How do you turn this on?

Oh geez…transistors Silicon Valley vacuum tubes…uh, fusebox? Circuitry?

I’ve been tapped to write a tech column for the next few months. I’m going to do my best. A confession: after one of their periodic overhauls, Facebook confused me so badly I thought my own profile page comprised the entirety of the social networking site for over six months. And I liked it better…I was startled and alarmed when someone showed me the rest of it, having been quite content to look at my own dinner photos.

So I’m going to try and do this in a way that we can ALL understand, yet avoiding the pitchforks of the lightsaber-dork crowd. I’m a simple person; I like looking into groundholes and I’ve shot lots of technology with my bow and arrow, including two iPhones, one old flip phone, and one Toshiba laptop.

So I tried these technologies. Don’t take them seriously as “tech reviews”; this is ultimately more a sad commentary on my own foolishness – but, if you are similarly handicapped, then you’ve come to right place.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone

This over-sized phone seemed like a great alternative to the iPhone I’m used to…but it would take a lot of getting used to. Certain features, such as the voice control, had tremendous potential but failed to live up to promises; when giving it directions, I had to repeat myself more than I would if I was actually giving someone directions. I was also less than dazzled with the screen quality, and navigating between the apps wasn’t something I could seem to get the hang of. Even so, certain small design touches provided the phone with a little extra functionality – simply displaying weather conditions on the home screen was a nice consideration. I couldn’t comment as to its arrow-resistance.

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Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 “Smartwatch”

Okay, so this was my first foray into the world of wearable technology. In essence, this rather bulky wristwatch has a small touch-screen display. Synchronized with your phone, it’s equipped with both a video and still camera, pedometer, and, of course, a phone! This should have been awesome and, if I was 12, it absolutely would be, but I found that, even when I forced myself to wear it, it was still this bulky embarrassment on my wrist; I found myself trying to keep it covered with the cuff of my shirt and, unless you are in fact Dick Tracy, taking calls on your watch looks as weird as those Bluetooth users that jabber at themselves in public places. This watch is full of awesome features, heart and sleep monitors, a flashlight…such a thing has the potential to reorder some integral parts of anyone’s lifestyle – if they wanted it reordered.

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Aqua Sound Bluetooth Speakers

From AT&T – these things were my favorite. And I hate that about me.
They are USB-powered computer speakers. They connect to your iTunes, and as your music plays, fountains of water leap around inside the lava-lamp-like housing, and glowing LEDs change color, and I just stared and stared, mesmerized, because I am a little child. I spent the time to hook them up to the smartphone via Bluetooth exclusively so I could listen to the Swedish Chef sing songs of meatballs as the LEDs danced. It was sad and triumphant.

 

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