Barnful of Gadgets
By Robin Felix
My gadgets are like a barn full of animals; I could get along without them, but it wouldn’t be nearly as easy or fun. They’re not truly necessary, and they take some care and feeding; you have to walk them, and they occasionally leave a mess behind. But, they are fun to work and play with, loyal, and they often surprise you.
My Kindle is like my cat, somewhat inscrutable, but a dependable friend to curl up with. My iPhone is like a parrot, with bright colors and a voice, sometimes my voice, sometimes its own. My quad core, liquid cooled workstation is like a horse, needing lots of care and feeding but ready to do the grunt work of getting me to the places I need to be to get my business done while taking me from time to time to other places just for fun. My Linux mailserver is a burro, going round and round pumping the email in and out, making the occasional noise of complaint but serving faithfully otherwise. All contribute to quality of life.
The hardest part is when they get old. You know you’ll outlive them, but it never gets easier. You come across that old SCSI cable or 5 MB hard drive, and it brings back memories. While the lunchbox-sized video camera that needed its own portable VCR is long gone, its power supply reminds you of its faithful service. And sometimes, you just can’t let go of an old pal like the Zenith Z-100. It’s earned a place on the shelf rather than a trip to the recycling center. Some day it will go to a better place, but some day, not today.