Technology

Never Satisfied

Out with the old 459 pages
Out with the old 459 pages

As revolutionary and transformative as the technological innovations of the 19th century were–and they were— they didn’t demand much effort from those who benefited from them. I mean, how hard is it to learn to turn on the lights, dial a telephone, or flush the toilet? And what’s more, the beneficiaries didn’t have to learn different ways of using these inventions every other year. It was 44 years—44 years!— from the introduction of rotary telephone dials to touch tone dialing, and even then, that innovation was pretty intuitive. Even the elderly could do it. Nowadays, of course, telephones are much more complicated. For one thing, they’re not just for talking. They can get you in a whole lot of trouble if you don’t know what you’re doing. And like everything digital, the current version is never good enough.

Last week,  our printer died after four years of service. I don’t know how old that is in human years, but I’m pretty sure it’s well past the age of retirement. The telephone rep warned me, if I understood her correctly, which wasn’t easy, that to have it repaired might cost more than a new printer, especially since as loyal Epson customers, we were entitled to a discount.

To find out though, we’d have to lug the printer to the Bronx, there not being a single Epson service center in the entire borough of Manhattan, which tells you something right there.

In with the new 857 pages
In with the new 857 pages

Well, we never liked that printer anyway so we bought a new one. But uh oh, our operating system wouldn’t support the new printer. As Mac users, we were a little late to the OS X party; we came on board with Jaguar, having missed out on Cheetah and Puma. We then ignored Panther, Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard. But somewhere along the line, we bought a new computer and in the process acquired Lion, not to be confused with Mountain Lion, which came next, followed by Mavericks. Having run out of exotic animals and there being no logical successor to Mavericks, Apple has now transitioned to national parks, Yosemite being the current version of OS X to which we have dutifully upgraded.

Mark my words: before long, they’ll be promoting Shenandoah. But, trust me, we won’t be making the trip. We’ll just wait for Yellowstone or Denali or Glacier. Or maybe we’ll just stay home.

P.S. Seems I have made the mistake of jumping to a logical conclusion. Steven (the best Apple guru one could find—well, after David Pogue, maybe) informs me in the comment section that the cats were left behind with Mountain Lion and the new series is named after California landmarks, of which Mavericks is one. So what’s next? Alcatraz?

13 thoughts on “Never Satisfied

  1. Oh, this is funny! I love it. When it comes to travels in the computer world I just sit in the passenger seat. Every once and awhile I ask the driver where we are. I could never navigate any of this by myself.

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  2. I’ve spent a career working in high tech. Typically, technology advances because it can advance and produce increased profits. We can’t assume advances take place because they are necessary or will be beneficial in some way. Companies thrive on planned obsolescence.

    The technonerds making the advances view those who struggle to keep up as idiots. There’s no pity for the poor consumers who have difficulty adjusting to the constant changes in technology.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank goodness for the family members that have patiently helped me navigate through the swift currents and rough waters of modern technology – and for Apple products’ ease of use! Sometimes it feels like I’m living in a world of science fiction – what would Grandmommy think?!

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    2. Paul, we held off as long as we could. I confess I do resent being forced to upgrade. Grace is right; you begin to run out of brain cells. Well, that’s not quite right; it’s just that I think brain cells have something better to do that continually learn new operating systems.

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  3. A very funny little story. And you’ll remember how disastrous my trip to Yosemite was (and it’s still incredibly unstable). You also know how loath I am to say anything negative about Apple products, so ’nuff said.
    But you should know that Mavericks was the leaving behind of the cats; the new series — that started with Mavericks — is named after famed California landmarks: http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?name=Mavericks%2c+California&where1=37.49149,-122.5083&lvl=8&FORM=INFOCM
    http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?name=Yosemite+National+Park&where1=37.84828,-119.5563&lvl=8&FORM=INFOCM

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    1. Well, Steven-who knew? I never heard of Mavericks so I googled it and discover it’s a dangerous destination for surfers. Maybe next they will develop Alcatraz, which I learn is also an official landmark.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. One tries to keep up, but there comes a point when you know you simply don’t have enough brain cells left to master another digital revolution. Since we are PC people, we didn’t have to go through the exotic animals, but we did have to survive Windows 8. I have a smart phone that is smarter than I am and a car radio that requires the manual to change the station, but I refuse to have a watch that answers the phone.

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