Friday, 3 September 2010

Are you a gadget lover or a Luddite?

Well, this week sweet Jeanne at Collage of Life started me thinking about gadgets and whether I am a fan or not. Her children called her the 'Gadget Queen' the other day. The pixies couldn't call me that or even the 'Gadget Princess', either. I think I'm more a Luddite. They were those crazy 'weavers who destroyed machinery in Midlands and northern England between 1811-16 for fear it would deprive them of work. [It is a term] applied to modern rejecters of automation and technology'. But I digress.
A shiny new iPad
My Luddite tendency is expressed in my failure to purchase an iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad or iAnything. It's not that I don't admire them from afar. I really do. Their sleekness, user-friendliness and lust-worthiness are to be applauded. It's no wonder Apple CEO Steve Jobs is a very wealthy man. I also don't own MP3s of any description, e-readers like the Kindle, Kobo or nook, fancy phones/organisers like the Blackberry, PDAs, sat nav guides, laptops, notebooks, DSL cameras, HDTV, flat-screen television, anything with LED, plasma or LCD, expensive espresso machines, set top boxes or pay TV. I also don't Tweet. 

Mind you, I'm not a complete Luddite. I do have a PC and a (recent) Nokia mobile phone. We bought our old Sony cathode ray television for the 2000 Sydney Olympics and it still works fine. We have a combination VCR/DVD player which has withstood hard use by the pixies. I love e-mail, blogging and surfing the net.
Our trusty old Sony Trinitron
You see, I know they all exist. I'm sure they make life easier and more fun for lots of people. But I'm not not of those people. It's not just the dizzying speed at which technology advances, rendering the latest gizmo a has-been by the end of the monthIt’s not really the cost, although that is a real consideration when living on one income on Planet Baby. However, there are three things standing in my way, holding me back from actively participating in this ceaseless advance of shiny technology. 

The first is the fact I’m a Virgo. I blame it on my stars.
Okay, so that about sums me up!
I am a classic Virgo, an organiser, list-maker and an obsessive worrier about details (ooh, just a tad). I know that once I start buying such gadgets to ‘make my life better’, I will become obsessed by them, trying out every trick until the wee hours so I can make them work ‘the best’. On a practical note, I will have to remember to take them with me (it’s hard enough to remember to take the three pixies and all their paraphernalia when I walk out the door sometimes!). And I’ll have to remember where they are and keep the pixies’ prying fingers from them. Sam, in particular.

The second is my love of things old-fashioned. Like receiving handwritten letters in the post. With stamps. And postmarks from far-flung locales.
Ooh! And this embroidered one is a little bit fancy.
I love the sensation of holding and cherishing a treasured book in my hand, feeling the texture of the paper and delighting in the page turning as I race to get to the end of the chapter. I like life a little slower in this age of instant communication with satellites zapping their messages from the sky, tracking our every move and keystroke.

I like reading maps, holding them upside down (as I gather women are wont to do) so I can follow the path we need to take, tracing my fingers along the road and counting the number of traffic lights until our right turn. Yes, I'm an old-fashioned girl.
And I am partial to the odd magnifying glass as well
The third thing is that I also don't subscribe to the concept of 'planned obsolescence'. Whoever came up with that was obviously a genius in that he (I'm guessing it was a man) worked out how manufacturers could make a lot more money as things broke down quicker and were replaced sooner as getting them fixed cost more than buying new ones. But goodness, what a terrible thing for the environment, not to mention our hip pockets! Woops, I got a little preachy there - apologies!

So, there you have it, my manifesto on technology. And now here's the punchline. Yesterday, our shiny new Telstra T-hub arrived in the mail (it was complimentary when we changed our phone plan) and I think I'm smitten!
Our latest toy
I'm off to read the instruction manual. I'll do a road test for you!


Postscript added on 16 March 2011: The T-Hub has become an essential part of life on PB. Mr PB uses it like another computer to surf the net as well as using it as a phone. The touch screen is quite responsive and easy to navigate. It's also survived a lot of hard wear and tear at the pixies' hands, having been dropped on the floorboards innumerable times but still functioning. Occasionally, it freezes but all we have to do is take out the battery, reinsert it, load it up and off we go again. 

But the star feature for us has been its ability to transmit internet radio. We can tune into our favourite Sydney radio station, 702 ABC, and hear it as clear as a bell. It doesn't have the 'tinny' sound we hear when we use our computer to listen to this station. That makes for very happy campers indeed! All up, I give it a huge tick.


  1. Me, luddite. These are my thoughts a little while ago. Still haven't got one!

  2. Luddites unite! I'll have a peek now. J x

  3. Too funny! In this house we have 3 iPods, iPhone, iPad, iMac, Blackberry, 2 Sat Navs, 2 digital cameras and more flat screen TVs I can count....but we don't have a T-Hub!

    Looking forward to reading your review!

  4. Wowsers! I think you take the cake, so far, Chalet Girl! That is some effort. I sound positively 19th century compared to you. Oh, and I forgot to add that I love my new Sony DSC W310 digital camera! J x

  5. Oh, and in the interests of complete disclosure, I still use my old digital clock radio, purchased in 1981. The pixies have dropped it on the floor so many times that it rattles with all the broken pieces inside but it still keeps time accurately and the radio works (the sound's a bit average, though). J x

  6. Jane...I am looking at that T-hub and visions of ET (the extra terrestrial creature in the movie) came to mind. There is is a book ooh and aah happening on this side of the world. I think I am going to have to move back to Australia just to be able to put that on my desk. Very cool!

    Many thanks for your mention and I am still laughing about the L plate dangling around ones neck as they make their way thru parenthood. A classic!

    Jeanne xx

  7. PS..Have you met Meredith @ Count it all Joy?
    She is a fellow Aussie and has six kids....she is a real sweetheart too.
    Stop in and tell her I said hi :)

  8. Ooh, Jeanne, I promised to report on my road test on the T-Hub - will do so soon! My pleasure - you are so very sweet to even notice. You must be a very diligent blogger, responding to your many fans! Ah, yes, the old L-plates are still dangling - I wonder when they will ever come off. Will I graduate to P-plates one day?! Thanks for the tip - will head there now. J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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