Thursday, February 5, 2015

Forever Amazed by Technology

I like to imagine throwing my computer out the window, sometimes. That tends to happen when the device does not do exactly what I want exactly when I want it. I forget how magical it is just that technology like this exists.

The other day, I needed to print something from my laptop. I was downstairs, my printer was upstairs. I knew both devices had Bluetooth capabilities, but I had not actually used the two together before. I was lazy enough to give it a shot. I pressed "print," selected the correct printer, and waited. A moment later, a message popped up about the ink status of my printer and asked if I wanted the document in black-and-white instead.

What? What was that? My computer was effectively communicating with my printer? I clicked "yes" and ventured upstairs to see the result. There it was, glowing in the plastic printer tray... a piece of paper with my words, my very own printed document. My brain exploded! Everything on my screen traveled through space to become a document on a different floor!

When I was five years old, I was floored by the idea of a fax machine. At a local science/children's museum, there was a room with fax machines set up. Kids got to draw on a paper, fax it, and then see that their drawing was replicated across the room. My little five-year-old brain broke after I saw my drawing appear across the room. How could that happen?! I examined the cords and decided there was no way a paper rolled up could fit through the wire. The whole concept was likely scientifically explained, but I would always chalk it up to some form of magic.

Bluetooth is a technology that I still vaguely understand (and yes, it has been scientifically explained to me). It ultimately gets filed in the "it's magic!" part of my brain and I cease to be amazed by technology. Now, watch this. I am about to press a button and this will post to a floating magical webpage and you will get to read it from anywhere in the world (with internet access)! How is that not amazing!?

It is the little amazements that quell that urge to throw things when technology acts imperfect.   

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