Thursday, August 19, 2010

Idea Pad

 The Lenovo net book arrived yesterday. As expected, the net book is nowhere near the brilliance of the iPad. But it still provides a workable though often irritating interface. Despite the troublesome moments, one could still enjoy the Internet with the touch screen. I slept well past 1 am in the morning playing around with the gadget. The touch screen offers one an entirely different way of having a relationship with the gizmo. It is easy to use 70% of the time while the remaining 30% of the time is the slow responsiveness of Windows 7. The operating system sill needs to be tweaked to perform better with a touch screen interface. It does provide a decent job which is enough to make you enjoy surfing the net.

There is a subtle enjoyment leaning back in one’s sofa and surfing the net as compared to sitting down, hunched over a computer and pounding away at the key boards. A touch screen allows an easier interaction with the web; it’s like reading a news paper or book. But I am still inclined to buy the Sony Dash for the all day connectivity and simple Internet access to popular web sites. It gets the job done and more and more people will be using this type of device, instead of computers. A niche is being carved out by this product and one can be inclined to purchase several units to place in different rooms of a house. Constant connectivity is the name of the game but not via a computer or television. Something like a clock radio plus Internet access - like the Sony Dash device.

It feels like living in the future with all those touch screen devices and constant access to information. Teaching kids the new technology lifestyle is happening already in public schools. One needs to catch up. No wonder people lose in game show like ‘Can you beat a 15 year old?’ I was introduced to computers early in my youth when my mom bought a Commodore 64, one of the first computers that came out with the Apple II. So teaching kids today need parents who purchase high tech gizmo to introduce their kids to the future. I guess watching films like ‘Minority Report’ or ‘Inception’ can be a short cut to understand the new stuff. Most of these films where created from ideas of science fiction writers like William Gibson or Ray Bradbury.

I reserved one of the latest of Gibson’s work ‘Pattern Recognition’ in the library. Previously, I would read non-fiction books by Alvin Toffler or John Naisbitt to try and glimpse the future. But true visionaries are science fictions writers like Jules Verne or H.G.Wells or Ray Bradbury. In current times, it’s writers like William Gibson who can discern a vision of the future. One wonders where he gets his insight. In ‘Virtual Light’, he writes about new gizmo like ‘computer sun glasses’ and insightful passages like the one about Singapore. The image is that of a wealthy nation owning futuristic services like rent a cop, and other such high concept businesses, of being ahead of the curve. After living in Singapore for 7 years, I think his impression is NOT far off the mark. One wonders how he was able to do his research.

Adapt or die is the modern truism. It’s still the unrelenting inevitability of Darwin’s ideas with the survival of the fittest. The fittest is not only the strong and healthy, but the technology adept, good at abstract reasoning and pattern recognition, with an ability to understand a large mass of information. The well-worn description is the knowledge worker - one who works with his mind but also well versed with the latest gizmo that make his mind more efficient. So I guess exposing one’s kids to this type of environment is the best way to hone them for future challenges. Maybe gizmo like the Idea Pad, Sony Dash, iPad or iPod Touch is an investment to acclimatize to an imminent reality – one with constant information via search engines (with computers) or data accumulators like Sony Dash and even television itself. Maybe one can use this argument for devices like the Wii or PlayStation 3, too.

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