Technology

filofax.jpgFour people asked me what I wanted for my birthday last week and I gave each of them the same answer, “A new Filofax.” All four of them said the same thing. “No, you don’t. Nobody wants a Filofax any more. It’s so old-fashioned. Don’t be ridiculous. iPhone.” My daughter Maia was the harshest. She simply said, “Oh, Mom! iPhone.” It made me feel old-fashioned. It made me feel old.

For the record, I have an iPhone but despite the fact that four assistants over the last three years have religiously promised to transfer all my names and phone numbers into my computer and my iPhone, it hasn’t quite happened yet. And I never seem to have the time.

But I like my Filofax (even though it does sort of look like a truck ran over it.) It feels like a friend. I like it that it has names and addresses and phone numbers hand-printed into it. (Arguably, a few of them are dead, but I’ve learned not to notice. And I can’t quite bring myself to cross the names out. That would seem too final.) I use it in meetings to take notes. Sometimes, I’ll have a thought in the car or a random sentence for something I’m working on and I’ll pull over and jot it down into my Filofax. There are a few haikus that will probably never be printed anywhere else. I can gauge from them how sad I was on a given day. (Haikus are usually sad. The more comedic ones have found their way into my computer.)

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phone.jpgWhen was it ok to just blithely accept that products are now engineered for obsolescence? Case in point: our stinkin’ Panasonic cordless phones!!!

We were perfectly happy with our KX-TGA650B Panasonic cordless phone when one day we found one of the handsets sprawled on the living room floor, like eviscerated lion prey. The antennae had been mangled by our dearly departed dog Satchmo. Here’s the evil part; not only had that model become obsolete, but once you’ve lost the use of one handset, you have to replace the whole effing system!

Now we have the Panasonic KX-TGA939T. We have 4 around the house and I hate it! The handset in my office, where I do all my work, is haunted. At first it was just an irritating quirk it had where if my ear was close enough to the receiver, my mouth wasn’t close enough for people to hear me and vice versa. So, my husband suggested I put all my calls on speaker. Personally, I think putting people on speaker makes everyone an automatic douche bag but what was I gonna do? And, it was no solution. The quality of the sound began to erode that way too!

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iphone4.jpg Like most Americans, I like to complain.

Whatever has irked me - be it a problem at work, a squabble with my parents, a politician’s latest scandal, a friend’s thoughtless remark, or just a spontaneous burst of exasperation with my life in general, I relish in the rant.  Also like most Americans, when I’m having a bad day, I think it only fair to let everyone know it – a goal readily met thanks to the wonders of text messaging technology.  Within seconds I am able to disseminate my missives of misery to anyone I deem worthy, invoking references to Satan’s domain to get my point across effectively.
 
“WHO THE HELL DOES HE THINK HE IS?!”

“WELL, SHE CAN JUST GO TO HELL AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED!”

“WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?!”

Yes, it feels good to vent with the tip of my finger.  Only trouble is, I have the new iPhone and it doesn’t believe in Hell.

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iphone.jpgIf you have an iPhone (sorry if you don't) and want to take your daily technology coolness quotient to the next level, then you need to pay attention. You won't find silly games or time wasters on this list. These are helpful, and mostly free apps (unless otherwise noted), that will kick your tech life up a notch. 

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DirectTV – It no longer matters if you forget to program your DVR. Now you no longer have to miss a thing. This app allows you to set your favorite shows to record no matter where you are in the world. Even if you have multiple receivers.  Search by shows, channel or date & time. It's quick, simple and delivers instant piece of mind.

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Remote – Play, pause, skip and shuffle your songs, playlists and album art from your iPhone as if you were right in front of your computer. Works with your Wi-Fi network, so you can control playback from anywhere in and around your home and play it through speakers connected to the network in any room. Gives your home surround sound without the cost of construction. Guaranteed to impress your friends.

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nofacebook.jpgEvery website has one...and so should you. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE the Internet. I make my living because of it. I've been shopping on it since Day 1. Used AOL before there was a World Wide Web when you had to dial-up to get on. Being married to someone known in our circle as The Man – because he can fix any computer problem – leads people to believe that I'm as tech savvy as he is. People are continuously surprised when they discover how low-tech I actually am. There seems to be a disconnect when I explain that I just work on the computer, I don't understand how it works. Sure, I can install software, program my iPhone and even add more memory to a machine in a pinch, but when it comes to setting up an email account, using a Blackberry, texting from my phone or posting a video to YouTube, I have less knowledge than a 5th Grader.

You won't find me on MySpace, Linked In or Facebook. Partially because I run three websites and want to have a life away from my computer...though I love it so... but mainly because I find the idea of "social networking" more than a little creepy. Is it really social if you're just typing on a computer by yourself?

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