Saturday 25 July 2015

My love affair is over

And so my three year love affair is over. That slim purple-jacketed companion, by my side since September 2012, has betrayed me. I went to bed with it, woke up with it, dozed to the 'Today' programme as early as six-thirty a.m. on it - while morning sunlight tried to bring me fully to consciousness.

Yes the ipad has let me down. I am in a period of mourning.

 I see, from user groups - whose members are also suffering from an equally great sense of loss - Apple don't offer much support when the ipad crashes. Non-techie types like me have to go to 'settings' and, it appears, switch things off to stop my old ipad 2 crashing even further.

Now I have to wait forty seconds to get back to a page I was using before shut down. I seem to be clicking the RESTORE button at least three times before the iplayer, the wiki page or Sainsburys online shopping site settles down again for my uninterrupted enjoyment. Forty seconds - that's a life time.

Tonight - wearied by said ipad - I played an old video of 'Hannah and her Sisters' on my mother's ancient TV - which we have manoevered into our bedroom, along with boxes of videod programmes recorded in the 90s or earlier. Another lifetime away.

How standards have changed! Why couldn't I get exactly the right hue for the fleshtones of Michael Caine, Mia Farrow et al? Where was the control for that? Why do I have to put up with dark images because I can't adjust the picture sufficiently? And then the story takes over and I stop trying for the perfect picture - content to enjoy the film.

So there's the moral. The more we try for technological excellence the less content we become. The more we feel let down when hand-held gadgets are less reliable than we believed them to be the more irritable we are.

Until, that is, a simple act like picking up an item as old-fashioned as a book makes us realise that waiting forty seconds is no trial. The love affair - giving immediate gratification and instant interaction - has merely turned into a new relationship - requiring patience and understanding. Perhaps the ipad is evolving as I write. Maybe it's doing clever things, things I don't have the wit to understand while I'm messing about with this feature - my blog.

The iplayer on my ipad seems to function better in its current version. Perhaps I'm paying for that improvement by having to press the RESTORE button just to read wiki. Who knows? Apple? Techies? ipadders? Everyone other than I?

In the end it hardly matters. I have an iphone and two lap tops. At least one of these gadgets will give me what I need - or want - when I need or want it.

I first went onto a website around 1995. In 1985 I was using a BBC Basic computer which kept breaking down. That was at work and we had to send for the whole IT team to fix it - and that took far longer than forty seconds. So I've been patient with technology before. Will have to remember what being patient feels like.

Or maybe just get a life.