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How Many Computers Can One Guy Need These Days? August 15, 2013

Posted by Tom Wells in Tom's Posts.

It struck me recently that I use five computers going about my business on an average day.


When I graduated from college my wife and I shared one computer, a Mac LCII. Back then, most homes only had the one computer if any.  I had grown up in the day when going from a rotary dial phone to a push button phone was a big deal, so owning this computer was hi tech indeed.  Funny thing was it didn’t do all that much for us. LC2

It was never connected to the internet in all the years we owned it.  No e-mail. No Google. I just wrote some early stories and my wife did our finances on the computer but the most practical thing it did was produce the resumes that would take me from college graduate to carpenter to drafter to architect.

Our first office jobs doubled the amount of computers both of us used each day.  One shared computer at home, and one at work. Those computers did not do much more than replace the typewriter and drafting boards until 1999. The internet entered my world at the turn of the century. Slowly the internet expanded my use of the computers and my little household added a laptop computer before we added our first child to the family.Dellmini10

We kept the Mac but never connected it to the internet. The laptop was our connection to the world through our phone line. With the birth of our first child the laptop also became my video editing studio. It was no longer a fancy upgrade to the typewriter.  And the uses quickly expanded enough to justify upgrading our Mac to a new windows desktop.

That jumped me up to three computers I would use a day, especially when we upgraded the one old laptop to one new ones for each of us. We started using them at home much more and sharing was no longer an option.

The computer was finally shrunk down to something that fit in the palm of our hands and in 2011 I tried replacing my laptop, digital camera and GPS with the newest computer in my life, the smart phone. bionic-atrix-dock-2-SlashGear-580x386 The experiment to replace the laptop ultimately failed but the Smartphone quickly became the computer bridge between my work and home use.  The Smartphone for laptop experiment failed, I upgraded my old netbook to a tablet and at the same time my employer gave me another Smartphone to carry around that is encrypted so I can get company e-mails on the go.  And this is where I ended up with five freaking computers, all of which I use to stay connected.

All of this lets me get out of the office more while staying connected and seldom bored. The world of computing is leaps and bounds above my connection to computers in 1994. I won’t say it’s above my imaginations from back then. Network pads that are my imagination’s fusion of the modern tablet and Smartphone are prominent in my stories started in 1994. I welcome the computers in my life and exploit them for the conveniences I have looked forward to using from my earliest science fiction readings and writings. It is amazing though to reflect back on how much the second half of my life has been transformed by the availability of this many computers.

Computers have become the one thing from all of science fiction which lives up to what has been imagined and more. They are a real life embodiment of worlds we can still only imagine.


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