Thursday, February 10, 2011
Brave New World or Two of These Things Now Go Together
You will think I'm ridiculous, but I feel like the first man to walk on the moon. Or maybe like I've just taken my first ride in one of those newfangled auto-mobiles. Or like Alexander Graham Bell when his telephone worked.
I'm blogging on a bus.
Now this is probably a huge so what for most of you. You've been dragging your laptops around to cafes for years. You have an iPad. An iPhone. You probably Twitter (an unfortunate habit, in my opinion). But understand that this is new turf for me.
I resisted computers for as long as I could. We actually rented our first one from an outfit I can no longer recall and which is undoubtedly defunct - but the deal was you rented the computer and after a couple of years you owned the out of date piece of junk. We kept it for years.
I just went to a flat screen monitor three years ago. Laptop? I still don't own one - but my daughter just gave me her old Macbook Pro and here's where it gets incredible (to me).
I had to go to New York City today. It's a two and a half hour bus ride and it's pretty boring. So, I think to myself, why not bring the laptop? Maybe there'll be a wireless signal, maybe there will be an outlet (her batteries are fried beyond replacing), and if not, I can sit at a Starbucks and look like everybody else for awhile. Damned skippy.
But what to my wondering eyes should appear as I take a seat on the faithful Trailways bus, but an outlet. Two of them, in fact. One for each seat. And it gets better. When I fire up Gideon, as my daughter named this machine, a little message comes up asking me if I'd like to access the wireless remote network "Trailways". The bus has its own wireless signal!!!
So I am, at this very moment, speeding up the New York State Thruway, a young man in the seat in front of me snoring quietly, a woman across the way reading The New Yorker and eating her fourth snack of the trip (she's a small woman - but she's obviously hungry), and I am typing away on the Intergalactic NetWeb!
This is innovation beyond my wildest dreams. This is future shock.
It's not perfect. The bus shakes so much that the ac adapter periodically falls out of the socket and the screen goes black. The Model A wasn't perfect, either. But it was a big switch from the horse and buggy. And rather than staring out the window, which I do plenty of, thank you, I can sit here and blather on to you, my hapless readers. Until you move on to the next blog.
But isn't it amazing that a person in a bus seat can actually communicate with the entire world?
I wonder if we realized what a revolution computers would be...and we need only look at Egypt to know it now - computers started a revolution there!