Overdue Tech Upgrade Coming, But When?

by Kevin Burton

   One of the truths to emerge from our family emergency April 13 was how badly I need to learn the tech language.

    We got an emergency call that my mother-in-law had fallen in the parking lot of her assisted living facility and was unable to get up. We would not know this until later, but she had broken her hip.

   She was on her way to ER and my wife and I, after hurriedly packing, were on our way to Hutchinson to support her as best we could.

   As we drove to Hutchinson, not knowing what we would face, I was trying to fill my mind with things I could sort of control. I was trying to think logically about the near future.

   One of my thoughts was about this humble blog. I don’t post Thursdays so that much was fine. I would not need to post the next day. But what if we had more than one night on the road?

   It would have been impossible to post any of the weekend blogs because I don’t have any kind of portable word-processing capability. In a stuff happens world, how stupid is that?

   The technology is there in superabundance. But to the amusement of some and exasperation of others I have not embraced it.

  My problem is I don’t know what to get.  I have a fear of buying the wrong thing and having it depreciate in value immediately, like a car you drive off the lot.

   I don’t fear technology but neither do I love it. I am not fascinated by it.  It’s a tool that helps me accomplish something worthwhile, such as writing or posting Page 7 while on the road.

   I’m not about ‘Oh, look what I can do on a computer.’ If there is a use, a project, something real I can accomplish then sure, I’m all for it, great.

   I have basically the same problem with cellphone technology as I explained earlier, (“My Phone’s Not Dumb, You’re Dumb,” March 26).

   What I need is a really sharp 12-year-old who can serve as my tech consultant. Please leave recommendations in comments below if you know someone who can handle that role.

   This should be a 12-year-old, not with a lemonade stand but with a chain of lemonade franchises, and a website selling accessories, mugs, t-shirts, maybe catering outdoor events such as softball games.

   If you say the word “notebook” to most people, computer equipment comes to mind. Me?

    My first day on the job at the Frontiersman newspaper in Alaska I was given a fistful of professional reporter’s notebooks. That is still what comes to mind for me.

   Asking google “what is a notebook” with no qualifiers got me no mention of papers held together in a little book by wire. That tells me the old school that I grew up in, that I am used to, is out of session.

  “What is a notebook” on Google also brought me a discussion about the differences between laptops and notebooks. That tells me I am ill-equipped for the new school. Ill-informed.

   Oh and now I see tablets are in the mix too. 

   In my day, a tablet was a pad of….oh never mind.

  I have some hand-me-down laptops from my brother which were dinosaurs when I got them, probably beyond laughable now. I need to give up on those as a first step toward joining the current tech millennium.

   Since we don’t have middle school kids around, I shall rely on my wife Jeannette to help me fix my tech problem and not to snicker any more than is absolutely necessary.

   She said she has more knowledge about cell phones than the small word processing options.  Whatever help I can get I can use.

   We never did get around to shopping for a saxophone for my anniversary present. I haven’t dismissed the idea, but maybe I should switch gears for now and deal with my tech deficits.

   I have been to this point before and not followed up. This should be good.

   Now writing in my notebook, “tech…upgrade…when?”   

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