The Next Starfighter

I read today that the last VCR is being manufactured.  Who would have predicted this?  I suppose it’s natural for any of us to view places or things in our lives that we took for granted and look at where we’ve come and wonder where we are going?

Movies that once seemed phenomenal ‘back in the day’ look terribly outdated when you settle in to watch one after having seen the fantastic effects of today.

I am a geek through and through, but I have always been a cautious geek.  I don’t generally jump on the latest bandwagon.  I want to, but I generally want to research or wait to see how it pans out.

When VCR’s came out, I didn’t rush out and buy one or one of the laser disc players also popular at the time.  I waited until after all the dust settled and then chose to purchase.  The first two movies I purchased were Top Gun and Lady and The Tramp.  Quite a combination, huh?

When Virgin Mobile introduced pre-paid cell phones at Best Buy I was primed and ready.  I was sending a son off to college and they were $14.99 so I purchased a pair.  The antenna stuck up like a small walkie-talkie and my son was less than impressed.  You only had to pay $20 every 90 days to keep service unless you used that and could add time as needed.  Later as everyone was switching to smart phones I traded my old Virgin Mobile in for a flip phone.  It made and received calls which was what a phone was supposed to do.  I could easily slip it into my pocket.

Two years ago I lost my beloved flip phone.  I searched and searched.  At that time Amazon came out with their Fire phone.  I already loved my Kindle Fire and while the price was more than I was willing to pay, I decided that it was time to move into the smart phone era.  I miss the ability to easily fit the phone in my pocket, but I have come to depend on this new tool I can’t imagine going back.  Unfortunately the Amazon phone didn’t take off.

Now I’ve just ordered a new phone through  The pricing was right at $20 for phone service and $10/GB.  If you don’t use all the data you pay for it will be refunded on your next bill.  My research indicates it’s a good deal for me.  I’ll let you know.

I’ve embraced other technology such as Roku, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.  I use a Kindle to read magazines and books even though I prefer the feel of a book in my hands.  I know this method will take up less space and that was my goal.

I think outside the box as well.  I installed Internet access at my father’s house in remote Southwestern Pennsylvania.  He lives in the woods and can’t get cable or satellite.  He used to receive all the Pittsburgh and Johnstown television stations until the digital change.  Now he doesn’t receive any.  I’ve set him up with a Roku and while he doesn’t have or want a computer he can watch programs on Hulu that he misses on regular television and watch movies on Netflix.

I also bought him an HP Printer with e-print.  It’s our lifeline.  The printer has an email address and I only need to send him an email no different from anyone with email and it prints directly at his printer with no intervention from him.  I also have a printer driver so I can print anything from the Internet to the printer.  He loves it!  In addition, we upgraded to the next model up and now he can scan to email.  He places a handwritten note under the glass and chooses ‘scan to email’ and it selects my email and sends me his handwritten note.  He writes me a few times a week depending on what’s going on.  This doesn’t replace our weekly calls, but it makes us feel more connected.



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