Me and My Electronic Toys

It's become obvious to me--and my husband--that I'm greatly influenced by what people say about their electronic toys.

My first cellphone was a Blackberry. I used it mostly to receive my emails when I was out of town. While at a mystery con, Mayhem in the Midlands to be exact, I was with one of my good mystery friends, Sara Weiss, and she showed me her new, updated Blackberry. As soon as I got home I got myself one just like hers. Of course I still mostly used it to get my emails, though it was easier to get on the Internet. It had its limits though.

When I was out of town, I always looked for a hotel computer so I could post to my blog, of course that cost money in most places. People began talking/writing about their mini computers online and I thought that would be great, a mini computer I could take with me on trips. How convenient. Of course I got one and it's really cute--but it's so sensitive that at times it drove me crazy trying to type on it, or go to the online places I really wanted to go.

In hotels that had free wi-fi, the computer worked great for getting online. One thing I soon learned, the cheaper hotels and motels had free wi-fi, the more expensive hotels charged $9 to $12 to use the wi-fi for a 24 hour period. Usually, I only wanted to use it for less than an hour each day, so that was a high price to pay. And I couldn't get online when visiting in someone's home.

Next purchase, a little gizmo from the AT&T store to plug into my computer that lets me get online no matter where I am. Of course I have to pay a monthly fee. Why AT & T, because where we live AT&T is the only wireless that works. It also means the mini-computer is a back up when necessary and I can use it in bed.

People began raving about their Kindles, the e-reader from Amazon. I've had three e-readers over the years. The first was the wonderful Rocket E-Reader. They were bought out by Sony a long time ago--but only recently came out with their own version. What I liked about the Kindle is you can order books without hooking up to your computer, they magically fly through the air into the device. Well, that's what it seems like anyway.

But there was a drawback. Remember I said we can only get AT&T Wireless where we live? Kindle uses something called Whispernet for the magical transfer of books--Whispernet does not work her. I solved the problem. I buy books online and when I go into town, I turn on the Kindle and the books appear--like magic. This is probably a good thing, keeps me from buying more books than I can read, it's far too easy.

My Blackberry started acting weird so I took it into the AT&T store and said I wanted to upgrade. Nice young salesman was happy to oblige, but told me instead of the Blackberry I should get an iPhone. He whipped his out and began showing me all the wonderful things it could do with the touch of a finger. I did tell him what I really wanted was to be able to get my emails and to go online. Oh, that was easy, he said as he demonstrated.

Yes, I bought the iPhone. Took it home and realized I had no idea how to turn it on. Pushed and prodded everything I could find. Decided the battery was dead and charged it--then it went on. But I still didn't know how to turn it on and off. Nor could I get it to hook up to my Internet server for emails. Finally I took it down to the office of my server, one of the young women there got me hooked up, finally, but she
didn't know how to operate it either.

A lady in the parking lot showed me a couple of things, but I still didn't have a clue how to turn it on or off. I went online to the help menu and still couldn't figure it out. Finally got on Facebook and asked for help. A young "friend" quickly told me where the off and on button was. Duh! Right on top.

While at our family reunion this past weekend, I enlisted the aid of a twelve-year-old great-grand-daughter. She showed me how to use the camera and where the photos are stored. She also showed me how to get more "apps"--though I don't think I really need to watch movies on that little gizmo. Oh and I know I could read books on it too, but it's far too small a screen for me.

While driving home from our reunion, I played around with the iPhone and learned a bit more about it. I'm having trouble getting used to the touch keyboard, but I assume eventually I'll do better. The emails are easier to read then they were on the Blackberry as is the Internet. But I haven't figured out how to post to Facebook yet--but I suspect I'll go online and ask someone.

Too bad the great-grandkids aren't interested in doing the same things on an iPhone that I am--I really don't want to listen to music or text. If they were I could learn even more from them.

I hope no one comes up with anymore nifty toys to tempt me, it takes me too long to figure out how to use them.



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