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Saturday, February 17, 2007

A techie, but something of a Luddite...

I've spent my career in technology, and have worked on things that became major open-source projects and commercial software products that many tens of millions of people (indirectly) use daily. This is Very Cool, and I'm always happy to think that over the years, billions of people have used stuff I wrote or helped to write in one way or another to do something that improved their lives in some trivial way.

That said, I realize that I'm something of a Luddite in my personal life.

1. I don't love cellphones, PDAs, etc.

The only reason I have one at all is because I worked in a startup that sold them! My cellphone is pretty much always off unless I need to make a call, expect one, or need my car towed. As for PDAs or other "things that beep" that people tend to carry on their person, I could do without them, even though my software is used in several PDAs.

As far as I'm concerned, email is more than enough "personal connectivity" for me.

2. I have several computers, but they run Windows 2000 or Linux.

Windows XP, much less Vista, is not getting anywhere near any machine of mine. When I need to use Windows, Win2K is adequate to surf the Web or play most games, and I use Linux for serious work.

And before Macophiles attack, I'm not getting one. I'm frankly too cheap, and have never gone for the "insidery cool" Apple marketing.

3. I'm not a big fan of social networking websites.

I'm well aware of them, but why do I care about a zillion people I don't know? Blogs are different - I'm not a link whore, but writing in my blog satisfies the dreaded "pundit itch" that must be dealt with. I also don't use most other "let's get connected" stuff like instant messaging (probably for the same reason I don't like cellphones).

The only social networking site I pay much attention to is LinkedIn.

4. I pretty much ignore all music tech.

No Ipod, no music downloading, etc. I listen to music occasionally, but not while driving - oddly, I'm far less distracted by talk radio than by music while driving - and I mostly listen to classical or "classic rock". The most high-tech music playing device I own is a dusty ten year old boom-box in my office that has a CD from Wagner's Ring cycle in it at the moment.

Tech things I do own: a fairly good TV and home theater setup; not top-of-the-line, but fun for watching movies and sports.

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