Technology          - 11/12/2012      <--Prev : Next-->

Technology by Katherine Ardizzone in Perth

My husband has always loved technology. If something was digital, he wanted it. Radios, cameras, watches. Especially watches. He loved watches that didn't need winding up. He loved watches that had a little calculator at the bottom, or had a lot of functions such as a stopwatch or a calendar or one that could tell you the time in Reykjavik or Turkistan. And when you consider that he has, during my 50 years of knowing him, never, ever, ever been on time for anything, it seemed to be a strange hobby. Because for him Time is an unknown country where not only minutes and hours are strangers but also days and occasionally months come as a bit of a shock.

But evidently the makers of watches have run out of ideas, technologically speaking. There doesn't appear to be anything really new. Oh certainly, you can now dive to 200 metres with your watch on or have a musical ringtone to remind you of an appointment. But it doesn't seem to be of much use to a non-swimmer or a habitual latecomer.

So to go to the next level of technological excellence one needs - I know, a mobile phone! Not just a mobile phone that can be used to make calls and answer them. He's had one of those - well several, if the truth be told. And they have always come to a violent end. And even with these very simple devices he never could quite work out how to use them because that would entail reading the manual or even listening to me reading the manual. So I learnt all about his various phones and would be able to find out who called him during the day, and where the photo he took was, and how to send an SMS etc.

But I drew the line at the HTC Sensation! A brand new, better than Iphone piece of equipment which is driving him crazy. He bought it in the Telstra Shop from a young lady called Kristy, or maybe it was Kirsty. And for the first week or two he returned every day because he couldn't do this or he couldn't do that with the phone. She was patient. I have to give her that. Especially when he took the phone in because he couldn't use it having locked it in the Aeroplane Mode and couldn't unlock it. He had thought that by doing that he would be able to hear the cabin crew of planes flying overhead! But now, even though the visits are perhaps only once a fortnight, Kirsty or is it Kristy, is usually very busy out the back of the shop and so he has to make do with probably the newest member of the staff.

At last count he has over 800 messages which he has not answered, a contact list of at least 100 'unknowns', a photo gallery filled with many pictures of blank walls and the inside of pockets, interspersed with people of whom he has no knowledge. But he is persistent. Rather than check the manual on the computer - which he also doesn't know how to use, he goes and makes a regular pilgrimage to see Kirsty - or is it Kristy at the Telstra Shop. I think she's left.

Katherine Ardizzone