Technology

200px-ibook_g4.jpgIt happened suddenly.  One minute we were together, touching, my hands on his body, as close as always, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, signs of dire distress.  It sounded like a heave or a deep sigh.  But I heard a click in there somewhere as well.  Something more than the whirl of a distant fan.  I heard danger.  I heard Mac’s finally gasp.

And then, after four years together, nine to ten hours a day, seven days a week, for all 52 weeks of the year – half of those trying to work, the other half simply searching together for answers – it was over. 

Lately, he was the first thing I reached for in the morning after my husband, who gets up early, was gone.  I pulled him off the table and woke him up from his sleep.  I demanded that he bring me the New York Times.  That was always the start.

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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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My husband Dave is a high-tech whore. He jumps on nearly every bandwagon that touts the latest and greatest computerized gadgets. So, it goes without saying that we’ve been waiting for the Wii Fit Balance Board, ever since it was announced. We were one of the first people to get the Wii and though we are currently more obsessed with Rock Band, our excitement for this new toy/fitness product was hard to contain. Until we started using it.

We aren’t exactly fitness freaks, but we’re not couch potatoes either. I’m trying to put on a happy face about turning 40 this year and I have to say this “game” is not making the transition any easier. We figured it couldn’t hurt to try and get into even better shape, since we’re fighting a losing battle with time. Little did we know this machine was not on our side. In fact, a British couple is already suing Nintendo for hurting their daughter’s feelings by telling her she’s overweight. Denying the truth doesn’t make it go away. You can’t hide your extra pounds on the Balance Board.

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ooma-logo.jpgIf you haven’t heard of Ooma, you will soon. I discovered it because I was sick and tired of paying ATT&T for a landline we rarely ever used that cost us over $40 a month with no extras. We didn’t even have call waiting, which was nice for us, but the busy signal always freaked our friends out. At least they knew we were home even if they couldn’t reach us.

One day last fall I came across a message on one of my geek boards about a box that uses your current phone number and phones over the Internet. More research showed that everyone was talking about Ooma, a system that seemed to be as popular as Uma Thurman among the nerd community.  I was a bit skeptical until I saw over 75 positive reviews on Amazon. It seemed this system was exactly what I was looking for. Unlike Vonage a similar service that has a monthly fee, once you purchase the Ooma system (about $200), you never have to pay another phone bill again. That’s right I said NEVER.  Plus, getting to keep our existing home phone number (for a small fee) was essential. We’ve had it for 12 years and it’s the one number my wife can actually remember.

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conversation.jpgThere are only certain places I can take her.  She is sort of bulky; she never orders anything.  Nowhere too crowded, I wouldn’t feel right taking up a booth with her.  But at the same time, nowhere that doesn’t have the possibility of running into someone more interesting, in case I wanted to ditch her, or at least set her aside for awhile.  Somewhere with just enough scenic beauty to fill a background but not enough to completely divert my attention from her. 

Today I tried a new place that neither of us had ever been to, or perhaps she had, with a former companion.  La Conversation, nestled just under Sunset on Doheny.  I stared over her and people watched, hoping to enter into a ‘conversation’ with someone I had not yet met.  I watched a beautiful older woman accompanied by her nurse and her nurse’s son.  The woman daintily forked her salad while the nurse and her son loudly fought about his day and the nurse gulped down a smoothie.  The woman looked past her dining mates in my direction, although her senility suggested she stared into space and wasn’t really interested in me.

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