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The Computer Buzz June 25th, 2009

Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Fact


Who You Calling a Dinosaur?

The dinosaur is a metaphor for any person place or thing that is considered to be "dated" or behind the times. Our kids have more than once referred to my trusty three-year-old cell phone and me as dinosaurs. I strenuously dispute that allegation. I admit that there are many features and functions in the latest cell phones that simply boggle my mind, but at least I have a cell phone. If I am a dinosaur, what is someone who doesn't even have a cell phone? A Trilobite? A primitive bacterium? I say no, they are the Dinosaurs.

In the grand scheme of cell phone evolution, I consider myself just this side of the KT boundary. I am one of the small, placental mammals who survived the meteor impact that ended the reign of the "no cell phone" dinosaurs. We survived to father the age of mammals. I'm certainly no dinosaur.

Unlike many, I still regard my cell phone as simply a "phone". I use it to call people. I rarely receive calls on it because it's usually off. I take great pride in keeping it fully charged and ready for any emergency. Since we use the landline at our home solely for DSL, our personal home phone number is Nome's cell phone number. Her cell phone is always on. Sometimes she forgets to charge her phone and it dies. Then my cell phone comes proudly to the rescue and restores the family voice communication network.

If I'm a primitive mammal from the Tertiary period, Nome must be an early hominid, likely related to four million year old Lucy, whose remains were discovered by Dr. Leaky in Africa's Great Rift Valley. Lucy was short and hairy with an elongated nail on her index finger. This evolutionary development was helpful in banging out text messages on the dinky keyboard of her cell phone. Nome not only can text message, she also knows how to take and send pictures and retrieve voice mail.

While I stand in awe of Nome's wizardry with the cell phone, our kids and technicians snicker behind their hands at our cellular ineptitude. Armed with touch screen gadgets with names like Blackberry, i phone, Pre-Palm, Omnia and Dash these folks surf the WWW, video conference, E-mail, read books, watch movies, check their home security systems and nanny cams, watch live TV shows and news feeds, navigate with GPS, make videos and play music through bluetooth ear pods or wireless surround sound systems all on their cell phones. They stand at the apex of cellular evolution. They are Homo Sapiens, modern man.

The cell phone represents the convergence of technologies that we are beginning to experience in our PC based home entertainment / communication / workstations. Your Internet access will soon eliminate the need for telephone and television service providers. All communications, entertainment and work and study applications software will be available through wireless contact on the WWW. As for me, I'm still trying to master walking upright and the opposable thumb.





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