Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Information Age

While browsing the internet today I found a few things that just made me stop and say, "Wow!".

I explored and discovered to my delight a variety of applications that one can download to an iPhone or iTouch™. There are e-books. I hadn't really thought about reading on my iTouch™, but then I have terrible eyesight anyway. I found applications that give quotations from famous and not so famous people and others that tell you some fact from that day in history, and there are apps that keep track of your mileage or hours worked. A clever one helps you make outlines, and another pings any servers you are keeping track of regularly. I particularly liked a couple that had copies of Famous Documents in History and Famous Speeches in History. Can you imagine the usefulness of having those at your fingertips? Wow! Too cool! I'm such a geek, I know, but it's still cool.

And of course, there are numerous games, I even downloaded a couple of the free ones, but I rarely have the time to play a game on a portable device if I'm out and about and at home, I'd just as soon play on a regular gaming system or directly online.

I came of age with the Mac, in fact I graduated high school the year it was introduced, but I firmly believe that machines are tools and if they aren't easy to use then I'm not interested. The Mac has always been easy to use, but it's usefulness wasn't as apparent to most in the 80's. I could see the potential, but technology hadn't caught up yet. When the internet went public and browsers appeared, computers started down the path that we now call the Information Age. We can get anything online. Buy it, sell it, trade it, read it, play it, give it away, announce it.

The internet and its uses expands almost daily it seems, and I love it. I love the ease of use. I love the variety and ability of anyone to create and publish things with little more than access to a machine. But even though I use it constantly, and in fact, probably know more than I'd like to about it, I tend to be somewhat skeptical of the newest items.

I don't usually buy into anything until they've been up and running for a while. I have no patience for poor interaction. There wasn't even internet in my house until DSL became available, now we have FIOS, it's faster. And we don't have the puny home-based version, we run a server so we have a business FIOS. Way better. Unbelievably so.

So yesterday Apple announced their newest versions of iPods and I decided to explore a little and see what's been developed for iPods. I wasn't disappointed. There are a lot of really cool and fun things out there, but I still come from a skeptics point of view and I won't download anything that doesn't have at least a few reviews that say this app works and doesn't foul up your device. Technology is great, but you really have to be wary of the latest and supposedly greatest things out there.

I'm impressed with the creativity of people and the willingness to offer so many cool tools for free or for very little money, and I'm even more impressed that any of these things are so readily available. We live in such a wondrous time. There are so many totally amazing things being created, and many of them are available to everyday people. That is so cool. What a great time to be alive.


BernardL said...

Imagination expands exponentially with every new gadget. Just as one believes nothing could be better than today's gadget, ten improved ones show up on the horizon. It is indeed a fast paced world, and keeping up with it is a full time occupation. Good post. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

One of these days I'll probably get an ipod. But it is very easy to find music to listen to anyway when I want it.

Vwriter said...

You're going to drag me kicking and screaming into the 21st century if you keep this up.

Virginia Lady said...

Bernard, You're right and they pay people good money to learn the new stuff. Not a bad gig, if you can get it. Thanks!

Charles, I have no patience for the DJ's on the radio and when waiting at doctor's offices, etc it's much more relaxing than reading year-old People magazines. I'm a big supporter of MP3 players.

vwriter, come on in, the water's fine! I bet someone may even make some sort of EMF detector app that would work on an iPod. :-)

spyscribbler said...

I'm dying for a Kindle. And I love technology. I've been finding so many programs and processes that make my life easier.

I have an old iPod a friend got me, and I love it. LOVE it! I use the software more, and listen to most my music directly from the computer, hooked into a stereo.

Virginia Lady said...

Spyscribbler, thanks for stopping by.

A Kindle would be good for me, my night stand and dresser are already overloaded with the books that don't fit on our bookshelves. Electronic reading would save a ton of space. Maybe I'll add it to my wish list.

I used to listen to my iPod on an iHome my family got me for a gift, but the abuse of teenagers took its toll and it no longer recognizes any iPod device inserted. Oh well.

Vwriter said...

BTW, have you read Jeffrey Deaver's "The Broken Window?" yet. Gives you a different take on the information age...