There is no doubt that I love technology and all the wonderful things that it can do for me. In a moment’s notice I can be checking out the latest gadgets coming out of China and then switch over and listen to all my favorite music in streaming glory, then hop into Gamer Mode and have a rousing game of Ghost Recon with some guys in Poland that I will never meet. It is amazing how connected we are and how easy technology has made things…until we peel back the layers and want to make things really happen!
There are things that truly still get my ire up when it comes to technology and I am far more calm about these things than most would be, I guess it is my time spent using Open Source products that has given me some perspective.
1. New OS on Old Hardware
There has been more than one occasion in the past that I have tried to update the OS on an older computer, both for myself, for friends and for family only to be stymied by the hardware manufacturer deciding that it was not going to take the time to support that OS. Regardless of if we are talking a really old piece of hardware that came out when Windows 2000 came out and it fights a WinXP install or a WinXP that spits back at you for Vista and Win7. I don’t even want to think about the challenges that will be faced trying to leverage all the “Metro Goodness” of Windows 8. I do from time to time find issues trying to install Linux onto these venerable pieces of hardware but more often than not, a 10 minute search through Google and the solution is found…that is not the case when upgrading Windows software…not by a long shot!
2. Cell Phone Contracts in Canada
Not only do we have this ever more frustrating concept of “Canadian Ownership” hanging over us that prevents true competition from ever entering into our country…but there seems to be a collusion between the major players in mobility here that keeps our prices artificially outrageous. There is no such thing as Unlimited and everything is under the tight watch of the providers who have some outrageous overage charges. I did some quick shopping on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon to compare my plan to theirs and if I was an American I would be saving $10-25 and actually have more services available with more bandwidth.
3. Bandwidth Caps
I remember the days when my family would have to send me an ICQ message telling me that they were trying to call because my Data Modem was always connected. I was drinking from the fire hose that had been released to me as early as 1997 when speeds were just a mere 28.8 kbps and I was using the MSN Network to surf the web on my Windows 95 PC that cost as much as a car (when you factor in I got it from a Rent to Own company). Now the world of Always Connected is upon us but instead of tying up the phone lines, we have bandwidth caps that keep us on constant watch of what and how much we download, play games, share pictures and stream videos. The days of Unlimited are gone…but that is not fair…I don’t mind the throttling down of content…while frustrating…I get why it needs to be done…but stop the money grab because I have taken the tech world by storm and don’t want to use normal Cable, I don’t want to just play Single Player Games, I don’t want to read hard cover books anymore and I sure don’t want to be limited to just one OS for the rest of my life!!!
4. Battery Life
Why is it so damn hard to figure out how to give us 24 hours with our devices? I don’t think that 1 day charge should be so hard to figure out. Some days I get to have my phone and iPad go a full day but most of the time, my bed time is determined by the charge remaining on my devices. Sure this may seem weird but with my chargers both at my night stand…it just makes sense to go to bed when I can no longer multi task while lounging on the couch anymore. I guess a simple solution would be to stop using these devices so darn much…and for the most part that would be fine…but I have become part of the tech world and that world is a part of me. I need the information high that I get from the always connected lifestyle that is all but omnipresent today. Battery Apps are bogus…it is just simple poor engineering that has done this. I know I am lucky in the fact that I do get a solid 14-17 hours every day out of my phone and tablet, I know a lot of people who are not so lucky.
5. The Buzz
Why is it that every time a new “Buzz Word” comes out, everyone scrambles to feed from the trough of enlightenment. The Cloud is not new…it has been around for a while but only since it got “Cool” did anyone start paying attention, Big Data…that is not anything new…it has been a challenge for IT Pros for years but because some “expert” says it is a problem…now money is thrown away at a solution. The same goes for our lives. Sure the Smart Phone and Tablets took the world by surprise and have changed everything that we do…but really…did it change that much or did it make the same things more accessible? We check our Facebook Status, we post things to Instagram, Tweet and Plus and do all the things we would do from a Laptop or Desktop…we just do it instantly from our phone or tablet. Get over the buzz…find your own next reality…that is the fun part of technology.
The Bleeding edge is a really fun place to be…and you learn so much…it is nice to be ahead of the curve because then you see the development and reality take shape. Take that step outside of being part of the herd that is following the trends. Take chances, experience the new things…and as I do…suck it up and accept the fact that companies will always ask the early adopters to foot the bill for the stragglers.
Chris J Powell