In my house, technology rules. TV, movies, Internet, games, and music – we have it, and we try to have the best. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t spend hours glued to the TV, but we do enjoy our movies, sit-coms, culinary shows, and HGTV. I can’t live without House Hunters and Property Brothers.
My husband and son are all about their PlayStation 3’s. They play together, so they get father-son time, and they play separately. I read while they do that. Or I watch a TV show on my Kindle or laptop. My external hard drive is where all our movies are stored, and it’s a plug and play so I just have to plug the USB into my laptop and I’m good to go.
Music is the other determining factor in our lives. Between the three of us, we listen to everything! Country, rock, dubstep, hard rock, dance…I could go on and on. For this, we have a really good shelf system with an MP3 dock, so any one of us can just pop in our players and listen to what we want.
Of course, when we watch movies on the TV, we have a great Blu-Ray player, along with a surround sound system. I scoffed at the surround sound (much like I did digital cameras and Blu-Ray players), but it just sounds odd now when I watch TV without it. Plus, when you watch scary movies like I do, surround sound picks up on all those ambient sounds that you wouldn’t hear normally. Which, come to think about it, is a blessing/curse kind of thing…
Today’s offices are so efficient that most of them don’t even use paper anymore. Everything is digital, and some are even moving away from CD’s and moving to online cloud storage to communicate with other businesses and clients. USB flash drives have become so inexpensive that they are now the portable storage of choice.
Who remembers typewriters? I remember the sound of an office in full swing, the clickety-clack of typing echoing throughout. Then there were the whispered curses when a mistake was made and the Wite-Out was needed or the correction tape. Oh, and the awesome sound of a dot-matrix printer, slowly going back and forth, printing in black and white dots.
Computers were room sized until the bulky desktops were introduced that used floppy disks and had a whopping 20 megs (MB) of hard drive space! We had copiers that needed their own rooms, that were so intimidating with all their trays and doors. I always hated making copies on them.
Fax machines were equally confounding, and I avoided them at all costs. The loud screeching noise was annoying, and then the machine would beep loudly if I did something wrong (which was usually all the time) and I would walk away, embarrassed that I couldn’t master a stupid machine. I do, however, miss the simple desk phones that were common. This multi-line, many-buttoned phone that we use now never works right for me. I think it hates me. What retro office supplies do you remember?
We are living in a digital age, that’s no secret. Computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming systems…all around us are digital products that keep us connected. And have lots of power cords. Power cords are essential (obviously) and you need a place to plug them in. Unless you’ve built your home to include an insane amount of electrical outlets, that means you use power strips, otherwise known as surge protectors.
Power strips are great, and they come in many shapes and forms, but they too become overloaded with cords. The space between my wall and entertainment center looks like a tangle vine of cords that is just waiting to trap the cat should she venture back there. I keep waiting to hear plaintive meowing that we have to track down so we can rescue her.
In my bedroom at least, I’ve tried to take a proactive stand against cord overload. I’ve purchased two USB hubs that plug into my electrical outlets so that I don’t have to have everything plugged in together. One hub charges my iPhone and our two Kindles, and another charges my husband’s spare phone battery and his Bluetooth.
I know it seems that it’s still a whole slew of cords, but they are easier to unplug the cords during the day and I don’t have a whole power strip sitting on my floor that someone can trip over! And most of my power strips are what I lovingly refer to as Squidward, because instead of being a standard strip, it has five movable arms that spread out. For my electronics I have color coded strips so I don’t unplug the wrong thing, which can be bad if someone is playing a video game and you accidentally unplug their game. They get grumpy when that happens…
The holidays are coming, and someone on your list wants a new computer. Whether it’s your teenage son who is tired of sharing, or your husband who is just not happy with the current laptop, someone will ask. The question is, how to you pick the perfect PC? Buy or build?
A long time ago in a galaxy much like our own, I dated the quintessential computer nerd. Back then, it wasn’t cool to be a geek, not like now, and we were definitely part of that subculture. This is the time before personal laptops, but he managed to set up his computer on the bedside table and angle it so that he could work on it at night. He was dedicated. He preferred building his own PC and taught me a lot about it, although I’m sure he thought I wasn’t listening. His personal preference was Hewlett Packard, now more commonly known as HP, and it stuck with me.
Building a PC with the right components can be cost efficient and get you more bang for your buck. If you are a serious gamer or do a lot with your PC, then building is a definite option for you. It gives you the freedom to choose component options that most likely won’t come with a pre-built PC. Maybe you don’t need an operating system because you already have one, or you need a superior graphics card and more memory…the list goes on.
Buying a pre-built is what is suitable for most PC owners. Higher graphics, super-fast processors, and great sound always makes the use of a computer nice, but when you’re just surfing the ‘Net, emailing Grandma, and storing photo’s, you don’t have to expend the money on a blazing fast system with HD graphics. A basic desktop would do you just fine, unless you want portability.
Teenagers, like a certain 14 year old that I know, do best with laptops. They have the mobility they want, the guts to do gaming and surfing, and they can take it with them everywhere (except school. A lot of schools still say no to personal computers. Unless its college. I’m digressing) they want to be. School work and research is a breeze, and they can decorate it with skins (not human). Kids love decorating with skins.
Now, there are tablets. I am just scratching that surface and it’s taken me almost two years to decide if I want an iPad, an Android tablet, a Kindle Fire…wow. Guess what? Still can’t decide. I know what I want to do with it, but can’t find one that encompasses it all. Maybe next year I can do a blog on tablets…