52 Weeks of Personal history and genealogy: Week 8 Technology (Part 2)

Responding to Part 2 of Amy Coffin’s challenge for Week 8 on Technology:

Part II: What types of technology do you enjoy using today, and which do you avoid?

So what technology do I use now? Pretty much everything has a technological component and if we don’t try to adopt new advances as they come into play we risk being left marginalised from day-to-day society and its operation –perhaps one of the biggest risks for some of my generation, and certainly the one before us.

I love the fact that when I travel I can use my Next G modem and get on the internet anywhere (well maybe not everywhere in the NT). I can be in a cemetery in Queensland and book a hotel, check out some data or find another gravestone location without roaming from pillar to post.

I love that I pick up my laptop and have everything I need on it –photos, family history data, emails etc etc. My laptop is one of the things I’d pick up first if there was a natural disaster, and technology lets me keep a copy of my data on an external drive in a different city, ensuring that even if I lost my laptop, I wouldn’t lose absolutely everything.

I love than I can be in touch with people around the world easily, Skype family when they or we are away from home, attend remote work meetings via video conference, study online from another country, watch podcasts on particular topics from overseas archives, and see and hear conference sessions streamed online.

I love that I can have just about every CD I’ve ever bought on some form of technology at my fingertips. I love that I can download some books and carry a library with me and I hope to progressively build up my electronic genealogical reference library so it can travel with me. I’ll never get past my love of the real article – a proper book- the feel and heft of it in your hands, the ability to lend it to a friend. However, for travel purposes, and to reduce the ever-expanding bookshelves, there are some benefits to electronic books.

I confess that I really don’t love iTunes even though I use it, most reluctantly. Something that any child over five seems to understand instinctively constantly bemuses me. I’m generally an intuitive learner of technology but obviously my intuition and that of the Mac-driven products are on different wavelengths….sad, but true.

And when I get into advanced age, I’m going to rely on my wonderful grandchildren, who already intuitively know how all sorts of things work, to help poor old Nanna with the latest technological advances…

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