We're putting away, as a humble tentmaker said so long ago, our childish things.
Starting our fourth decade: Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously online for 30 years


Computers? They're just appliances now

April 13, 2014

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2014, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2014, The Post-Standard

When my brother Bob and I got together this winter for our semi-annual geek fest, we did something we'd never done before.

Or, rather, we didn't do something we'd always done before. We didn't get out our computers and play with them. Or show off new software. I used my computer, a Mac, for my email. Bob used his computer, a Windows PC, to do the same thing.

We had grown up. At least we think so. Ask our wives and they'll tell you we're still little kids when we play with our electronic toys. But something had changed.

What happened to our computer show-and-tell? Our my-drive-is-faster-than-yours mentality?

Unwittingly, we had joined the revolution. Computers? They're just appliances. Imagine getting together with your buddies and raving about dishwashers or spending all day Saturday checking out the latest toasters.

They're appliances.

That's the revolution. It's finally become clear. We've finally stopped gee-gawing and started doing something ultimately simple: We're using our computers. Just using them. They're not toys any more. Is this happening to everybody? No, but I do think my brother and I are typical. I think computers have just plain grown up and most of us have grown up along with them.

It's called freedom. We're untethered. We no longer have to sit down at a keyboard to work or play at a computer. We have smartphones. Some of them are as big as tablets. We have iPads and Android this and that. I have four tablets. Bob has two, maybe three. We're on them all the time. We're running GPS apps on our phones, getting next week's weather forecast, keeping track of daily tasks.

We'll never undo these changes. It's a cliche, I know, but we have seen the future, held it in our hands. We'll never want to go back. We're putting away, as a humble tentmaker said so long ago, our childish things. We're moving on.