Search This Blog

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Keeping Up With The Electronics? Yeah, Right!

All right, so here we are.  Today is Thursday, and it’s the day of the week where I confess something to all of you.  Some of my confessions are funny, while some are more serious in nature, but all allow you to get to know me a little better.
But, here was my dilemma.  I was struggling to come up with a confession for this week’s edition.  I really had no idea what I would confess this week.  That’s not to say that I am completely out of things to talk about.  I certainly have a lot of things that I could share in this space.  This week though was a challenge.
It wasn’t until yesterday afternoon that I came up with the answer as to what I’m planning on confessing for today’s edition.  Yesterday afternoon, I was chatting with a friend of mine through Facebook shortly after posting yesterday’s blog entry on Merlin.  She had read it, commented on it, and we got to talking about how much we missed certain toys that we both had grown up with.  She had mentioned that she had wanted to find a Nintendo Game Boy.  I’m not talking about the current DS style models.  I mean the real, original, made in 1989 Game Boys with the greenish-yellow display screen.  I remember playing Game Boy back in the day, but I don’t own one anymore.  Then the subject of conversation switched to old video game consoles, and she brought up the Super Nintendo.

Unlike the Game Boy, I actually still have my Super Nintendo.  It’s twenty years old and yellowed with age, mind you, but I still owned it.  I even owned about a dozen game cartridges that went with the console.  The problem was that it had been at least five years since I had played it, and I had absolutely no idea if I even had all the pieces to hook it up.  I honestly didn’t even know if it still worked. 
So, anyway, we got to talking, and I agreed to grab the Super Nintendo console that I had, hooked it up, and crossed our fingers hoping that it would work.  And, imagine our surprise when it worked perfectly!  It was like a time warp to 1992 all over again.  Very surreal, indeed.

The thing that struck me as wonderful about the whole adventure in hooking up the Super Nintendo again was the fact that 20 years later, those games still seem to hold up very well.  They were enjoyable, challenging, and kept you entertained for hours of fun.  The graphics were simplistic, and certainly don’t hold a candle to current video games being released on more modern consoles, but it didn’t matter to us in the slightest.  It’s what we grew up with, and it’s good to see that two decades later, my friend and I found those games to be just as fun as they were back when we were ten year old children.
But, then again, as far as technology goes, I’ve always been a fan of older technology.  Fancy gizmos don’t impress me much at all.  And, that leads to today’s confession.

THURSDAY CONFESSION #6:  I have always been ten steps behind when it comes to the world of technology.  I’m perfectly okay with that.
You may have seen me ranting about this on my blog months ago, but I’ve talked about how I find cell phones to be more annoying than anything that could be invented in the technological world.  Yes, I do see that if used properly, they can be a great asset to one’s life.  Cell phones are handy for emergency purposes.  They can be used to dial 911 in a jiffy if someone is hurt, and a land line isn’t always available.  I know that police officers and detectives have used cell phone cameras to do surveillance on suspects in crimes.  I’ll even admit to having a Pay-As-You-Go cell phone myself to use for calling a taxi home, or to let people know that I might be late. 

But, that’s all I need.  A simple hand held phone used for calling people, and sending the odd text.  I don’t want to use a phone to go on the Internet, or play video games, or download an app that will provide me with a recipe on how to make perfect banana nut muffins.  The simpler it is, the better it is for me.  Truth be told, someone showed me their iPhone, and I was at a complete loss as to how to even turn it on, let alone how to make a call.
On a related note, I really don’t see why we have to be SO connected to each other at all times.  I’m constantly seeing people texting away on their phones for multiple hours on end...some of them even texting each other from right across the same room!  Completely baffling, isn’t it? 

Now, granted, I readily admit to being someone who communicates better through written word than spoken word.  At the same time, if someone were in the same room as me, the last thing that I would do is dig out my cell phone to text them.  It sounds silly, right?  Sad thing is, there’s some people who are that attached to their phones.  I could never be that absorbed in a hand held least, not in a public place anyways.
I’ve also never really had much of an interest expressing a desire to acquire the latest gadgets and gimmicks.  I mean, yes, for game consoles, I owned a Nintendo and Super Nintendo.  After that, I sort of lost interest in newer game consoles.  For one, they were too expensive, and for another, the games that were being released for these units just didn’t seem as entertaining.  A standard PlayStation 3 game might have lots of bells and whistles to them, and I know quite a few teenagers and twenty-somethings that get a high out of playing these video games with top notch graphics and realistic violence.  Myself?  They bore me to tears.

In fact, I’ll let you in on another mini confession.  If one were to take a look at my PlayStation 2 and the library of games that I have within my collection, one will find that at least half of my games were ones that were re-released from older consoles.  I have Final Fantasy games on the PlayStation that were originally released from the Super Nintendo.  I have the Sega Genesis Collection for the PlayStation 2.  I even managed to get the Intellivision compilation for the PlayStation 2.  The Intellivision being a game console released before I was even born.  I even wrote about how the Intellivision was my very first video game console ten years after it was popular right HERE, and yet I still have fond memories of those older games.
Why is that?  I have the opinion that the more simplistic electronics were, the better.  I don’t need an iPad, iPod, iPhone, iWhatever, because iFind that iLive a better iLife without them.

I’m just as happy with a pad and paper, my CD’s and cassettes (or albums if you’re even more retro than I), and a landline phone as anyone who waits in line for umpteen hours to snag the latest updated electronic device.

And, while we’re on the subject of that, there is absolutely NOTHING in this world that would make me stand in line for half a day to buy.  I don’t care if it can download movies, prepare your taxes, or cut a metal pipe in half.  There’s nothing that would make me go that crazy over a hunk of plastic that will be rendered obsolete in a couple of years either.  Why would I when I have electronics that are still just as good?

My parents currently have a microwave oven that could be classified as classic, or old.  Their microwave doesn’t have a digital clock or buttons.  Instead, they have dials like the old-school televisions used to have.  You turn the top dial to defrost or cook, and then the bottom dial sets the timer anywhere from sixty seconds to sixty minutes.  It’s even designed in such a way that there’s faux wood paneling surrounding the outside.

Would you believe that my parents got that microwave as an anniversary gift for their 25th wedding anniversary...which took place in August 1990?!?
That’s right.  The microwave oven that my parents currently use has been in service for almost twenty-two years.  And in 2012, it still runs just as well as it did back in 1990.  Good luck getting that kind of use from a current model.  I think my workplace has replaced the microwave ovens in our employee lounge half a dozen times since I started there.  And, I’ve only been working there since 2004.  That’s an average of one microwave a year.  Not a great track record.

I think that might influence my reluctance to go follow the latest electronic trends.  For one, I find older appliances to be of better quality than current models.  Which, I guess makes sense, given the level of outsourcing we’ve seen lately.  With cheaper labour, you get cheaper product...but the cheaper products are often of cheaper quality, which is unfortunate.
Let’s put it this way.  I’d rather have a microwave from 1990 than a microwave from 2010. 

But, it’s also true with newer electronics and games.  I see lots of people lining up for these sorts of gadgets because they want it for status symbols.  But one thing I always noticed was that some of these gadgets weren’t necessarily tested properly before they hit stores.  As a result, some of these gadgets were filled with so many bugs and so many problems that they ended up being more frustrating than enjoyable.  I purposely wait until the items are rendered old news before snatching them up.  They cost less, and by that point (hopefully), all the bugs have been found and repaired.  It’s basically a win-win for me!
Of course, this always leaves me being woefully behind in the world of technology.  But I’ll deal with it.  I’m doing fine right now.  As long as I have a working computer that will allow me to keep writing this blog, that’s really all I need!

No comments:

Post a Comment