Ever since I got my first LP of Jamie Redfern’s “When you Wish Upon a Star” – technology has been gaining on me. When I was a teenager audio tapes had come in. When I was a young adult, CDs made their entry. When I was an…um…’old’ adult, mp3 players were invented, iTunes, ipods, mobile phones with music apps, and now I’m being swamped by something called The Cloud….
Last week I nearly got used to iTunes. I almost figured out how to manipulate the songs into play lists etc, on my 4th Gen iPod Nano. I say ‘nearly’ because approximately 3 hours and no breakfast later, I hurled the iPod at the lounge (I just painted the wall) and threatened to sell it if it didn’t behave. Then I cursed very loudly and in a way the Road Workers down the street would be impressed with, turned off my PC (the naughty way, without logging off!!! just to show how angry I was) and huffed upstairs to get a coffee. I wanted scotch but it was only 11.30 in the morning.
Damn, Darn and Poop!!! Neither of my teenagers were home to ask, and anyway…they smirk when I ask them questions about my iPod nano.
“They’re getting valuable!” said Teen 1, inferring that my iPod was such a dinosaur it had almost become an antique. Ah Crap. I thought. Why do I need music anyway? It’s just noise. That afternoon, eBay became my best friend (oh yes, I’m an EXPERT at eBay….I don’t need to ask ANYONE ANYTHING about eBay, they all ask me!! I have 4980 x 100% positive feedback, so don’t make me mad…I’ll sell you!) That’s exactly what happened to my iPod Nano. $120 and one week later I was only a bit happier. I got revenge, sure….but WHAT THE FRICK is happening? Why can’t I understand iTunes?
Deep down I knew. I’m a 1960s girl. Back in the good ol’ days. Everything was manual. Take car window winders for example. Did anyone get suffocated in a car?? Nup. Wind down the window.
Want to send a message? Get a pen.
Can openers. Ever die of hunger because you couldn’t figure out the electric opener? No sirree.. just press and twist.
Want to BBQ? Light a fire.
Phone call? walk to where your phone is attached to the wall, dial and if they’re home they’ll answer, if not ….they won’t. No fax machines, no texting, no mms, no voice mail, no answering machines.
Music? Gently wipe the LP off with the bottom of your Bob Marley T shirt, place it on the turntable, lower the stylus onto the record avoiding that farting noise that indicates you were a bit rough, and sit back and listen. Ah, the good old days when a Menu was in a Chinese Takeaway and a Power Off was a blackout.
There was none of this ‘install’, upload, download bullcrap. No scanning, checking, swiping, dragging and dropping. No searching and surfing and menus and playlists and genius….. Genius? what are they suggesting? That I’m not smart enough for an iPod? (Shutup). So much for being user-bloody-friendly. User Friendly my arse.
I think the worst thing was that I kept up with technology for AGES!!! (I’m a mere 53..or 54, I forget). I’m was fab at audio tapes, making plenty of my own compilations…that was SOO easy. Wait for your favourite (Fox on the Run) to come on 2SM radio station and with the reflexes of a teenager hit the one and only record button on the Cassette Player…wait for the song to stop (Hated it when the disc jockey said something stupid before the real end of the song) and whack the stop button. Wind on 5 seconds and repeat for your next favourite. (Heaven’s in the Back Seat of my Cadillac….) Ta Da!
Then CDs – well they were ok too, not much different to audio tapes except there was a computer involved and so it was much harder to compile your own playlists. Bummer.
Enter Drag and Drop. Write and whatever.
THEN MP3 players is when it all started to fall apart. My question is WHY???? Why make something harder to work? If a cassette tape got stuffed up, you just took it out and wound the tape back on the spool with a pen. If an Mp3 player carks it you have to look up a user-guide to figure out which 9 buttons to press simultaneously whilst standing upside down eating apples, to reset it.
OK, mild exaggeration. But I’m finding now that tech changes quicker than people can get used to it. By ‘people’ I mean real people. People born before 2000. People that still know how to carry on a conversation made of soundwaves not pixels.
Think about video. (I think about it all the time, I have tons of 8mm film, photos, video, VHSC, Hi 8 and VHS to copy to digital) In about 50 years we’ve gone through about 2 media a decade! Blu ray and online now…what’s next?
I got thinking about this today when, for all my stunning brilliance at computers (I mean it,…I’m not bad at computers having had one for about 20 years) I experienced a monitor wigout. Yesterday (without boring you with the whole story) ‘something’ happened to my monitor and mouse. Neither of them were at the party. So I flipped and checked, and scanned and swapped cables, and so on and so forth. After about 5 hours, I couldn’t work it out and Teen 2 comes home from school and says “let me look at it.” I sniffed in a mega-scoffy sort of way and went to get a double scotch. “Sure!” I said, confident in the PC’s complete lack of contrition.
In 30 minutes, Teen 2 came up and said “Almost fixed,” and went and got the Mars Bar I said he could have if he fixed it. I snuck downstairs to ensure he wasn’t pulling a fast one. Dang it. He’d hooked up the PC to the TV via an HDMI cable. The graphics were fine. The mouse was working. The back of the PC was undone and there were screwdrivers lying around. Oh God.
Using his bandaid fix, I applied some fixing of my own, uninstalling drivers and installing them again. Then I plugged the monitor back in with the old DVI cable.
The Computer guy came around in a couple of hours. He was about 12. He listened and looked at the reclining PC box and said “You’ve got the DVI cable plugged into the wrong socket.” That’s the onboard video, you want the outboard (or did he say off-board) ” He whipped it out, then whipped it in the other hole. …Bling!
I wish I could do this. So …crap. The cloud. Solid State something. Apps. Bluetooth.
Stop. My brain is still spinning at 33.3rpm.
I want to get off.