Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Ton Of New Technology To Learn


Yay, all kinds of new “toys” to play with.  We have been planning an upgrade to our phones for awhile now and we finally pulled the trigger.  Top right is my new phone, a Samsung Galaxy S4.  This is my first “smart phone”.  When we ordered our last set of phones, I felt I wanted to keep my phone fairly simple so I purchased one that had only very rudimentary data capabilities.  I could essentially make calls, read my email, and take some pictures and that that was about it.  Meanwhile, I had to watch for about three years as Gary surfed the internet from almost any location with his Droid X.   “My crappy little phone” became a bit of a running joke between us.

Gary’s new phone had a slight back order so I received mine about a week before his new one arrived.  It was his turn to cry about his “crappy little phone” watching me surf with super 4g speed while he remained with 3g.   But not to be outdone, he had ordered up an even bigger higher capability phone than mine, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3.  This thing is massive.  I certainly didn’t want one of those as I can barely hang onto it with my hand.  It is so big it sometimes is referred to as a”phablet” – a cross between and phone and a tablet.

And as a Christmas present Gary purchased me -- the designated navigator as I don’t do much of the driving -- a new GPS unit.  And if I was doing a lot of complaining about the “crappy little phone”, that complaining was nothing compared with the way I was cursing that old GPS.  It had developed a ton of problems from its battery being shot to a power cord that was always causing the unit to cycle off and on (I had to constantly hold the unit in my hand in a certain way to try to minimize the power cycling.)   Further, the maps were out of date but it wasn’t worth investing in new ones as the unit had too many problems.  It really confounded “Sammy” (short for Samantha, the name of our GPS voice) when she thought we were driving off road when we hit new stretches of pavement.  Our new unit is the Garmin 760 RV GPS which has myriad new features beyond those of our prior trucker model.

The last piece of tech shown in the picture is a little device Andy bought us for Christmas – Chromecast.   You plug it into a HDMI port on the TV and you can broadcast from Google applications on your laptop or phone to the TV screen.

And finally, this picture was taken with our new camera, a Nikon point and shoot model with 26X optical zoom, more than twice the zoom we had with the camera it replaced.  Unfortunately, the old one had hit the ground too many times.  We could live with the “baling wire” holding it together, but the last drop had caused the electronics to go crazy and at times it simply wouldn’t shoot or would be out of focus.  We got an incredible “Black Friday” deal on the camera at a store we rarely ever shop at, one that we only went to because of this exceptional deal – Target.  Yep, you guessed it.  Our once a year at most Target purchase was exactly during the time for which their transaction files were hacked.  We now monitor our credit card account daily.

There is just one problem with all this wonderful new technology and especially with it all coming at once.  We have to learn how to use all of it.  And there is just so much to learn.  We’ll probably never figure it all out,   Hopefully we will have fun(and patience) trying.


  1. You really did pull the trigger. As an engineer, I spent my life learning technical stuff and in retirement I find I really dislike doing it, especially electronic things, but I have to learn some it seems. Enjoy your new toys.

  2. Wow guys, that is quite a "jump" in technology. Enjoy the new toys.

  3. You'll love the Chromecast - it is getting better all the time. I have one for each tv at home. Hardly ever watch cable sine I've gotten Chromecast. Just found your site. I'll be following in the future.