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.
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?