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Coping With and Using Technology
There are many of our readers who are struggling with the rise and rise of technology.
Words and Images by: KEA

We believe there are many of our readers who are struggling with the rise and rise of technology. Something that impacts just about every facet of our lives; be it mobile phones, computers or GPS systems for RVs. There is always a hefty temptation to ignore it and hope it all might go away, but the relentless assault of smart phones, iPads, tablets, Androids et al continues on unabated at an almost overwhelming rate.

Just about everyone who is reading this will have seen a great deal of technological change in their lives. We have no doubt there are some who can remember when milk was delivered by a horse and cart, houses only had one telephone, the only other form of communication was by letter or the wireless (that thing with valves and a speaker, not WiFi) and the TV was black  and white. Who recalls the big debate over whether VHS or Beta was better for home video cassette recorder use? Now consigned to history and irrelevant – so much technology has come and gone in our life time! There was of course a time when we all stepped out the house and didn’t give a second thought to the fact that we did not have a mobile phone with us!

We can all remember a time when no household had any sort of computer, words like wireless and notepad all had quite different meanings and any mail arrived in the letter box. Now of course, in Australia, just about every house has one computer and many frequently have two or more, along with a host of other mobile phone/tablet devices.

All this might seem to be overwhelming and just too hard, but there’s no doubt  about the value of the technology now available. Even at a basic level, things like email and Skype are exceptionally useful when on the road for staying in touch with family and friends. Simple word processing is good for dealing with both personal and business matters. When visiting some of those great sights around Australia, the terrific range of digital cameras now available record memories very easily. Technology can be space saving too, instead of lugging a box or two of favoured compact discs (CDs) around, an entire music collection can be loaded into something like a pocket sized iPod (it’s not just for the GenY types) and plugged into either the driver’s cab radio or the RV’s sound system. Some might argue differently but technology can also be a marriage saver! Instead of constant  arguments about who is or isn’t reading a map properly, a global positioning system (GPS) device can handle all those weighty decisions without a problem.

Of course, the big challenge is mastering some or all of the aforementioned devices. Some, like the GPS, are quite easy if you just use it for getting from A to B - naturally they are capable of much more but at base level they are easy. Ditto an iPod – all you have to do is get your grandchildren to load up all your CDs and then it’s a matter of plug in and play. Digressing slightly, iPods are also terrific for loading up with talking books – a great way to keep long drives interesting.

On the personal computer front, one of the most amazing inventions in recent times has been the iPad and the similar Android tablets. Developed by the brilliant Steve Jobs at Apple, the iPad was extremely innovative because it was a device that no one thought they might need but now, for some, they are indispensable. It has limitations, certainly, and nothing like the capabilities of a lap top PC, but for essentials like email and Skype it’s a winner and quite simple to use, as well as being space saving! There is, however, no doubt about the value of even a small lap top computer when travelling – it can be used for just about everything mentioned above.

Tags: Technology Computers GPS Apps Smart Phones Tablets Digital Online Wireless WiFi Internet Speaker TV Radio
Category: Features
Written: Sun 01 Dec 2013
Printed: December, 2013
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