I have suffered from technolust many times over the years, and talked about it occasionally here. One reaches a point where one just wants a new toy to play with, and everything that plugs into something else (or, even better, connects to Bluetooth) starts looking attractive.
It’s been a rough summer.
The underlying problem a lot of us face—and this is hardly the worst problem in the world, I realize that, but I don’t think people look to me to solve the woes of the world, even though they know I could if the world would just let me (I've got a good brain)—is that everything already works fine. My MacBook is seven years old. Yes, it’s pokey to start up, but I’ve updated it to the latest OS and it does everything it's supposed to do. I could replace it with a sleeker, zippier Air, but the cost benefit analysis doesn’t really work in favor of the switch. A thousand bucks or so to save five minutes on startup and a couple of ounces in the backpack? It just doesn’t add up. Come to think of it, I have startup problems at home with my Mini, and I guess I could just switch everything to one machine to rule them all, but I can find the five minutes in my busy day to wait until everything is loaded, at which point speed is not a factor. Speed in computing probably hasn’t been a factor since the turn of the millennium. I mean, if you click a button and something happens right away, how much more righter awayer can it get?
Still, the technolust doesn’t go away, so as a personal compromise I picked up a Chromebook. Light and small and quite fast, and an admission that I hardly to anything nowadays that isn’t browser-based, most especially running tournaments with tabroom. It was dirt cheap during Amazon’s Prime Day sale, and I could resist. It works fine, although I haven’t put it through serious paces yet, but then again, what are serious paces? I know that printing with it requires jumping through all sorts of hoops, but I can just choose not to print with it. Half of the tournaments we do are already e-ballots, and more will come. And there’s always a clunker around hooked up to an old laser printer if the need arises.
I was also lusting after an iPad mini. This is sort of inexplicable, but again I satisfied it by picking up a Samsung tablet for about a quarter of the money, which I use mostly for reading books, which is my primary use for the small form. After all, I read books as a part of my living. I could have gotten a Kindle, but this does more, like controlling Spotify on the various Bluetooth speakers scattered around the chez. And reading email. It’s a good little machine, much more satisfying than the Kindle Fire that I bought last year, which barely holds a charge for more than a couple of days, which is unacceptable in this day and age. At least it was cheap, and now it’s totally dedicated as a music control device.
And yes, Alexa is in the house. With a Dot on the side. These are most fun for showing off, but having it in the kitchen to play my podcasts while I cook, and to time things, and keep a shopping list and impress the in-laws? Why not?
So, yes, I’ve thrown away a bit of money over the summer, but if I had upgraded to that MacBook I would have thrown away a lot more. Then again, it’s not how many devices you have, but how you use them that matters.
Now, tell me: isn’t reading about all of this and muttering to yourself that I have more money than I should and that I should be reading Peter Singer and giving it all to the starving children on the moon way more entertaining than contemplating the 2016 election?
We here at Coachean Life aim to please.