Getting Ahead of Tech

Just when you think you’re all caught up with the latest tech innovations, someone develops something newer, better, faster, cheaper. Well, probably not cheaper.

Somehow technology has a way of always leaving me behind. I’d upgraded to the latest operating system on my computer, downloaded all the latest apps onto my notebook, and bought a newer (if not THE newest) smart phone. Then a friend showed me a word processing system that boasts an incredible array of features. 

As a writer, this whole idea of “word processing” already has me on edge. At what point did we stop writing and start merely processing words? And when did words alone begin to fail us? It’s not as if we don’t have enough of them. The Oxford English Dictionary requires some twenty volumes to list the 171,476 words in current use plus 9,500 subentries of “derivative” words. Derivative? As in LOL?  Apparently that’s not enough. Now, as we process words, we insert little cartoon pictures—smiley faces, frowning faces, sad faces, hearts, light bulbs, what ever.

That’s what’s so cool about this word processing system I just bought. It’s quintessentially modern, what purists strive for—lean, mean, and green. No goo-gaws. No clutter. No features to distract me—no text messages and emails showing up in the corner of my computer screen while I’m trying to write, like the one a friend just sent me with a photo of her new nose job. That led to several hilarious texts back and forth. Now, where was I?  Oh, yeah. Impulse buy. When it comes to new technology, usually I wait, let the price come down, let the bugs get worked out. This baby? I had to have it the minute I saw it.

The first question everyone asks about new gadgets is battery life. How long will it operate before requiring a recharge? Hah! This little beauty will continue working well into eternity because: There. Is. No. Battery. It is solely powered by ambient energy. All I have to do is press my fingers onto its keys and it’s powered up, ready to go.

There’s more: no separate printer required. Everything you  need comes in the box. No set of confusing directions printed in tiny type in twenty-seven different languages explaining how to synchronize your word processor with your printer. It’s factory synchronized. The instant you write—excuse me—process a word, it appears on paper, ready to read. What’s more, your words never mysteriously disappear. It doesn’t matter if a lightning strike short circuits your surge protector, or if you forget to save. This puppy never locks up, never mysteriously restarts, and always provides you with a hard-copy backup.

Don’t worry about the learning curve. Everything is intuitive. No cursed cursor. You can move up, down, back, forward—wherever you want to be on the page, it lets you go there directly.

My dream machine? The portable Olympia De Luxe, circa 1960. Old just keeps getting better.

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