I work in the technology biz; I have since before completing my secondary education, plying God-given talents to make my way and eventually establish a career and support my family. As such, I am constantly surrounded with reminders of the increasingly wired nature of society in all its facets and interactions.
Despite this immersion, even knowing how most of it all works, I have not ceased in my amazement. I pursue gadgetry to enable my hobbies and lifestyle, ever-reducing the amount of effort required to do those things I like and need to do.
This last weekend, however, surprised me at just how unique this isn't. How completely the advances have ingrained themselves into even casual patterns. Because of that pervasion, I'm certain most of what I say here will seem unremarkable.
My wife has been on the lookout for a new entertainment center - something with cabinet enclosures for the television and which plays well with corners. Buying these things new is a cost-prohibitive affair even without looking for quality. To ease the financial burden, she's been combing the local craigslist several times daily in order to pounce on the freshly listed items. She found and we subsequently purchased a 3-piece cherry wood (stained laminate) set much nicer than our old one.
After coordinating via cell-phone and email, finances were handled through a credit-card draft and cash transfer via third party (PayPal), and to make sure the larger item would fit in the intended space? I nearly-effortlessly whipped up a three-dimensional representation of the designated corner of our living room and dropped the figures in (all with Google Sketchup) to prove the viability of the arrangement.
The reality matches almost perfectly, though I did put the oak-outcropping of the mantle a little too high and none of the colors are very close.
Excepting that last übergeeky exercise, none of this really raises an eyebrow anymore. 5 years ago the entirety would have been almost unfathomable, or at least unreasonably expensive and unfamiliar to the layman. On the front-line I still stand here having this, "back in my day..." episode now, when my daughters will be raised in the environment when all this was tedium.
I hope they will also be amazed.
In a brief self-edit of this entry before publishing I'm appalled at the poor composition and frequent sentence fragmentation. While I can recognize it, I don't think I feel up to doing anything about it; which means I knowingly thrust this tragic text upon thee.