Thursday, January 6, 2011

It for life

I am a 55yo disability pensioner and up to ten years ago I led a very active life. I finished school before graduating, opting for any work that gave me the income to attend rock concerts, race motor bikes, surf, have a relationships and travel the world. Except for a brief attempt to study as a mature age student (pre computers), my life didn't have time for sitting down at a desk. Therefore when I became ill, I had to totally redefine my existence. 

Firstly I read, obsessively, everything I could get my hands on and no library was safe from my newly acquired speed reading abilities. Then I tried painting and if it didn't move quickly enough, it ended up covered with my art. Soon I was writing my version of "War and Peace", devouring  pens and pads faster than I could run to the nearest stationary outlet. This led to my first encounter with QWERTY, Microsoft operating systems and Word. After getting over my first loss of days of work , due to not backing up and the fact that you have to firstly go to Start to stop, I decide IT was the "thing" for me.

Two years of intensive study brought me to the conclusion, the days of floppy disks (hard copy back-up), expensive software and large (old fashioned) computers was over. The Web, cloud based servers and portable hardware is the way forward. Wikipedia HAS replaced Encyclopaedias, bookcases full of dusty old books and they need not clutter our lives again; regardless of your own personal nostalgic feelings for them. You CAN store all your vinyl records, tapes, CD's, video's, massive TV outputs, printed matter, photo's, albums etc, along with all the paraphernalia associated with an XP/Vista or old Apple system, in a building purpose built for such an extravagance; or you can store it in the cloud and take them with you wherever you go.

All this comes as no revelation to the young and those in the know, but it is still unrealized by the masses that would most benefit from the cheap and available technology springing forth, on our discount store shelves, as we ponder the new generation of IT with in our reach. For as little as a dollar a day (less than a newspaper) you can get a netbook with 4GB's of download p/m, that enough to access all the free storage needed to accommodate and all your precious stuff. I have opted for a handy 7" Galaxy tablet that can fit in the back pocket of my jeans or the coat pocket of my jacket. For under two dollars a day I get 10GB's p/m to store all the books, photo's, art, music and documents I can muster. I can download movies, newspapers, magazines, listen to radio, music, talks by the worlds most interesting speakers (TED). I can publish my book, display my art and if fate favours me, run a small business that will fund my retirement. And I can do all this on a bus/train, at the beach, while fishing, visiting my grand kids or vegeing in a retirement home. Oh btw, I can make free video calls to my most loved one's, or regular calls to any phone in the world, thanks to Skype. 

For me this new technology is as good as a wheelchair for a cripple, a hearing aid for the deaf or a sight restoring eye opp for the blind. I can NOW begin to aspire to a more active life away from the confinement of an overstuffed office chair.