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Thursday, November 19, 2009
Refusal to Upgrade
This is Funkyman, reporting live from behind enemy lines of morning Study Hall, until later today, I'll be immersed in tech week for the American Repertory Theater's production of "Best of Both Worlds." I'm still alive. I repeat . . .
I'M STILL AL (BRRRSSTT) OH NO THERE'S A STUDENT CHEATING ON AN EXAM (BRRRRSSTT) COMMUNI (BRRRST) TION IS BREAK (BRRRSST) UP. HAVE TO (BRRSSSTT) BLOG NOW.
Welcome to the Adventures of Funkyman everyone, where I'm doing my best to keep you abreast of what's ticking in my mind since I rarely see all of you, and those I do see, I don't get to talk to. So . . .
Here I am to write stuff
Here I am to blog now
Here I am to say that I'm OK
You're altogether lovely
Altogether cool too
Altogether wonderful you're here
That was for all of my Christian friends. For my non-Christian friends, this one's for you . . .
Hell is very hot
But you've never read haikus
Just kidding! Truth is I should switch those poems around for my friends - but that's ANOTHER TOPIC FOR ANOTHER DAY.
Now back to the show.
I am neck deep in this show with rehearsals, score writing, and organization through e-mails. Yes, e-mails. Remember a world WITHOUT e-mail? Me neither. How did we get anything done?
Though I've embraced life through the internet, I fought it pretty hard. I have a history of fighting technology. The irony of technology is of course, it's existence is to make our lives easier and more efficient, though often it works the other way around, thus with commerce being what it is. Just like your car, it's more lucrative to create a car that needs maintenance and repair than to make one that does not.
Below is a list of my refusals to upgrade technology.
When the compact disc came out, I was obsessed with audio cassettes. Every album I had ever owned was on cassette. My first full length cassettes were "Rapper's Delight" from the Sugar Hill Gang, "Ladies Night" from Kool and the Gang, and Roger Troutman's "The Many Facets of Roger" (solo - no Zapp gang). I got these tapes as a gift from my parents for winning the grand prize in my school's Homecoming. Yes, I was the Homecoming king in 6th grade, and while you're sitting there laughing, I GOT A STEREO. Yes, a stereo with a record player, a radio, and a TAPE PLAYER. DEAL WITH IT! Now who's laughing?
I loved that stereo. I loved my tapes. I bought more - Daryl Hall & John Oates, The Clash, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, etc. etc. until I amassed quite a neat library for a young man.
Then it happened.
In the mall, a man stood there with these shiny round things called CD's. He was doing demonstations like throwing the CD across the mall like a frisbee, going over there to step on it, then picking it up, placing it in the machine, and out comes "Like a Virgin" from Madonna. The sound quality was really good, and you could go from song to song with the push of a button. Everyone was like "WOW." Everyone except Funkyman.
You see, I happened to like the low end noise I heard before my albums began. I kind of liked being able to fast forward to a section of a song I liked (a feature not availlable when CD's first came out). And I didn't think the sound quality was all that different, though it was. It didn't matter - THIS WAS HOW I EXPERIENCED MUSIC and now they wanted to change that. I said no.
I said no for years. I went to college - no CD's. Every mix TAPE I made, were directly from other cassetes I owned (don't get me started on cassingles!). I enjoyed spending a couple of hours to make a mix tape. I made a lot of them, and I still have them and use them today. By the time I graduated from college, maybe I owned 10 CD's because of gifts people gave me. I borrowed a used CD player from my brother. I couldn't have cared less. My tape collection grew and grew until finally, tapes started to become obsolete and CD "Stores" were now the norm. I eventually relented and began to actually buy my albums on CD sometime around 1994.
My album collection had reached about 600 strong on cassette tape, and now I own probably 1,000 CD's. I fought the good fight, though. What's this new thing called pm3? or 3mp or something? Whatever!
A short story. I REFUSED to get a cell phone until . . .
I had band rehearsal which required me to drive 30 minutes to the rehearsal space. I sat and waited for the rest of the guys to show up - no dice. I waited another half an hour before I drove off to find a pay phone. WHERE ARE ALL OF THE PAYPHONES? I found a payphone and it cost $.50. 50 CENTS! I looked for the quarters and plopped them in and called one of the guys. He said, we cancelled band rehearsal and left a message for you at your home phone.
"Well, how in the . . . . am I supposed to get a message from . . . home phone . . . . "
You can imagine the rest of that conversation.
I got a cell phone the next day. All I want to do is call somebody. I don't need the camera, or games, or web access, or texting or the mp3 player. Enough already. I used to get the phones that didn't have those features. Now, the lowest level phone has ALL of these features whether you want them or not.
Seriously, I could write a book on NOT upgrading computers. How annoying is it that when you drop over a thousand dollars on a computer, there is a new version of the operating system every few weeks AND often it causes the software you are currently running to go nuts, be slower, or not work at all - forcing you to spend extra time following up on support and downloads or even worse, purchasing new stuff for your "helper." Help me less, PLEASE.
I currently own 5 Macs. An iBook, a MacBook, an eMac, an iMac G4, and an iMac G5. Do you want to know why? Because I HAVE TO KEEP UP WITH TECHNOLOGY. The iBook gets slower and slower with each OS upgrade. The eMac and iMac G4 don't have WiFi capability (without spending hundreds of dollars on a slow Airport card). Only my MacBook and iMac G5 run with any
kind of reasonable expectation, and my wife and I take turns using them both for various projects.
BLACKBERRIES & IPHONES
To this day, I vow never to own a Blackberry or an iPhone because I don't want to create the compulsion to check and write e-mail wherever I am. I'm fine waiting until I get home. Fine for now, of course, until one day when I go to renew my cell phone plan, the only plan they offer will include e-mail and a FREE Blackberry. You think this is coincidence? No, it's all part of the master plan. They're going to tell us what we need and how to do it. However, if you have a mode of life that works for you, don't give in to the MAN! Stand beside me and fight with . . .