Monday, December 24, 2012

Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore

In a review of "Mr. Penumbras's 24-hour Bookstore" by Robin Sloan, Roxane Gay states:

In Stieg Larsson's novel, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", Lisbeth Salander is a hacker. Her superpower is an ability to uncover anything about anyone using her Powerbook, a laptop produced by Apple from 1991 to 2006.

Gay goes on to say that Powerbooks are relics today and our smartphones have more computing power than Salander's Powerbook.

Obsolescing at a rapid pace, I didn't realize I was so far out of it until I read this. Smartphone? Have never owned one, which fact makes a clear statement about my current technology status. At least I'll never suffer from "nomophobia" - the fear of losing or being separated from one's phone. My Mac? Has to be taken to the Apple store for professional attention because a mere mortal non-genius cannot accomplish a necessary upgrade. This normally simple task is now too difficult for me because of a myriad of incompatible software I've been seduced into downloading. Each download has resulted in waves of new problems, advertising and reduction of computing efficiency. Everything seems to be getting harder and harder. Now I sit frustrated, swearing, sneering at my keyboard and my favorite key has become delete.

Maybe naively, I think my generation lived through and enjoyed a glory age during the emergence of computer and internet technology. Changes and improvements came at us at a comprehensible pace compared to today. We basked in the free use of incredible internet technology for almost a decade while everyone understandably scrambled around figuring out how to monetize the whole shebang. In the demographic scheme of things, I was known as an early adapter at one point - now I'm just an old fogie (no adjectives necessary) in anyone's book and on any chart.

By the way, I've downloaded the book, "Mr. Penumbra..... " a novel about traditional researchers and digital experts joining forces to solve a mystery and am looking forward to a good read.   


1 comment:

  1. I like "swearing, sneering at my keyboard." Wish you would write a story for my blog.