Technology

An irreverent look at Technology

Computers

Laptop computers are now being made with a widescreen, this allows you to watch videos in widescreen format, unfortunately everything else you to want to look at is also in widescreen format! I might be being a little churlish but laptop screens are not the biggest screen you will come across and all the (widescreen) laptops I’ve come across appear to have had the screen height reduced and an extra bit stuck on the side – so who wants to look at a small letterbox. I’m sure there is a good reason in someone’s head for this widescreen revolution but for the life of me I don’t get it, is it me?

Desktop computers. What happened to desktop computers, they sat on the desk and you put the monitor on top of it so that it would be the correct height. The floppy drive and CD drawer were just in the perfect position as was the on/off button – overall a pretty good “design”. What do we have now? Towers which fit under the desk so that you have to crawl about on your hands and knees to get to anything and you have to purchase a stand to put the monitor on otherwise it’s too low. Of course the fact that you also become unable to walk because you keep smacking your knee on the dam tower under the desk is purely incidental! Am I missing the point somewhere?

PDAs (a.k.a Pocket PCs). Yup, I’ve got one and what a shock to the system. They’re actually quite good and can be very useful but it makes me think back to when computers were very large and not very powerful. Overtime the ubiquitous “mouse” and keyboard have become the defacto standard to communicate with computers. Computers are now called PCs and they have become smaller and very much more powerful. Compared to my very first Sinclair ZX81, PDAs have so much power and capability it’s unbelievable but what do you have to do to make them do anything – you have to poke them with a stick! It’s a very nice little stick mind you but I still don’t know if I should laugh or cry. My first thoughts were on the lines of “is someone taking the P*ss?” It must be me:-)

Mobile phones

What a wonderful invention, you can be practically anywhere and will be able to make and receive telephone calls. The downside is that you can never escape those dam phone calls (unless you turn it off) and when you really need to make a call because the car has broken down etc, you can’t get a signal! Nowadays these mobile instruments are so small you lose them in your pocket (or handbag if you carry one) So to counter the downside of having a mobile phone, they are now capable of taking photos, watching videos, accessing the Internet and it seems most (younger) people use them only for sending text messages. I suppose somewhere in the instruction manual there will be instructions on how you can enter numbers in a certain sequence and then get to talk to someone! So what’s wrong with having a phone that’s just a phone (and maybe text), is it me!

With regard to texting. The phones are so small you can’t even see the keys and then you have to press the key several times to get the character that you want – surely it’s quicker and easier to just speak to someone instead of exchanging text messages. It can’t only be me, can it?

Update Aug 2016. Seems that smartphones are now getting bigger, so big you need hands the size of a tennis racket and a pocket of equal size. Oh and they’re now called “phablets” (Phone & tablet) !!!