Thursday, 5 September 2013

I love tech - I hate tech

And this is true on many levels, as you'll know if you've read the blog much. I also struggle to control my internet appetite, and that's becoming a tolerate-hate relationship, but that wasn't what I was going to post about.

It seems that Barns and Nobel have dropped the price of their colour tablets to the point where they're actually great value - the 7" Nook HD is now pretty much the same price a Kobo E-Reader was 15 months ago at £79 for the 8GB version and the HD+ 9" is £129.

Thing is, our cash burn has been quite high these last months, with birthdays, holidays, replacement shower cabin, winter logs (hopefully happening shortly) and me just buying a few odds and ends for the pedalboard I've nearly finished building. So i see something like this, start wasting time, reading reviews, wondering 'what if' and then realising I don't need it. At all. Of course if someone would like to buy my little Twinhead H12Y laptop that might change, but for now I have as many computers and gadgets as I need, and absolutely no good reason to acquire more tech gear.

The replacement smartphone bought back in the spring was interesting as a mobile computing device, but I DO NOT want to live my connected life through a 4.3" window, no matter how high the resolution.

I love tech, but I also hate it.

We buy the stuff then 2 years, 4 years, 6 years later we have a pile of stuff laying round that cost loads, is worth nothing, but can't be thrown away because we sense it has some residual value even though it is effectively worthless. My old computer from 2 builds back is an example:

It still runs, I have windows 2000 and XP installed on different hard drives and I can play my old Mechwarrior games on it. But even though I don't do that, I still don't want to get rid of it. If I recall correctly it has an AMD Athlon XP1600 processor, a couple of Gb of RAM and a (then) decent graphics card. The silly lighting units have failed (and they prevented it booting for a while) but otherwise it's as fully functional as an 8-9 year old computer could be.

But I don't want to throw it away.

It's successor, that I build in 2007 and also resides upstairs, is again a fully functional computer (I should probably put LinuxliteOS on it, since that runs so well on the Twinhead lappy) but just a bit sluggish running recent web browsers. Heck, this Macbook, now nearly 5 years old and subject to multiple upgrades gets horribly sluggish when asked to run any web pages in Firefox that have graphics on them, or for that matter it just lags behind simply typing text into this blogger window, but I'm not replacing that yet - view this in the context of a friend with a Dell laptop bought at the same time, never reinstalled Windows Vista and it crawls now.

The present machine was donated because the power supply fried, and it was an otherwise decently spec'd machine, but that's been around 2 years (so it's 3 years old) and is starting to creak a little (maybe it's time to try LLOS on it?).

I love tech, love playing with stuff, learning stuff, whiling away endless hours fiddling with stuff. But it has become a burden, and I don't yet see a good way to release myself without simply ditching everything and just walking away except for business use. And that's not ideal because we will be effectively cutting all communications with so many people we know and care about.

I love tech, but it's such a demanding master that I hate tech.

And I watched a lot of people apparently spend all their waking lives on the internet, posting stuff one way or another. How has it affected them, I wonder? Many have cut back, barely post now. I wonder if that's the answer, and this aspect of all good things must be ended?

To rephrase a scripture "‘No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and the internet". The question only remains, does one HAVE to abandon or is control possible? Drawing the parallel the answer should be control, but can we put the monster back in its cage or is it easier to just eject it?

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