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Toys: Digital vs. Analog

Level 15

The Old Days

I remember my father's new watch when I was a kid. It was a newfangled gold digital watch, not unlike the Pulsar pictured below.


(Yes, I'm that old.) I thought this was the coolest thing ever! Every five minutes I'd ask him the time just to see it work. Fast forward forty years and I'm out of toys, sorta.

Why? First, let me preface my little story by informing you that I just spent my first winter here in the Utah office (which is located directly across the street from the NSA. (Booooooooo)). Winter in Utah (to my chagrin) is a rather lonely place. It seems the residents like to hibernate a bit. Having few friends here, my social mingling will have to wait until the spring. No biggie. As a geek I think it's safe to assume that most geeks are not social butterflies. That said, let's run down the list of my toys.

The New Days. My Toys, Winter, and Boredom.

  • Flat screen TV:  Really don't watch much TV even though I have a thousand channels. (I'm not a TV guy, but...) The Walking Dead is about it since Breaking Bad ended. I watch the news, but that gets me angry and just leads me to drink.
  • DVR: Now I can get angry on my time.
  • Chromecast: Great Gadget.
  • Computer: I was once so bored and lonely that I actually programmed an artificially intelligent friend that conversed with me.
  • Robot Vacuum. Closest thing I have to a pet.
  • Xbox: Bought the thing the moment GTA 4 came out. After hooking it up and playing for a bit, I looked at the time and was shocked to learn it was two in the morning - and on a week night! I had been playing non-stop for seven hours! The next morning I brought the system back to the store for a full refund, surmising that the paltry excuse I had for a social life would vanish lest this monstrosity were not vanquished posthaste.
  • Tablet: Nice li'l in between gadget for doing simple tasks.
  • Cell phone: Small tablet. (I'd call it a phone but no one I call ever uses it to talk (except mom)).

My latest toy is my new watch. It does all kinds of neat things like set itself to the atomic clock daily, tells me the date and day of the week, and a host of other nifty tricks, including telling me the time. Check it out here (and no, I did not pay that crazy price).


Everything Old is New

I remember when my phone was analog and my watch was digital. Now that equation has been inverted. I loved video games as a kid and now I avoid them. Also loved TV as a kid, now, not so much. So with all these cool electronic toys to play with, what did I do over the cold and lonely weekend? I washed my car and read a book. Not on my tablet, a real, hard covered, honest to goodness book.

The Moral

Like my mother always said, "Go out an play with your friends." (or was it, " in traffic"?) Anyway, the point is, interact with people more and toys less - I think.

Level 18

I remember when we (my family) bought our first electronic calculator.  All it did was add, subtract, multiply, and divide.  A simple TI calculator that cost about $100 back in the early 70's.

It was the greatest thing since sliced bread at the time.

It's funny that with demise of the CD to mp3 format music and streaming audio services, there is a comeback being made with the vinyl LP.

There are the purest (okay maybe true geeks) that are disgusted with CD and mp3 based music and relish only in the analog audio of yesteryear.

But then they bask in the warm analog audio that only a vacuum tube could produce.  Having played with vacuum tube based ham radio, I understand

the warm full rich sound as it presents itself the same way in RF (radio frequencies) as it does in audio.

Level 15

Remember this guy? I love it! I still have this phone because it's analog and the call quality rivals VOIP. It is crystal clear and much better than today's. Sadly I don't use it anymore. But 12 years ago I was listening to Mp3s and watching videos on it. Plus it looked cool!


aLTeReGo had and loved this phone as well.

Level 18

I had one very I had the motorola startac...the first flip phone...bulky but it would serve as a bludgeon it worse came to worse.

Level 15


About the Author
Who am I? • I met Robert Frost at the end of the road less traveled, and then pointed him in the right direction. • Einstein asked me to define "Up," and I did. • I cliff dive from airplanes. • On Christmas, Santa comes to me for gifts. • I play three-cushion billiards with one hand. • Lions ask for my protection (I speak Lion). • Bobby Fischer and I came to a stalemate while playing chess. • I have literally given a woman the shirt off of my back. • I have also helped an old lady cross the street. • I know what a dangling participle is. • Mozart bequeathed his Requiem to me, and I corrected it. • I was thrown out of an Eric Clapton concert twice in the same night for drawing too much attention to myself. • I am a verbose minimalist. • I am Bronx. Who are you?