In Feb. 5 IssueBy Jeff Smith, Columnist
Its a big wide web-encrusted world out there, filled with cool tech, and lame junk and many, many levels in between. I will be honest with you, there are people out to get you: virus writers, cyber-criminals, and proprietary software vendors... But fear not! There are also people looking out for you as well. And I am one of them.
Allow me to be your guide through this dangerous digital domain. I can help you make smart tech purchases with your hard earned dollars, as well as introduce you to online services that will help you tie your digital life up in a nice pretty bow.
Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, not harder, but often one finds that they become a slave to the machines, spending money to keep going, but never really getting ahead. Let's put a stop to that shall we?
Let's all vow right here and now to stop blowing money on crappy antivirus software that doesn't even do a decent job of keeping you safe. (McAfee, Norton, AVG, I'm callin' you out!) To stop purchasing that over-priced registry cleaner or anti-spyware software that pops up and scares the bajeezaz out of you with its warnings and epitaphs of dangers lurking deep down in the murky recesses of your hard drive. Let us stop clicking on pop-up ads period: they are the snake-oil salesmen of our age.
Let us instead seek simple answers to complex questions. Let us explore digital solutions to our everyday problems that actually DO help to organize and ease our busy lifestyles rather than annoy us with their complexity and cost. Let us use security solutions that can take the worry out of the equation and don't knock a hole in our wallet. Let us vow to stop being impulsive and abusive to our computers. No more kicking it just because it failed to cough up our cousin's roommate's weekend camping trip pictures. Can we just do that? Okay? Ready? On a count of three... One... Two... Three.
There, do you feel better? Me too.
Here we are in our quaint little rural community, yet for all of its seeming isolation from the bustling city life, our quiet town is home to many amazing people. Here we have a zest for life and an appreciation for peace. Technology is an ever-present thing in our little community despite its size, and the fearlessness with which people of all ages dive headlong into the fray makes me proud to live here. I have met and helped grandmothers (and people of all ages) who are now living a life of carefree computing using Ubuntu Linux instead of Windows. I have helped teenagers to record and edit some thrashing tunes that they put together in their garage using free software that they had not been aware existed. I have helped install amazing space-age technology in a business as rustic and down-home as a sawmill. The people of this area embrace technology in our daily lives, whether that's a farmer jammin' out to music from his iPod while tilling the north forty, or the churchgoer updating their Facebook status from their smartphone in between Sunday School and the Sermon. It's part of our daily lives from the alarm that wakes us, to the touch screen used to ring up the cheeseburger we had for lunch, to the space-age memory foam mattress we [wish we could afford to] sleep on at night. And it is because of this that I hereby grant all of you the esteemed status of Honorary Nerds. Now, now don't be shy, you've earned it.
As Honorary Nerds, you are now each entitled to wear pocket protectors, glasses held together with tape, and high-water pants, though it is not recommended. You are also empowered to speak up and weigh in on any and all conversations regarding time-travel and/or teleportation, flux capacitors, light-sabers, ninja weapons, caffeinated beverages and Cosmic String Theory.
But now that we are all NERDs, it begs the question: What is a Never-Ending-Radical-Dude to do? (if you're a lady-nerd, just pretend I said Dudette)
Well, to answer that question, check back here weekly. I'll fill you in on cool new movies headed our way, cool technologies that are coming to light, apps and widgets for your smartphone, tips and tricks for keeping your computer humming along, conventions and events that the average geek may be interested in, and much, much more. If you have questions, you will be able to ask, and the answers given may just help out someone else who is having the same issues.
I promise to be as honest as I can, and to fill each article with as much tech, toys, wit, and good solid advice as possible. So, whaddoya say? Same time next week?
Great! See ya then!