The Rodent is not a particular fan of technology. It’s expensive, it changes too often (adding to the expense), it takes time to learn (and relearn), and it often doesn’t work. Moreover, it seems that a lot of technology is devoted to taking a relatively simple function and making it very, very complicated.
For example, lawyers take notes. They take notes in interviews, they take notes at hearings, they take notes during deals and negotiations — they take notes everywhere and all the time. Note-taking is a lawyer thing, and we spend a good portion of our billable and non-billable time doing it.
Note-taking used to require something to write with and something to write on. Pretty much anything would do — it didn’t even need to be paper — and there are legends about deals being written on bar napkins and great ideas being sketched out on tablecloths. Even the palm of your hand would do in a pinch (except for when taking exams, when that sort of thing was frowned upon).
Now, if you’re not taking notes on an iPad or at least a laptop, you’re laughed at as a dinosaur.
Let’s compare. Olden days: 2-cent pencil and 79-cent pad (maybe $1.29 for legal size); take pencil in hand, lay paper on table, write, give notes to secretary when finished. Technology today: $500 iPad, $90 wifi keyboard, $50-$100 case; turn on iPad, connect keyboard, navigate to note-taking app, forget how it works, waste time and tax everyone’s patience figuring it out, miss half of what’s said because of glitches or random keyboarding mistakes, attempt to edit notes and save them into the system, losing same because of incompatibilities and other incomprehensible computer neuroses.
The conclusion is obvious: You go with technology because, hey, that’s the way the world rolls now.
I was recently introduced to Windows 8 or, as I call it, Windows Hate.
I didn’t mean to be; I didn’t want to be. I was forced: My computer died. It died an early death, which was a blessing in disguise — I hadn’t had enough time to accumulate much personal stuff on it so nothing much died with it. (Back up? We don’t need no stinkin’ back up.)
Of course I was facing a deadline, so I had to replace it right away. Now, in the days of yore, if I’d broken a pencil, I would have just picked up another and kept working with hardly a break. In this case, I was brought to a dead stop for a day and a half while I wandered through the computer wilderness without a Moses in sight.
I had a list of specs recited to me by my IT guy (I took that down on paper, using a pencil, since I could no longer receive emails). The list included “NO Windows 8.”
To make an excruciatingly long story short, I’ll just tell you that it’s difficult to find a new computer that isn’t pre-loaded with Windows 8, at least not without spending even more time, which was running out on me second by second.
It was fun to fire up my shiny new toy for the first time. Fun, that is, until that weird, Mondrian start screen fired up. It was downhill from there until I found the escape hatch back to something that looked a little like the familiar, old Windows.
Most of two days after I discovered my old computer floating belly up, I was able to finish the sentence I’d been typing and, eventually, made my deadline.
Next time, I’ll write it out longhand and let my secretary interface with the technology.