December 2018
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Siren’s Call

Gadgets are funny things.  You can’t eat them, you can’t wear them, and although technically possible it’s not really feasible to build a home out of them.  Yet many of us claim we can’t function without them.  Smartphones are more frequently used as GPS units to guide us or internet connections to give us email and web pages than they are as phones.  My Zune, something that I’m told is going the way of the dinosaur, is a daily companion for me – I can’t leave the house without it.  And my PC has migrated from a corner in the back of the house to center stage in the living room, where we use it in place of cable TV to watch Netflix, Hulu and Amazon streaming TV shows & movies.  It seems everywhere I look, there’s a piece of technology there to make my life easier – in theory, at least.  But the other strange thing about gadgets is that there are always new ones – whether that’s brand new devices that we didn’t realize we needed last year but suddenly have to have, or upgrades to existing devices that make what we have now look archaic in comparison.  And the wait until we are able to get these new, shiny devices can almost seem unbearable.

Nexus 7

Sleek. Powerful. Completely unnecessary.

One new category of gadgets that seems to really be hitting the mainstream in a big way this year is the tablet.  It seems everyone I know is getting one, and most of them are getting the same one – the Google Nexus.  In fact, I traded in my iPad back on Black Friday to switch to a Nexus 7 myself, and I have been waiting for it to arrive since then.  That wait has been pretty rough – I’m sure I’ve started to get on the clerk’s nerves at the Gamestop where I ordered it.  I don’t NEED it – it’s not like it’s a kidney I’ve been on the waiting list for or anything.  But I *want* it.  Some of you out there are nodding your heads in solemn understanding right now, probably hearing the call of the new gadget yourselves.  Others may think I’m silly.  You’re both right.

There’s a new type of gadget siren call that’s about to start for many of my readers.  Some of you may have begun to hear it already – that’s the call of the next generation console.  For some of you that might have started with the recently released Wii U, but I suspect for most it will kick into full gear with the official announcement of the next Xbox or Playstation.  I’ve gone on record with friends as saying that I am NOT going to get Sony’s next console at launch this time, I’m going to wait until the library has been sufficiently built up and the bugs have been worked out of the hardware.  And maybe if I keep saying that enough, I’ll actually start to believe it.  One can dream.

Shut up and take my money

A photo of me when the next Playstation launches.

At the end of the day, it’s best to be thankful for what we have and remember that at one point that Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 was the thing we absolutely HAD to have.  And some of the best software that will ever be made for those systems is set to be released over the next year.  So you see, there’s really no reason to want the new consoles as soon as they launch.  Keep repeating that to yourself, as you stand in line for the midnight launches later next year.

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