on its own merits. I may get one of those devices one of these days, but if I do, it’ll because of a hard nosed cost/benefit analysis.

Of course, I’ll happily accept new technology as a gift. Nothing like getting something free to skew the cost/benefit analysis.



  1. My wife and I both have cell phones but they are bare bone phones, no text, no video, bells and whistles (well it does ring and/or vibrate), etc. Got all the extras on either a pad or a laptop.

  2. It's all about figuring out what works for you.

  3. I am using an iPad at the moment. It was gifted to me by a brother. If he hadn't, I would not have one. There are some nice features, but some things won't work.
    Our cell phones are basic too. We did the number crunch and found it was cheaper because of long distance to all our families. Most of them were on the same plan, so there were no "charges" for the calls.
    My son tells me that soon they will be installing 100 terabite lines. Technology keeps speeding up. Wonder where we wil be in another few years?


  4. I don't need the latest whiz-bang gadgetry. Too costly and pretty much just for entertainment purposes. Don't need a "smart" phone, the dumb phone works just fine : )