My music collection is stored on a hard drive and streamed wirelessly to anywhere in my house or played on my iPod Touch which can also control my computers and music system. My movies are stored on another hard drive and played on my wall-mounted flat screen TV from a digital multimedia player. My home phones are wireless and are available in most rooms of the house. My cell phone is connected to my car and tiny bluetooth earpiece allowing me to call anyone, anywhere using only voice commands. My wife chats with her mother in Europe every Sunday morning on her netbook using Skype. Our home network consists of 6 computers all controlled by a single machine running Windows Home Server which backs up all the data automatically each night.
Our favourite TV shows are recorded on a PVR hard drive which we can also use to pause or rewind live shows. My guitars plug into a digital effects system which can simulate a wide variety of amps and effects and plugs into my laptop for system and effect updates or creating new custom sounds. I can access my work network from home using VPN allowing me to retrieve photos, email, notes and other stuff at any time of the day or night. I can send friends and family photos, video and music instantly anywhere in the world or use one of my websites to store and display files.
I download and read my books using the Amazon Kindle. I take photos using my cell phone or digital camera and can send them to anyone, anywhere in the world within seconds. My video camera records high definition images on digital tape and plugs into my computers for transfer to video files, DVD or YouTube. My car’s GPS gives me directions to almost any place on the planet, plays music and communicates with my cell phone.
I can access the Internet, my home or work network while having a coffee at Starbucks or any other wireless hot spot using my laptop or iPod touch, allowing me to control all the music players in my home or control any other computer or attached device remotely.
This stuff is magic but we’re no longer mystified and fascinated by new digital products and services. Kids expect everything instantly and will never enjoy the thrill of attaching two cans with a length of string or spending hours shopping for a new vinyl record at the local music store.
So do I like this stuff? Yes of course I do but now and again I pine for the simpler days of vinyl records, rotary phones and three channel TV.