I still seem to spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for the technology. In fact, come to think of it, it’s not changed much in thirty-five years from the point of view of pondering finger fidgeting time. Then I was sitting around waiting for things to load or save via the ever so temperamental cassettes storage systems on my Sinclair ZX81 and Spectrum. Working with technology that was far from reliable and efficient. Oh that wobbly 16K RAM pack. The bane of my teenage programming years. Things improved over time as things shifted to cassette drives and floppy disks but then I was waiting for more complex images to load or increasingly complex and demanding code to RUN. If it worked it would often crash and I was back at the beginning reloading or re-inputting reams of data.
As things moved on the great technological breakthroughs I have witnessed and exploited have without doubt saved me time in the great scheme of digital things. Although they can often be more demanding of that precious commodity. For example; Taking a picture twenty five years ago was quite a simple process. Point it. Click it. Send the film off for developing then whack it in the album or pin it the wall. Simple process. Simple result. Now though it’s far more complex. Decide on the hardware for the job. Install and update the software. Make sure it’s charged. All of it. Set it up. Work out what that button does. Adjust the multitude of settings. Take the picture, often several times, sometimes dozens of times. Download it. Load it into photo editing software which you have spent far too many hours playing with. Edit the picture after much contemplation deciding which one of the several is the best. Improve it. Then improve it. Crop it. Improve it. Un-crop it. Revert to original copy and then improve it. Reach the ‘that will do for now’ point. Print it, share it, resize it, change it’s format. Publish it. Publish it. Share it. Publish it.
Of course a lot of my current waiting around is due to our rural location in France. Our low Internet connection speed is by no means unusual here in the French outback. It is one of the well noted downsides of living in the beautiful French countryside. It is just as well the scenery is so majestic as it is unlikely you will be binge watching the latest Netflix series at any pace. You will likely encounter many intermission (loading) breaks allowing you to peek out at the scenery and eat ice cream. Woe is you if you have teenagers in the house demanding their share of your bandwidth.
France has it’s aspirations. See a Reuters article here: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-broadband-eu-idUSKBN132169. Indeed we have been promised a better fibre optic connection for years in our tiny village but the delays just keep coming. They talk a good talk, with village meeting after meeting… but when it comes to the walk, well it’s not happened yet. I’ve always thought (original source un-recalled); Action talks. Bullshit walks.
So I sit here once again in one of those common down times. Waiting for at least a minimal internet connection to get on with today’s electronic tasks needing connection to the wider world. Wondering just how much time I have sat waiting for technology. It must be months. Likely a year plus. If I had spent all that time writing I would have had that novel by now. You know, the one you always say you will get round to writing. Oh well, at least my word processor is more than capable of keeping up. Indeed it always has been. I expect it often has the same thoughts of me. Frustrated at my pace as it waits for me to input data at my very slow single finger tap. I’ll continue to dream of the day when all of my technology is always waiting and ready, perhaps even anticipating my next move…
Oh a beep and a green light. Orange.fr has just decided I can stop looking out of the window for now.