Living with Technology: The quiet comforts of everyday tech
Published 6:10 am, Wednesday, August 19, 2015
I travel a lot. And no matter where I travel, it’s always best when I return home.
It hit me the other day the many pieces of technology and the sounds of them that are very comforting.
Then it hit me how many items we interact with every day that just make our world good.
It starts in the morning when my alarm clock goes off and I hear the radio. I then go into the kitchen and start the coffeemaker for my wife. The sound of the coffee maker is very familiar and comforting.
Putting something in the toaster oven to cook has a familiar sound of the door closing, the click of the timer and the ding when the food is cooked.
Our refrigerator has an icemaker which every few hours dumps a few ice cubes into the tray. I hear that and I know that system is working well.
Our dishwasher is virtually silent, but has a pleasant chime when the dishes are clean.
As I get in my car and turn the key, there’s a familiar sound of the engine turning on. As I drive, I know the sounds of my car, the turn signals, the brakes, even the windshield wipers.
I know the sounds of sirens of emergency vehicles, the honk of the person in the car behind me.
As I walk around my neighborhood, the sound of hammers and drills improving people’s homes, lawn mowers keeping the grass trimmed, even leaf blowers are all technologies we take for granted.
At the supermarket, scales the calculate the precise cost for fruit based on weight, scanners that tell the clerk how much an item costs, the cash registers that print out detailed descriptions of the products I buy (remember when it used to simply be a list of numbers?) and the fact that I can quickly pay with a credit card instead of having to write a check and showing them my driver’s license and a credit card.
When I take Metro-North into New York City, it’s a relative haven from technology, but the tickets I buy at the kiosk are digital and even the conductor now uses a wireless ticketing technology onboard. More than that, the new M8 cars are wonders of technology, with multiple methods of electrification,
As I look around, I am amazed at the various types of technology that surround us every day. From the simple such as a hammer to the ultra sophisticated such as a mobile phone.
Electricity powers a lot of our technology, but certainly not all. Thousands of calendar years and billions of man-years have been used to create the technology that we use every day.
Technology everywhere and, by and large, makes our lives better. Take a few minutes to look around and appreciate the technology that makes your life better.
Mark Mathias, a Westport resident, is a 35-plus-year information technology executive. His columns can be read at http://blog.mathias.org online. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.