Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wired For Life

My maternal grandmother (Nana) chats with my brother Brett and his wife Holly via FaceTime.
Ledyard, Conn. (Brett and Holly are located in Arlington, Va.)
December 25, 2011

The best technologies do not leave a footprint. You buy them and incorporate them in your life--and it's as if they were never not there. You could not imagine operating without them. In fact, you quickly forget what it was like before.

I had that experience with my original cell phone, which I bought something like thirteen years ago, when the AT&T salesperson presented a deal to my company's employees, none of whom had mobile phones. I had that experience with my iPhone, which at the time of my purchase I fully intended to only use for work-related research. I anticipated flipping the AT&T SIM card back and forth between the iPhone and my old flip phone. Yeah, that didn't happen.

And I am definitely having that experience with the wi-fi in my apartment. My friend Scott Walters was the first person I recall who talked of having wireless Internet in his residence. I can't even remember when that was, but I remember wondering why I would ever want wireless in my home. Here I am, only a few years later, watching "No Strings Attached" via Netflix streaming through my Apple TV--while I surf the Internet and write this blog post. Last week, I was watching a movie while updating my Mac iOS devices--both of them.

My Christmas present to myself was a Sony Blu-ray player. They now cost less than a hundred dollars. The player comes with Internet access (though not through wireless, but rather through an Ethernet cable). I must say the Netflix quality on my Apple TV is better than through the Sony player.

On Christmas day, the family gathered at my parents house in Connecticut hosted a video conference call with my brother and his wife in Virginia. We used FaceTime on two iPads, one in each location. The conversation was brought to you by the wireless Internet available throughout both homes. I installed my parents' router three years ago. Their lives have also never been the same--they used wireless connectivity to find the plot of land for their new home. Mom and Dad, you are welcome. Merry Christmas.

No comments: