Cool Tech wander project issue 12.1

I am a fan of technology. For me, it started a long time ago, and it continues to this day. I see not only the potential but also the value of technology in our lives. I have, over the years listened to some of the great technology speakers as well.

One of the things that I find interesting is the reality of what and where. What “I”s, what the person is speaking is talking about in the technology world. Where is the connection of that person to the overall timeline that is technology in our world?

We call the concept of being an early adopter the bleeding edge. Not that the devices are sharp, and in carrying them in our pockets we are cut and bleeding but that the devices as constituted don’t always work exactly as promised.

My rule for cutting edge technology is two-fold. I talked about this the other day, so I won’t repeat the whole thing, just that the one thing I don’t have on the cutting edge is my phone. That is my device for communication, and I lived through the initial era of technology with phones, and won’t relive that less than good experience.

What I look for now is something I find a partial business case. It doesn’t have to be a full case, just one that makes some sense to me. The reason I am comfortable with a less than full business case is that tomorrow the entire business case may appear and that way I am ahead of the game.

There was a time when learning the night before was enough. That time has passed, and now it is important that you pick your waves carefully. Those heady days of technology for technology sake are over.

By the way, learning about boat technology on the fly is not a good idea. In fact, I would argue that it is at best a bad idea. At worst it is something you will regret. The other one that I think would be worse is learning how to fly after you’ve taken off, without another pilot there. You see taking off is one thing, landing is truly another thing.

Complexity is the enemy. But, complexity is also the worst case scenario. The problem is that most people don’t buy everything they own at one time. In fact, most people build their things over time. You buy the TV and sitting on your couch you realize that to get the full theater experience you need to add speakers. Then you realize more than the speakers you also need to make the room darker. Then you realize you have to add sound tiles to the ceiling, so the sound fills the room better. Before you know it you’ve added a bunch of things to your media room.

The media room isn’t the only room in the house where that happens. It happens as well in the office, we buy a printer, connect that and then realize that the printer isn’t good enough or that we need a scanner as well so we add that. Or, we start with an all in one printer that has a built-in scanner. Oh yeah did I mention that we still, from time to time need to fax things?

Oh, brave new world.

Sometimes you just have to stop and think bout not where you are but the journey that got you to where you are, now. For me, it initially was a journey into the world of media. I wanted to have a stereo so that I could listen to music. Then I started using a computer because computers were absorbing and as a writer, I found I could type faster on a keyboard with a backspace that didn’t require whiteout for every single mistake. Oh yeah, I make a lot of mistakes. I can type faster on a computer than I ever could on a typewriter, and I don’t have a room full of the smell of white out!

From stereo to computers I continued to expand. When you write on a computer, you have to have a printer. My first printer was one that the Macs in the house, as well as the PC’s, could use. Well, the third printer I bought. I had the old Apple ImageWriter, a dot matrix printer and then the original Apple laser printer. But when I had both Macs and PC’s in the house, I had to upgrade to an HP5p.

I still have some of the stops along the way connected in my media room. I even have a USB 3.5-inch floppy drive, just in case!

Time is the great equalizer. Time however, is what creates the problem in the connectivity and technology space. It is always best to consider what you have and how you are deploying it in your home. Plus you can probably throw away your Betamax now!