Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Last Rant

And this will be my last rant on the topic... promise. 

It doesn't take very long for technology to trickle down to the end  Nor does it take very long for us to get so used to them that we fail to marvel at the wonder of them all.

For instance, almost all of us have "wireless telephones".  We walk about the house carrying the phone with us talking conversationally with someone miles away.  Then we stick our "cell phone" in our pocket and go shopping.  While we are shopping we can conveniently call home, or our spouse at work and ask if we need more celery or radishes, "they are on sale."

The caregivers at the old folks home wander about, interconnected by radio with one another.  And we residents are connected to them too.  We pull a cord on the wall and it flips a tiny wireless switch and an automated voice says "Assistance required in room 109" and a care giver pushes a button and the voice says "Request in 109 cleared by Joyce".  I don't even have to pull the cord.  I wear a pendant with a push button on a lanyard.  One push and it says "Chuck Ferris requests assistance."

The same goes outside of the home too.  You can put a device on your car that shouts "Hey, I am being stolen. And here I am...HERE."  The police can catch the car thief before you know the car is gone.  If no one has stolen it, you push a button in your hand and unlock the car when you come out of the store...and if you have forgotten where you parked it, it beeps the horn for you and flashes the headlights.  All wireless.

I decided my apartment needs a doorbell.  I bought a wireless, battery operated doorbell and button.  I don't have to connect any wires to it.  It too is wireless.  I merely stick the button to the door frame with two sided tape and put the bell anywhere.  I put it in the book case with the books. 

You open the garage door without getting out of your car. That is nice in the rain.

You bored with miracles yet.  Too common to even mention?  And I haven't even started on maps from satellites in your car yet.  And aerial photos of your home from space courtesy Google.  We used to think it was clever of the car to say, "A door is ajar" when we drove off without slamming everything shut.  But that is such old hat now that we don't even notice. 

Aircraft talk to pilots, "Lower the landing gear..NOW". Autos talk to drivers, "Take the left lane now and turn left in 500 feet." Telephones talk to residents, "If you'd like to make a call...hang up and dial again."  The phone tells you "Mother is calling...again."  (Well, it doesn't say "again", Mother might be offended.)

Toy airplanes and cars are driven and steered by radio control. We tune our television sets and operate the entertainment center from our chairs...unless we lose the remote. Our activity director talks to us through the public address system as she walks around with a wireless microphone in her hand. 

All these things are commonplace consumer items now Most of these marvelous messages come through the air. When I was a ham radio operator years ago, I thought it was a miracle to send dots and dashes through the air, and the airwaves were crowded even then.  What is common now seemed impossible then.

And all of this has been developed in my lifetime as a consumer.  I marvel, so I take this moment on this OTHER miracle, the Internet, to remind you to marvel too.

(I forgot to mention the spell-checker.)

(What prompted this diatribe? I was out in the hall early this morning while people were still sleeping, and the care giver silently attracted my attention with a LAZER beam.  She carries a lazer in her pocket. Imagine.)


ggjack7 said...

You're right Chuck we've come a long way from being all gaga over the radio, telephone, gas stoves, refridgerators and such, loved this blog.  Now when are we going to see your debut as one of the oldest bloggers in your area, I have been waiting. gg/Jackie

madcobug said...

My hubby has a saying that Alexandra Graham Bell would turn over in his grave if he knew how far his telephone has gone. The other day we had our home phone switched from the regular line to using the computer. There is a telephone cord that comes  from a special high internet speed modem to one telephone outlet and all the phones in the house are on. Just one problem. If the power happens to go out then you have no phone but can use your cell to report the outage.  Helen

garnett109 said...

just bought radio controled helicopter to beat boredom

plieck30 said...

My friends were laughing yesterday at a new thingy they have in their car that told them to turn around as soon as they could they had gone too far. I have one of those door bells I installed myself that plugs into an outlet and  the button on the door. when it comes a storm it rings and rings until I unplug the part in the outlet. Aren't inventions great? Until they malfunction! Paula

bamawmn46 said...

I'm on my laptop using wireless DSL in bed right now.... I think it's great!! Except it's hard to type lying down....

jmorancoyle said...

    You're so right about being enveloped in electronic 'miracles'. Today the ATM ate my card. I called someone right away, and I was told it would be 7 to 10 business days before I recieve a new one. I was mortified. What am I going to do without my ATM card? Well what did I used to do before ATM cards? I tell you what. I wrote checks. And I had little niches all over Chicago and the suburbs where I could cash checks. I have no idea short of the actual bank, where I could cash one now. Things have really changed.

fowfies said...

Yep, I can relate. Even at my age. Shoot, when I was a kid we didnt have cable tv, much less satellite tv! We had to get up and turn the knob on the channel, and cartoons only came on for a couple of hours in the afternoon and on Saturday mornings. There were not a lot of channels to choose from either. We didnt have computers and the internet. Video gaming at home didnt come til the Atari, and I was like I dont know, 11 or something? There were no wireless phones and such. I do think back and see how much simpler things were...good memories.