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Saturday, 14 September 2013

New toys ... anticipation and frustration

Over the past few days, I’ve been in touch with some old feelings from childhood - those feelings of anticipation in the lead up to Christmas Day or your birthday - the feeling you have when you know what you’re getting and you can’t wait to play with it.

In this instance, my new ‘toy’ is a Samsung Galaxy tablet. I bought it as a tool for my upcoming trip to Europe, mainly as a means of keeping in touch with family while I’m away, and to back up my holiday photos. However, I’ve been inundated with friends telling me about the wonderful world of apps that will assist me on my trip - maps, tour guides and every wonderful thing you could possibly imagine. 

So I’ve been exploring and loading up the tablet with a lot of wonderful apps - an app to find an ATM, an app to find Wi-fi hotspots, an app to find public toilets, an app to turn my photos into postcards and send them on to family and friends. I can download apps to brush up my French and find my way from one end of the Seine to the other. I’ve even downloaded an app to lead me straight to the closest café. Of course there are also thousands of games, books and movies to download.  

Since buying the tablet, I’ve been on a bus trip to the city - 6 hours each way - and had a chance to give some of the apps a test run. I couldn’t test all of them as many needed an internet connection which I didn’t have way out in the middle of nowhere, but many apps worked without it. 

My favourite game, Freecell, was the most frequently used app on my trip, and I jumped in and out of my library a few times, just browsing the books - a page here and a page there. How wonderful now that I don’t have to worry about which books to take and which to leave behind. How wonderful that I don’t have to consider weight and space. I can actually take an entire library in my handbag. 

Today, the anticipation was high again, as I went into town to pick up another new ‘toy’ for my trip - a good quality ‘point and shoot’ camera. I’ve had fun this afternoon, becoming familiar with the buttons and various functions, and love the quality of the photos it takes, but the anticipation has been replaced with different familiar feelings from childhood… those feelings of frustration when you get the toy you wanted but can’t work out how to use it properly. If only I could get the Wifi thing happening...