Friday Fives – tech style

The Consumer Electronic Show starts next week.  In that light: 

Image result for leatherman mandala

What is an electronic gadget/technology that you can’t live without. 

Since this is about cool electronic gadgets, am adding a bonus complication… not cell phone.  The answer to all these questions is cell phone.

With that said, I am going to say my new(ish) truck.  It’s a 2018, and its predecessor was a 2007.  A LOT has changed in the technology since then.  Some was available then, as well, but I didn’t have it.  This newer truck has remote start.  I know that has existed forever, but I didn’t have it.  I cannot express the value of being able to start my truck remotely.  I live outside of town, at 6200 feet, in Colorado.  The week around New Years and Christmas, it never got above freezing.  Also, my truck isn’t garaged ever.  It’s too big.  Being able to start my truck from the kitchen is just the most wonderful thing in the world.  Yes, I am a ‘puffer’, and it is illegal in Denver.  But, I am outside of Denver, and ‘puffing’ is NOT illegal for environment reasons (though maybe it should be).  It’s illegal for stolen car reasons.  I don’t worry about that for a couple reasons.  One is, I live outside of town and my truck is down a long driveway behind a gate.  PLUS… when you remote start the truck, it automatically locks the doors.

And then there is this package with the remote start.  If it is below 40 degrees out, the truck knows.  So it not only starts the truck… if it is below 40 it turns on all the defrosters, AND the heated seats, AND the steering wheel heater.  This truck is so online that it weekly sends me health reports to my email.   AND… the truck is smart.  If I am low on fuel, it won’t remote start.

What is an electronic gadget/technology that you can do without. 

My appliances.  We just bought all new appliances for the kitchen for the first time ever.  Got a black Friday deal to replace:  dishwasher, fridge, microwave, and stove.  We just installed it all last week.  Ourselves… for the record.  Here is what I don’t need:  the new appliances are all online.  Apparently, I can remotely track how my appliances are doing.  If a fridge fails, that might be good to know.  I don’t even know if that is part of the package.  But, do I really need to be able to check on my dishwasher’s cycle progress from 80 miles away?  I guess someone does.  I doubt I will bother, except maybe the fridge.

What is your favorite gadget

Since it didn’t say electronic, I am going with my Leatherman.  It is the greatest tool in the world, and I don’t leave the house without it.  Ever.  Its on me now in my corporate desk job.  It’s on me even if I walk to the end of the driveway to get the mail.  Its tiny, compact, and has about 8 different practical tools on it.  Even better?  It was invented by a guy named Leatherman!  Tim Leatherman, of Oregon, invented it.  With a name like Leatherman, dude was bound for greatness.  He invented the pocket ‘multi-tool’, but tons of folks make one.  However, I ALWAYS buy a Leatherman.  I not only want him to get credit and money for it, but because they are made in America.  Try that with your POS Gerber, ya commie!  They all cost the same (around $40, depending on features) so go get one now.  Actually, get 3.  Put them in your cars and backpacks.   * you can’t fly with them, though.  One of the things on every Leatherman is a knife.  Whenever we check bags (which is almost never… not even 2 weeks in Europe) I get excited because it means I can bring my Leatherman.

What needs to be invented but hasn’t 

I’ll give you a freebie idea.  Take this and run with it.  That ‘transition’ technology that turns your glasses into sunglasses in the sun?  put that into windows in cars.

When did you get your first cell phone?

Before you.  1997.  My first good corporate office job was working customer support for Nextel Communications.  One major perk was getting a free cell phone and free service always.  Was there for 20 years (it became Sprint), so I always had a free phone and it was great fun being on the cutting edge of the technology.  As you know, back then, phones weren’t online.  They didn’t do shit.  All they did was call, and not well.  No texting, paging, color, cameras, internet, color, or caller id.  Didn’t even have a clock.  You know… the clock on the cell phone that I probably invented?  True story.

*** forgive the jacked up formatting. WordPress has changed their interface and it sucks. it’s like the microsoft helpful paperclip that everyone resoundingly hated and had quickly removed.


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