Webcomics, Video Games, Books, Geek Toys, and Life in General

Thursday, February 16, 2006

GEEK TOYS--a few things that make me act geeky...

Let’s face it people: geeks need toys. A nerd like me just doesn’t feel like a man unless he’s wired to several devices simultaneously. I need the phone, the camera, the iPod, the palm pilot and the GPS just to go to the bathroom—you never know what might happen in there, right? And what if I need to print something—I’d better ask for Bluetooth for my birthday!

Sure, my wife will say, “You don’t NEED that.” But if that’s true then we NEED to redefine the word NEED here, people! Remember that book about how girls are from Jupiter and guys are from Uranus? Well, I’m no PhD, but here’s a little psychology for those women out there scoffing at their nerdy significant other just because he’s wearing more electronics than RoboCop!

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What He Wants:

8 Megapixel Super-zoom Wi-Fi digital camera with RXR, special Blu-reduction lens, IR remote, and a cool cranking tripod

What She Sees:

Camera—what’s wrong with your 35mm box camera again?

What He Sees:

The camera that will make him look like a yuppie billionaire on a yacht; a combination of “Money is no object” meets “Mine is bigger than yours”—oh, the sweet sweet envy.
____________________________________
What He Wants:

Garmin GPS for both cars with self-updating map software and walkie talkie

What She Sees:

Noisy map/TV—just get the fold-y one out of the glove compartment, honey.

What He Sees:

Okay, first of all: never have to ask someone for directions again—the daddy-driving nightmare of emasculation.
Second: a radar-like device that turns his car into a cross between Knight Rider and the USS Dallas from Hunt for Red October.
____________________________________
What He Wants:

Motorola RAZR phone with camera, internet, voice-activation, text-messaging and a wild array of ringtones that will annoy everyone but him…including you

What She Sees:

Cell phone—we’ve got one, we share it, we don’t need two, and that’s the end of the “discussion”.

What He Sees:

This phone does everything that 007’s gadgets did except allow him to breathe underwater—and it disappears in his pocket like a business card—plus, he’ll get a tiny rush answering it—even if it’s just you calling with a grocery list.
____________________________________
What He Wants:

Tungsten/Treo/Blackberry or some other high-profile palm pilot device, preferably with several other devices integrated into it—such as the aforementioned GPS or digital camera

What She Sees:

Pocket calendar—for two bucks, you can get one with bunnies on it at WalMart. Come on, honey, everyone knows you like bunnies.

What He Sees:

A device that will remind him (weeks in advance) of things like your birthday and anniversary; chirp precociously in his pocket like a personal secretary; give him an excuse to walk away from boring conversations; and amuse him in the line at the bank.
____________________________________
What He Wants:

60-gigabyte video iPod with laser-engraved cartoon character on the back

What She Sees:

Walkman—what the heck did we buy all those CDs for?

What He Sees:

This will make up for high school. (Now people can wish they were him instead of vice versa.)
____________________________________

Alright, I’m kidding—but only a little! Technology is really convenience; that’s the bottom line. If we were all more frugal with our time, if we all devoted the energy instead of the money, if we just tried a little harder, we wouldn’t need the geeky gadgets. Right? I mean, what does any gadget (or home appliance, ladies) do but trade money for time? Why should I give up my two-hundred-dollar palm pilot if "we" get to keep the six-hundred dollar clothes dryer and the four-hundred-dollar dishwasher? (I'm not even going to broach the subject of the electrical appliances in the bathroom--we reached detente on that subject years ago, and far be it from me to jeopardize the peace.)

I kid. It's what I do.

So I bought a palm pilot a few years ago (a hundred bucks), and then a year later I upgraded (another two hundred bucks). Why? Because it worked! A palm pilot is like a little fanboy running around keeping track of your stuff for you.

“Mr. M, your meeting’s in five minutes!” “Mr. M, your anniversary is in two weeks!” “Mr. M, your daughter’s dance class is in one hour!” “Mr. M, your shopping list!” “Mr. M, here’s your brother-in-law’s mailing address!” “Mr. M, you’ve got the rest of the day free!” “Mr. M, let’s go over your Christmas shopping—here’s what you got for your nephew, your mother-in-law, your best friend, and your dog; here’s a list of people you still need to shop for; here’s your budget; and here’s the wishlist of stuff you’ve been making all year for yourself!”

There's a reason people call them 'personal assistants'--mine even has a name. Allan.

For me, the most useful thing about Allan is the ability to convert forty thousand little slips of paper into one sleek digital filing system/persona that reminds me when and where to do, send, buy or find all those appointments, purchases, events, and people. I write down “Take out the garbage!” one time, and Allan reminds me every Monday night for the rest of it’s tiny life—one less thing for my wife to do, eh, honey? I write down “Give the baby his medicine!” and every morning and night Allan reminds me; and at the end of two weeks, it stops, right when I’m supposed to stop giving the baby the prescription.

Can I remember to do these things myself? Yes. Oh, wait--NO! Get real, people. If you don’t have any trouble remembering everything YOU have to do every day, then you’re either A) single or B) dead. In fact, if you're single and you can still remember everything you have to do every day, you must sleep a lot. (Hey, my blog, my opinion; get your own.)

When your brain reaches the “watershed” point—where every time you are asked to remember one more thing, something has to be deleted to make room—then you will either buy a palm pilot or create your own complicated system for remembering to do “stuff”, but I recommend the palm pilot. Just spend the money and get it over with.

Don’t get me started on the iPod—portable storage alone has made it easier for me to carry 80 megabytes worth of work materials back and forth from one job to the next and then home if I want. So, instead of a jumpdrive, I wanted something that would play music, too. [Here's where I thank my family for my iPod, which does all that and then some! Woo-hoo!] I could spend all day talking about podcasting—and maybe someday I will. But today I will just tell you one cool story.

A month back, I was sitting at home and watching cartoons (you know, using my time wisely, Allan wasn't calling me for any important meetings) when without any warning the power went out. Did the cartoons turn off? No.

I was watching them on my iPod. (Keentoons in my pocket, hallelujah! Can I get an "amen", geeks?!)

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"without any warning the power went out. Did the cartoons turn off? No."

Yeah, that's why I like having the laptop, too. We're having a killer thunderstorm, but instead of unplugging everything and staring at the walls, I unplugged everything and kept on e-mailing/watching Battlestar/playing Age of Empires.

And she's right, you don't need all that stuff. The cheaper organizer, the fold-up map, and the basic cell phone are fine. The iPod, however, is dead useful and indispensible (sp?).

3:25 PM

 
Anonymous Daniel Monteith said...

I'll give an AMEN to watching comics on the ipod, but I admit to no "geekish" nature on my part, yet. With all these gadgets, we are merely fulfilling Maslow's hierarchy of needs. (No, I do not believe that cartoons are necessary for survival. Self actualization maybe...)

Maybe I will indulge my geeky-ness for a while. After all, I am supposed to be at Chemistry right now. I really think all these gadgets for guys and geeks alike go back to the days when we watched our favorite superhero. Specifically, these toys/gadgets/personal electronic doodads, and so forth, call to mind images of a bottomless utility belt. Didn't you think it was awesome how Batman never got into a sticky situation that he didn't have something in his utility belt that could get him out? The tension in the comic would build, Batman's plan would fall through, he may even get captured and usually ended up hanging over a vat of boiling acid or something of the sort where all hope was lost, BUT WAIT! NO PROBLEM! He reaches into his utility belt and pulled out some device that would both free him instantly and foil all the villain’s plans. (hey, I exaggerate, it's what I do)

Today, I sometimes dream of having a utility belt all of my own where I have anything and everything in it to face the world. Cell phone, ipod, palm-pilot, tiny package of tissues (for the sniffles), tiny wallet with a few ID cards, and my pocket-size Mini-DVD recorder that burns live movies filmed from the camera built into my glasses (this technology is forthcoming). Strapped on my back, Tron-style, will be my laptop, designed as razor thin as my phone. My technological arsenal won't have any gas bombs, grappling hooks, or other weapons, but as we know in this day and age, more than half the battle is the information (which I won't have of course cuz I'll be too busy downloading stuff to my ipod).

Bottom line is I go with what President Hinckley and other General Authorities have said about technology. It can be a source of great good or great evil in our home, society, and the kingdom of God on earth. As for me and my house, we will use our powers for good! :)

5:26 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! »

8:14 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work film editing classes

7:18 AM

 

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