On the way home from the office yesterday, I stopped at the supermarket, to pick up one or two things like milk, cardomom pods and some washing up liquid. Oh, and a couple of sweaters.
As you do.
At the same time, I thought I'd look for a small memory stick on which to store a few holiday photos. I saw the idea in the current edition of Marie-Claire Idees and as I have - ahem - a "few" holiday photos here and there (we actually have getting on for 20,000 on our online album), this idea hit the spot.
At the moment, I copy bundles of photos onto a CD-rom, having downloaded them from camera to computer, backing them up on an external hard drive. The "everyday" photos tend to remain there on the external disk though I try to put each set of holiday photos on a CD, all together. I used to create pretty labels for each CD but these days seem to grab a felt tip pen and scribble on the disk before putting it away. I quite liked the idea of having a memory stick for each trip, tied with a label and stored in a basket which might catch my attention now and again. who knows, I might even look at some of them!
I thought - wrongly - that I'd be able to pick up half a dozen cheap and colourful 1Gb memory sticks and begin the process of copying photos, but as I stood there in front of a large selection of the things, I realised that things move on. However much of a gadget girl I am, I accepted that on this occasion, I was a bit behind the times.
I can't remember when I last bought a memory stick - in fact, it could be that I never have. I seem to acquire them here and there, mostly from work-related activities and though I have quite a collection of them, I don't really feel I can use any of them for my own personal stuff. After all, I can still remember the embarrassed look on a presenter's face when she inadvertently showed the whole audience her holiday snaps taken on the beach instead of the intended powerpoint presentation!
The choice on the supermarket shelf was extraordinary considering this was a pretty average store and not a specialist computer place. Here, the smallest memory sticks were 2Gb, priced at around the £7 mark. 4Gb seemed to cost not that much more - £9 or £10 say. Then of course, the 8Gb were not that much more again. I hovered for a while, mulling over whether to see what was available online and then I saw it.
Or rather, I saw an enormous box with hardly anything inside, but that little tiny thing was a jolly colour. Yes, you see what captures my attention...
I wanted it.
Yes, of course I bought it!
Those two square centimetres of purple plastic contain 8Gb of storage and though it wasn't quite what I was intending to buy, I could think of plenty of uses for it. Above all, I couldn't wait to try it when I got home, for I couldn't quite believe that it would slot into a USB port as claimed.
That's when I realised that technology is moving ahead faster than I realise. For this little bit of plastic doesn't just provide me with storage for my photos, a few tracks of music and a bit of entertainment to take on holiday with us. When I plugged it in, it opens up all kinds of possiblities because it comes with some software for saving passwords and doing other clever things. For the first time in a while, I am a little bewildered by something new. I find myself looking at the incredibly long list of options and so, for the time being, I'm sitting looking at it, wondering how to set it up and how it could change the way I work on baby laptop when we're away from home. I'll admit to a slight (and surely passing) urge to stay the same, to reject the bewildering range of choices, to run away from something new. What's more, I know that before I turn around, these too will be old hat...
I very nearly said "Whatever will they think of next?"
But I didn't!