By the wonders of modern man I am writing these words on board a plane – BA794 to Helsinki for all you plane spotters – using a pen and a page in my work diary (the pen is PaperMate and the page is for the 4th April and, yes, I know it’s not 4th). I will, I imagine, be transcribing it later this evening in a hotel in Helsinki.
Amusingly, here at 37,00 feet on an Airbus A320, I have an array of digital equipment sat under the seat in front of me. A laptop: too big to open and anyway the battery is nearly dead as I used it with a wifi hotspot in the terminal. My ‘phone/PDA: it really doesn’t look good opening a ‘phone on a plane as there’s a tendency for other passengers to think you’re switching it on. Besides, the built-in keyboard is useless for this kind of lengthy writing. I also have my MP3 player and a camera but neither of them are much use for writing on. So I sit, with a trusty old pen, scribbling something I will later type. I assume, if you’re reading this, that I have actually typed it up.
I also have a small jungle of cables with me. Chargers and connectors to allow all the various devices to communicate. In fact, I think they are taking a disproportionate amount of luggage space. Everything has to be charged: the ‘phone, the mp3 and the camera. Nothing seems to work on a trusty pair of AAs anymore. I am not sure why this is but it’s as frustrating as hell.
So, I have to ask myself why I bother with all this gadgetry? Is any of it going to make my life any easier? Sadly, I don’t think it will and – to be honest – it’s not much fun anymore. I just want items that make travelling easier and I don’t have the money for a private jet. Has anybody solved this conundrum?
I do have a love of this kind of technology: I know that I am one of the people who believe it has the power to liberate but, frankly, right now all the competing vendors are not getting it correct and I am not sure why. Somewhere, someday, somebody will get it right. I only hope that I have a hand in it – somehow.