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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Basic Biittner: I-Phone, U-Phone, we all ...

Monday, July 9, 2007

(Photo)
On June 29, many people lined up outside of Apple stores (not the fruit, the gadget company) waiting to purchase the latest "wonder toy," called the i-phone. As I understand it, this gizmo is a combination telephone/radio/tv/computer/mp3 player/ipod/answering machine/washer/dryer/dvd player and recorder/cd player and recorder/vacuum cleaner/dishwasher/refrigerator/table setter/bed maker and garbage taker-outer which is "so small it makes the blackberry look obese," in the words of one 'tech' reviewer.

Every time one of these 'new and improved' digital products makes its explosive entrance on the scene, it makes me feel just a little bit older and out of it. And I can only imagine what it's like for people who are 70, 80, 90 years old. It used to be popular to say "(fill in the blank) is the first thing to go" as one gets older. Technological know-how is definitely one of those things in my case.

I used to really be into making cassette tapes (before they even had the term "mix tape"), combining favorite songs into a group of songs that I liked - such as an artist's greatest hits, my favorite songs, my wife's favorite songs, etc. When CDs and CD recorders came on the market, I switched to making CD mixes.

I had to be one of the first to get a VCR when they came out, and can't believe now what those costs were back in the seventies...$1000-plus for the VCR and $25+ for a BLANK tape! Anyway, it wasn't long before I started making videotapes - even producing videos on the history of my school's sports teams as well as transferring old 8 and 16 mm family films to video. And, of course, creating new videos of my family, once I got a video camera. Well, to make a long story short (I know - it's too late for that), I can't kep up with the times these days.

I have a great deal of difficulty just using a "regular" cell phone - not text messaging or anything like that - just answering the $*@! thing , or knowing that I have a message or missed a call. Forget all the fancy-schmancy stuff that you can do on an i-phone or Blackberry (that's an electronic gizmo too, in case you thought my first reference was to a fruit).

Though in theory I love the advances that have been made in technology through the years, I am quite satisfied with my desktop computer, cordless phone, and analog 27" television. I like the cell phone for emergencies (if I can figure out how to use it), but still prefer a "landline" phone.

A word to manufacturers - please include an instructional video with any product which has come along since this century began. Our population is aging, so if you want us "baby boomers" to purchase your products, please make them as easy to operate as you can.

Dan Whitney
Basic Biittner