Monday, September 10, 2007

Gadget Junkie

Even though I was not caught up in the iPhone frenzy of a few months ago, when it comes to things like that I’m afraid I have an admission to make.

My name is Bill – and I’m an electronics gadget junkie.

I’ve always been fascinated by technology and the toys that allow us to take advantage of it. Televisions, cell phones, computers, sound systems – they tend to draw me to them like a fish to a shiny lure.

My home is a testament to that addiction. Against the will of my lovely wife, our home is full of electronic gadgetry which performs a myriad of necessary (in my judgment) tasks that no modern household should be without.

In the Gouveia home, that addiction begins with the centerpiece – the television. Mine is a widescreen 50” High Definition LCD TV I bought just before Game 6 of the Sox/Yankees playoff series in 2004. Since then I have treated it with deference and respect, and it holds a place of honor in our home.

Of course, no good television is worth its salt unless you surround it with devices which allow it to be utilized to its full potential. I owed it to the TV to make sure it had what it needed – that’s how I explained it to my Beloved.

That starts with a digital HD cable DVR box, needed to capture the incredible High Definition programming available today. It also allows for digital, tapeless recording of any program. That is accompanied by a Direct TV box, which I keep because it is the only way to get the NFL package during football season. Can’t miss any games, after all.

Beside that sits a DVD player/recorder, enabling us to watch the latest DVDs as well as record movies and shows onto discs to be watched later. Transferring our old home movies from VCR tapes to DVD is now a snap.

Below that on the electronics rack sits the newest piece of electronic bliss – a Bose surround-sound system. This is my newest pride and joy, an anniversary present for both of us (at least, that’s what my wife agreed to say) we bought in celebration of our 30th.

The unbelievable sound this generates alone is worth the time it took to set it up. It also serves as a giant music source, digitally recording up to 200 hours of music for playback. The fact I have not listened to a total of 200 hours of music in the last 20 years does not restrict my respect for this great ability.

Also occupying a place of great respect is a unique device called Slingbox. This modern technological miracle allows me to connect to my home television from any web-based computer with no monthly fee. This has come in very handy when traveling on business, allowing me to still watch the Red Sox games in areas of the country where they are not being shown.

My wife and I both have satellite radios in our vehicles. My cell phone is pretty basic, but I do also have a PDA to keep track of business and personal records and appointments. My wife has a phone that connects to the web, gets email, and does everything but make dinner. She’s working on that last part.

Our cars have automatic starters. Our computers are hooked up to wireless high-speed internet. Our home phone is wireless and portable.

I am driven to this addiction not out of the need to keep up with anyone, but rather by sheer laziness and selfishness. I love gadgets. I love the ease they add to my life, the things they allow me to do. I am hopelessly hooked.

As I sit typing this on my laptop computer and prepare to send it to my editor by email over my wireless internet while watching a movie in high definition on my widescreen TV with the sound pouring through the surround sound system, I say again I am an electronic gadget junkie – and happy about it.

Do you think those iPhones really work?

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