Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Sometimes behind it, occasionally ahead of it.
It has been 10 1/2 years since we left the Black Hills, heading off to cruise with Wild Blue. At that time, we were ahead of the mobile device curve. We had cut the land-lines, eliminated the DSL in one house and the cable modem internet in the other. Heck, we eliminated one house, too.
We were early adopters of the mobile data technology. We had been using cell phones since the days of the bag phones. With an audio adapter and the first of the laptops, I was able to get aviation weather from any phone - we were no longer reliant on an FAA person's interpretation of the weather. We quit flying, but spent more time traveling - the cell phone gave us piece of mind that family could reach us if necessary. A data card that was made to plug into PCMCIA slot (remember those?) on a laptop expanded our ability to be remote, but stay in touch, even further. Yes, this was before smart phones.
The data plan was unlimited... of course, this was in the "olden days," well before 3G data speeds. I couldn't use up 3 gigs of data in a month, even with regular posting on forums, including photos. Even though DSL and cable speeds improved, we seemed to keep up with fine with our cellular data.
4G data became available, with good nation-wide coverage. We don't stream video, but we both spend plenty of time surfing. The unlimited data plan (grandfathered in) was working for us - we had gone from a data card, to another faster data card, to a Mifi, to using my phone as a hotspot (several generations of phones). With our wandering lifestyle, it has worked.
Then... Amazon Prime. Not just for 2-day free shipping. We have a smart TV - it apparently is more ahead of the curve than I am. Movies. TV shows. Pretty sure it "slices, dices, and even makes julienne fries." The key to making it all work is a fast, consistent data stream. So... even though it is all wifi, we are "connected" (via cable). If I go out of the house with my phone, we still have wifi in the house. Hoooowheeeee!
High speed? Well, it is a lot faster than my phone as a hotspot; 60 to 70 mbps. I am behind this curve... I have to learn how to get all that stuff from Amazon. Joan was showing me what all the TV could do. Apparently, one needs an app to access all this. You can run apps on your MacBook Pro? I'm not just behind the curve, I can't even see the curve from here.
You can answer your iPhone on your Mac. Paste images from your phone to your Mac. Siri on my Mac? I use that on my AppleWatch now and then... apparently, she is somewhere in my MacBook, too.
I use my MacBook Pro for all the photos you see on this blog. Well, I take 'em with my camera (rarely with my phone), then load into the computer to work up and resize. Last I checked, there wasn't much in the way of real Photoshop for an iPad... I may have to look into that, too.
To update and archive my MacBook, I have had to physically plug in an external hardrive; now, that drive can live right there with the cable modem/router. Hmmm... I'm not so sure about this "cloud" stuff... what happens on a clear, sunny day??
The curve is a bitch.