Thursday, February 4, 2010

I have been more aware of the incredible technology all around us here lately. If you get to really thinking about it we kinda take it all for granted nowadays. Little things that seem so simple now, just a few years ago would have been dreams. Not only are they so convenient they are affordable to most of the population. Things like:

Amanda's little laptop. With it's wireless mouse, and wireless internet. We can surf the net all over the house and even outside. Or hit a hot spot in town. About 5 years ago I didn't even have dial-up at my house.

The internet in general. With Google, Google Maps, Wikipedia, Amazon, we have more information at our fingertips than ever. I have access to parts books for my tractors and combine, free. Even John Deere you can check to see if parts are in inventory at your local dealer. (Parts diagram for my hydraulic repair job at the top of the page)

Internet banking, retirement accounts, and the like. I set up a new Roth IRA account, and didn't hardly have to leave the couch to do it! I can check our bank balances at the drop of a hat, transfer funds out and into the accounts all at my leisure.

Netflix. 50,000 movies just a short wait away. Streaming movies right in your home.

Along that line Clearplay DVD player. You buy their player, pay a small subscription fee and you get filters for a lot of different movies. It skips over or mutes the bad parts. Opens up more possibilities for us to watch.

EFT with checks. More and more places are doing this and it is almost as convenient as using a credit card. Really more convenient in a way because you don't get the bill later. You don't even have to fill the check out. Just hand them a blank one and zap! the money is out of your account. Don't even have to use ID most places. I like it! (I do have to wonder about the security if somebody steals your checkbook.)

GPS in farm equipment. It has become so common and affordable you can't hardly afford to not use it. When I started farming this was portrayed as a coming thing, but nobody dreamed it would catch on as fast as it did. My big Steiger was built in 1977. Imagine what the engineers would have thought if you told them someday it would steer itself! And now it can. I put my autosteer system in it and calibrated it the other day. Amazing!

Electronic sprayer controllers. They use a flow meter and a speed sensor to match your application rate with your ground speed. Much more accurate. Once you get them calibrated right you can finish a field and never have any waste or run out too quick. (I know everybody knows just what I am talking about....but I really appreciate it)

Cell phones. Love 'em or hate 'em, there is hardly anywhere we go you can't be in touch. Affordable to boot. Our plans are $19.99 and the phones free. Also free long distance calls on most plans. Does anybody still use the old fashioned long distance anymore? I get market updates via text three times a day, free!

Scanners and printers, email. The other day the CPS office was needing some papers. I just scanned them, attached them to an email and sent them up there. Took about a minute, and again I didn't even have to make a trip to the mailbox. Very cool application. If you have more than one computer or share lots of files this is the thing to use. It adds a folder to your computer that is linked with an online storage account. Whatever you put in that folder is accessible on any other computer you set up, or log in with. Say I am working on a novel (like somebody I know). I start it on the laptop, and save it in my dropbox folder. Later when I have a quick inspiration, I go to the desktop computer and open my dropbox folder and there is my novel! Great for backup too. I save our important stuff on there so it is always safe and accessible. Oh did I mention the first 2gb are free?!

And to top it off I am well aware of the fact there is much more out there that I am not in contact with every day. Things like Ipods, Blackberries, gaming systems, medical equipment, I could go on and on.

What do you really appreciate now days?


  1. I really appreciate the self checkout lines at stores. If you have a lot of stuff they are not that convenient but if you only have a few things they are great. Beats waiting in line at Wal-Mart when they only have about 2 checkers to take care of everyone in the store.

  2. A big chunk of my master's degree has been educational technology classes where we focus on how to implement and integrate all this technology into our curriculum and make students "information literate." I am constantly having to try and learn new technology things. My favorite thing to do lately is use Windows Movie Maker and free photos/music to create little movie slideshows or book trailers to advertise new books in my library. Another thing I love of course is Facebook and getting back into touch with so many people that I might never have heard of again after college. Today for one of my classes I'm having to do a project with this thing called "Jing" where you can capture a little video of you doing stuff on your computer screen and play it back. Say for instance I was editing a student's paper on my computer using the tracking changes on Word. With Jing, I can record myself talking about the changes I'm making and they can watch me make those changes on the screen. Or if you were trying to demonstrate to Papaw how to do something on the computer. You could do a screencast video of yourself doing it while you talk and send him the video. I'll try to send you an example sometime. It's pretty neat. And a free download. Just have to have a microphone.

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