Thursday, 15 October 2015

New Toy.

Tech-advance, tech-change: once I chose to ignore it, in the vain hope that it might go away. It was the monster under my bed, but It would have disappeared with the daylight. Morning came but it was still there.

With each succeeding return to our southern wintering grounds I finding that I've slid back down the learning curve and need to relearn some skills. Log on to the Blogsy site only to find it's been upgraded. Go to the photo album to find the 'trash can' has moved, then spend time tracing the inadvertent deletes. It's like climbing the stone screes in Glen Torridon, it's 'two steps up: one step down'.

Twelve years ago we headed off on our first long trip with the expressed intention to be 'gizmo-free'. No electronics, the limit was a handlebar computer; there wasn't even a camera. The thinking being that a camera lens will only intrude between view and viewer. It was still the Kodachrome Age. There were also the archaic concepts of cyber-caf├ęs and bookshops, pencils and jotters. Even coin-operated call boxes.

Then came the age of the e-book reader and the economy digital SLR, fifteen hundred paperbacks and a real camera with a heavy intrusive lens. Closely followed by 'netbook'. It's a well researched fact, that if you leave any treasured artefact in a darkened corner it will breed. Be it bicycles or skis, power tools or in this instance, Apple-tech.

Like a floundering fish, I was slowly being reeled into the twenty-first century.

I liked the results that monster camera gave, only those results lie in a place where they're never viewed. So I increasingly found myself using the Navigator's point and shoot for its more unobtrusive, simple, lighter mode. I was contented.... that is until the Navigator purchased a new telephone. We had been loaned another brand of 'clever 'phone' on last year's trip, but it suffered under the perception that the USA was the world. It would, on occasions tie itself into a Gordian knot', only to revert back to the comfort blanket of its original provider. A bit of research and the fact that we've already bought into the Apple monster and the inevitable happens. A new white box containing an old series appliance materialises.

Now if the Navigator can have her new toy, although she is trying to convince me that it is a vital piece of travel equipment, then surely I can too. So I get a new camera. The results are pleasing. It's touch screen simple, light and unobtrusive. Even anonymous. Infinitely ubiquitous. Everybody carries one. Whether you're sitting on a bench in an Edinburgh street or an Andean plaza, banging your drum at a political rally or walking into a light standard, there every where. Like the oft quoted rat statistic: you really are never more than ten paces from one.

It would appear that this said camera comes with a few additional features, an infinite stream of applications. A calculator, a compass, a store of maps, the Internet, and it also appears to operate as a telephone.

We're making our way out of the flat to go into town, the Navigator asks if I've got my camera, whilst I ask if she's got her map? We both hold up our 'phones.