The Dell fellows want me to write on how my gadgets reflect my personality.
For this , I have to go back to the days when I started developing, what could be called a personality.
Those were almost gadgetless days.
Black rotary telephone happened when I was in 8th class, and was soon followed by a single ceiling fan, which was considered the height of splurging and luxury. I started wearing my mother's hand-me-down ladies watch when she thought it would help me finish exams on time. Of course , bicycles (if you consider them gadgets at all) were really the most common thing we students depended on, and naturally none of them had any fancy gears and stuff, because it was considered useful to make efforts and trudge up slopes and stuff, as a favour to your quadriceps.
And so, tens of decades (50 years to be precise) later, when my life is suddenly subject to what I call an electronic tsunami, my choice of gadgets, and their adjustments, always reflects, what my daughter calls "boring old style".
As someone who took to cell phones long after they became the norm, I always hankered after the simpler ones. Ability to make calls was enough. I didn't think messaging was a necessity. The thing that thrilled me the most was that it had a flashlight. My one luxury was a caller tune. I suddenly found that you could have absolutely any thing as a caller tune, and to this day, I have one of the oldest songs in Marathi, which says stuff like , "My body is the safe box, and my worship/bhakti is the deposit inside, Oh God, open the door and come in !".....if this has you doing what they call ROTFL, see the actual song below.
Of course, these days , watches have also become full of variety. Just in case you lost track of day and date , not to mention tides and phases of the moon, watches today come with all these things. While I admire those that can depend on such things, I try and use one head gadget that I was born with to remember the day and date. My watch is actually a nice analogue one, with a dithering second hand, and has my children's photo on the dial.
Of course, cycles have given way to motorized fancy two wheelers, and 4 wheelers now have power-and -automatic everything. We still have a bicycle in use in the house. And when we recently replaced our 38 year old Fiat with a more recent car, skeptical-me ensured that all the doors and windows did not have automatic locks. Nothing like locking with turning keys and rolling windows by hand. Beeping locks that sound like someone throwing up may be fashionable, but wait till you get stuck unlocking things, on a crowded main road, in the monsoons in Mumbai.
The one gadget that I have actually taken to is the digital camera. It has a lot to do with my disgust at loading actual films in dark enclosures, and then clicking an entire roll, only to find out that the entire roll is blank, and nothing moved when I thought 36 exposures were happening. It also has a lot to do with the fact, that there isn't too much of setting and adjusting to do here.
And so , I have gravitated to technology that is simple and quick. Having worked in my youth, with computers that looked like almirahs , and a keyboard interface that looked like a power station control room, I took to PC's with alacrity when they appeared on the scene. They certainly made life simpler, by doing away with things like punched cards. I have been a late entrant into the color monitor stakes, and it took a bright flash of something at the back of my old monitor and everything going dark, for me to start using a color one. Same happened when the LCD monitors appeared on the scene.
I must say, I have taken to laptops, like, say, a thirsty person takes to water. Akin to how one regards child prodigies, I look on in wonder , at the speed with which things work on laptops, the sleek DVD drives embedded into the body, the mountains of gigabytes that are piled up in the hard disk inside, and the unobtrusive USB ports, that offer themselves to innumerable contraptions, from cameras, to chargers, to microphones, to web cams, coffee-warmers, reading lights and possibly many other things I don't know. A boring grey-black has given way to cool blues and perfect pinks, though I think it is the height of stupidity to have actresses in laptop commercials , change their clothes to match the laptop colors, and walk around holding it as if it was a scarf.
I like the fact that it gives mobility to my work. I can carry something done by me to show someone. Of course, the latest gadgets, the wireless net-connect contraptions, are very useful things, though one tends to raise an eyebrow at folks sitting at airports, bus stops, school classes, under trees , and other places, and playing multi player games on them.
And so my gadgets reflect a personality, that says, you control the technology, let it not control you. Just because cell phones now come with cameras, video-shooting capabilities, maps, GPS, radios. TV, alarms, recorders, clocks, games, stopwatches, and Internet, it doesn't mean you stop using your head. You don't need to watch TV on your phone standing cheek-by-jowl in a bus , you don't need to constantly play games with cats and balls, when you should be studying something serious, and telling someone a joke and having a wonderful laugh over something, is a hundred times better than messaging the joke to 100 people with a click.
I like wallpapers on my screen, and most of the time they are family photos, animals or landscapes of seascapes. I do not enjoy half clad singers, ga -ga types or go-go types, fancy dressed actors, or anything outlandish.
Come to think of it, it seems these Dell Inspiron laptops have customizable covers. It would be nice if my laptop could somehow show me on the cover, so folks would know, who, the laptop sitting to one side on the table, belonged to.
Sometimes, all this technological innovation stuff even inspires old fogeys like me to dream of something unique. Like having some face-recognition, face-capturing stuff which would reflect the latest me on the laptop cover, and use that as an additional security check before anyone can power the laptop on.
I guess sometimes personalities define gadgets, and sometimes gadgets end up nudging personas of people.
I hope the Dell types are listening.
They wanted to know how gadgets reflect my personality. I am here to say, that life is all about lots of take, and a bit of give, and sometimes, just sometimes, a personality learns something from the gadget too.....
Vive la Change !
This post is written for the "Change is easy - how your gadgets reflect your personality" contest sposored by Indiblogger and Dell Inspiron