iPhone MeOkay, so I just bought the new iPhone 6…in gold…’cause gold is money man! Well, sort of.

It’s reductive how each new phone announcement is touted as some kind of seminal event of the tech-age…the latest and greatest smartphone is poised to single-handedly change our evolutionary arc according to its hucksters. Maybe it will. It’s not for me to say.

But what can you do with it that you couldn’t already do with your old, less-smart phone?

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Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a techy guy. Not a Luddite by any stretch, though I do come from the English Department of UCLA, dropping out of the Ph.D. program and settling for a Masters Degree instead to teach and write the Great American Novel…which was a rather Luddite thing to do in retrospect, and which as many of you know I’m still working on!

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But technology always enticed me. I started messing about with magnetic card readers linked to the IBM Selectric typewriter in 1970. (I wore my hair differently then!) I played around with early personal computers in the mid-seventies, Altairs, Commodores, etc.

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I bought the first Apple II on my block in 1979, the first IBM PC in 1981, and then the phenomenally powerful IBM XT with a 5 megabyte hard drive…a first in the industry! (To give you some idea of just how wimpy such a hard drive is by today’s standards…a single rock song is about 6 megabytes in size.)

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I created my own marketing corporation in 1983, Grammatics, Inc., that focused on high-technology companies, from start-ups with names like The Einstein Corporation and Ixia Communications, to big tech giants like IBM, Xerox, and Norton Utilities.

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Then early retirement in 2005. Then St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Then sailing the Caribbean with Nettie in our boat, Aqua Sunlight.

So…I reflect today on the benefits of the digi-age. There are many, certainly. Word processing and digital photography are indisputable benefits.

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Facebook, Twitter and Instagram not so much for me. Texting seems to be reducing all of us to hieroglyphic conversationalists. But, hey, I guess the Egyptians were able to build the pyramids using pictures or was it aliens? I could Google that on Wikipedia…another digi-benefit I would posit.

And yet…and yet…what have we lost? A lazy Sunday morning with no email to check or hashtags to follow? A completely engaged partner across the table from you who listens intently to your words just as you listen to hers with no glowing device in her hand beckoning her attention?

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Even a telephone conversation (itself a revolutionary technical achievement a century ago) has become a quaint old form of relationship that I miss.

Of course, it’s not lost on me that you wouldn’t even be reading this blog if not for the wonders of the Internet.

And yet…and yet…what really matters to me hasn’t changed much. The elemental things remain constant.

sunriseSunrise with orange clouds along the horizon. A warm summer evening with friends around a table eating dinner. My beautiful wife’s hand in mine anytime.

Or what I saw yesterday on our golf club pond near the ninth green…a wondrous image that set off this whole blog…

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A pair of Mallard ducks, a drake and the hen, with a paddling of chicks. The hen saw me and set off nervously across the pond, a new family begun in the endless cycle of mother nature…

Damn good thing I had my new, cool, groovy iPhone 6 with me or I’d have missed the shot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Responses to New Tech Gear, Same Ol’ Me

  1. Frank Z says:

    Great to hear from you, Frank. I know what you mean about this technology. The other morning on my walk, I saw 2 raccoons mating on a front lawn. I forgot I had an iPhone in my pocket. Darn. But it was quite the nature moment to observe.
    Virginia

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nice post Frank. However the question remains–
    what more can you do with your I-Phone 6??
    Hype and marketing—–that is Apple.
    Best, Walter

    • Frank Z says:

      Not much more, a little refinement, a little fingerprint ID. It’s a bit like replacing a jib or mainsail. Does it change the essential sailing experience? No. But you can appreciate the difference.

      Cheers, my friend, and thanks for commenting.

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