Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Better Living through Technology

Recently, I bought a Bluetooth device to use with my cell phone, so that when I'm driving, I can still take calls from my husband (or those annoying machine people who want to tell me I've won 1,000 free air miles - the ones that make me swear -- colourfully and quite illegally, I'm sure -- into my telephone).


I'm now getting ready for my trip to England.  I was out running errands this morning, and I had an inspiration. I have Skype on my computer so that I can call anyone, anywhere, as long as I have internet, and not pay cell phone charges (gulp).  In order to use Skype, I carry around a headset with attached microphone. The small and very handy one I bought in Mexico a few years ago finally broke, so I've been reduced to using the clunky ones available north of the border(s).  This morning I thought hey, I wonder if there's a Bluetooth device that I could use with my computer - so off I went to Best Buy. Yes, there was such a thing, but I would need to buy an adapter to put on my computer to make it Bluetooth-friendly. $30.  Okay. So I bought this little USB device about the size of half a Chiclet and plugged it into my computer, went online for the driver, and I think I'm connected now. When I had the device in hand I went back to the Bluetooth department and said okay, what now? By the way, I said, I already have a Bluetooth that I use with my cell phone. Would that work with the computer? Yes, said the child who was helping me -- so it seems that I can now use my Bluetooth to talk on Skype, and I don't have to have that horrid headband squeezing my skull -- or even a wire connecting me to my laptop. What a concept!


After a good deal of hassle, I also found a voltage converter that I think is the one I need to run (or charge) my laptop, hair dryer, Bluetooth, and cell phone while I'm in England. It's about 2x3 inches and weighs just over seventy-five pounds. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but I'm trying  very hard to keep my luggage as light as possible on this trip, and I deeply resent every extra ounce.

I'm sitting in The Vault now, staying away from home until my water is turned back on. The city left a notice on my door last night to the effect that they would be working on the water mains, and therefore the water would be shut off for eight hours, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., which is a little baffling. So maybe my water is on again now, or maybe it won't go on until four o'clock. There's no telling -- but I don't want to be at home when there's no water. I keep having overwhelming urges to take a shower or something -- even though I already did that at 7 a.m. Aren't people strange?


AngelMay said...

Argh! Hardware is going to be the death of me. I simply cannot keep up with it all. I only just now got a computer that works with wifi. :)

Sandra Leigh said...

I sympathize, AM. It's going to take me a while to remember all the buttons I have to push to use my new interface -- but the ability to talk toll-free in and from England should make the effort worthwhile.

John Hayes said...

2x3 inches & weighs just over 75 pounds! I have yet to venture into the blu-ray domain--so much technology, so little time!

Sandra Leigh said...

LOL - John, it's not the Bluetooth that weighs so much - it's the voltage converter that will enable me to plug my 120V Canadian appliances into the 240V English outlets without blowing them (the appliances) up.