Thursday, May 03, 2012

Tech Junkie

Have I ever discussed my addiction to all things electronic?  I don't think I have.  It's an expensive hobby, much to the chagrin of my husband.  I absolutely love tech gadgets.  I can't really afford to have everything I want (but really, who can afford it these days), but I get things a little at a time.

I've always loved computers. I remember getting a Commodore 64 for Christmas.  Remember this?  It wasn't good for much.  I just used it to play games.  My favorite game was called "Bucks."  It was kind of like the game of Life.  You would be given a question and based on your answer, an outcome would be given.  You would either make money or lose money.   

I remember playing games on the Apple II in junior high. It was a much better computer.  We played a game called Oregon Trail in computer lab.  This was another game where you would be given a situation and based on your response, an outcome would be given.  The goal of the game was to get your family across the country and a horse-drawn wagon.  Sometimes people in your family would die based on your decisions.  It was definitely an interesting game.  I always looked forward to the days we got to go to the computer lab.
In 1993 after I graduated high school, I got my first full-time job working at Walmart.  I bought my first CD player using my 10% employee discount.  It had dual cassette players and a CD player.  I remember my first CDs purchased were Janet Jackson's "janet" and Prince's "The Hits."  I still have those CDs and enjoy listening to them.

When I first started college in 1994, I bought a Brother Word Processor.  It was mostly a pain to use because you could only see about 3 or 4 lines at a time.  However, it did let you type the whole document before you print it.  It was much better than trying to write a paper on a typewriter.
Before too long, my Dad bought a Packard Bell computer.  It had a Pentium Processor and a 1 Gigabyte hard drive.  I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  This computer opened up a whole new world to me.  I discovered the Internet and AOL and a whole new life began for me.  I met my husband on AOL and moved from Kentucky to Arizona.  (See this post for the story:

While I was living in Arizona, my husband and I didn't really have much money, so I didn't acquire any new gadgets.  We moved back to Kentucky in 1999.  After he and I started working full-time, I started getting new gadgets again.

In 2000, we got a Philips Surround Sound system for Christmas.  My husband and I both really enjoy movies, so this was a great new addition for us.  Around that same time I started really getting into expressing myself artistically.  I started with acrylic painting.  I do okay as a copycat, but I don't have any real natural talent for painting.  I liked taking photos and I really wanted a digital camera.  They were really just starting to hit the retail market.

My husband got me a Sony Mavica for either my birthday or Christmas, I don't remember which.  It used a 3.5" floppy diskette to store the photographs.  I bought lots of floppy diskettes.  The photo quality was okay if you wanted to print 4x6 photos, but anything larger than that, the quality was pretty bad.  I believe this was a $499 camera at the time.

I decided I wanted an SLR film camera, so my husband bought me a Nikon N65.  I still have this camera, but I haven't used it in a few years.  It's just too expensive to get film developed anymore.

I really wanted a better digital camera, so my husband bought me a Kodak Easyshare camera for my birthday.  It got a whole lot of use too.  This one used an SD Card, so it was a lot easier to store photos.  After a while, though, I wanted a better camera.  I realized that photography was becoming not only my passion, but my obsession.

So, my husband bought me a Nikon D40 digital SLR camera for my birthday.  I was outrageously excited!  Everywhere I went, especially anywhere outdoors, I had this camera around my neck.  I took thousands of photos with this camera. 

I couldn't carry my D40 around with me 24-7 because it was too bulky to put in my purse.  I really wanted a decent digital camera to carry around in my purse.  So, for my birthday in 2009, my Mom & Dad bought me a Nikon Coolpix camera.  I was totally excited to have a camera with me 24/7.  In September 2009, my purse got stolen at Walmart.  The thief spent thousands of dollars on my debit and credit cards, stole my ID, my keys, and my NEW CAMERA!  I was able to resolve the thefts on my credit and debit cards, get a replacement ID, and get my keys replaced fairly easily, but I was really upset about the loss of my birthday gift.  My husband saw my distress and bought me a replacement Nikon Coolpix camera.  He's such a sweet guy!

We were about 2 weeks from going on vacation in in February 2010.  I was at a baby shower taking photos with my Nikon D40 and I noticed that my auto focus wasn't working properly.  I had a service contract on the D40 through Best Buy.  Best Buy said it would take 4 weeks to get it repaired.  I nearly had a meltdown.  There was NO WAY I would ever go on vacation without my camera, but not having an auto focus made it difficult to take photos of wildlife.  There is lots of wildlife in Arizona (where we were going) and it hurt to imagine all of the photo opportunities I could possibly miss if I didn't have auto focus.  My wonderful husband, seeing my distress, took drastic measures....

I had been daydreaming about the Nikon D90 since it came out, but we couldn't really afford it.  The list price was $1299.  My husband took me to Best Buy to drop off my D40 for repairs, and while we were there, he bought me a D90!  I took about 2000 photos while on vacation in Arizona with my new camera.  I still have this camera and use it constantly.  Of course I'm always looking for the next bigger and better camera, but it can wait.

My best friend's husband had gotten an XBox 360 for Christmas in 2009.  I had played it a couple of times and I really enjoyed playing it.  So, for my birthday in 2010, my husband bought me an XBox 360.  I really enjoy playing military games like Call of Duty and Battlefield.  I usually play for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoons.  I think my husband plays more often than me.  He enjoys my birthday gift more than I do, I think.

In December 2010, we noticed that our old 31" television was starting to make this high-pitched squealing noise after it had been on for a couple of hours.  It was literally giving me a headache to try and watch TV.  My husband and I said we wouldn't upgrade to a new flat screen until our old TV stopped working.  Although it hadn't stopped working completely, the squealing noise was enough to aggravate us both into getting a new TV.  So, we bought a Sony Bravia 46" LCD TV.  I entered the world of HD TV and then scolded myself for waiting so long to upgrade.  The picture quality is AMAZING!  When we initially tried to hook-up our TV to our old surround sound (circa 2000), we quickly found a problem.  Our old home theater system has no HDMI inputs or outputs.  It's old school, so to speak.  We knew we were going to have to get a new home theater system. 

Best Buy had a Sony Blu Ray home theater system on sale.  It was in December, so it was close to Christmas.  This wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be.  And after buying a couple of HDMI cables, our new TV was connected to our digital cable, our Sony Blu Ray, and our XBox 360.  I was in Heaven!

I'm an avid reader.  When I first learned to read in elementary school, I would take home our readers that contained lots of stories and read the whole book in the course of a weekend.  As I got older, my reading obsession increased.  I had a teen book club membership and every month I would get a shipment of 10 new novels.  I would have all 10 read in a week or so, and then I would wait impatiently for the next shipment the following month.  I've always read books on my lunch break at work.  Every month I would buy 5-6 books at the flea market and read them in 1-hour increments at work.  I was laid-off from work in November 2009 until November 2010.  During that time, I was averaging 3-5 books per week.  My library card got a lot of use.  In the last couple of years, eReaders have become all the rage.  I liked the idea of an eReader, but I was also very fond of the feel of a book in my hands.  However, when I saw a TV ad for the Kindle Fire, I knew I wanted one.  Not only was it an eReader, but it is also like a tablet.  So, for Christmas in 2011, my husband bought me a Kindle Fire.  It has been my constant companion ever since. 

I've always wanted an iPhone.  As soon as I saw the ad for one, I had phone envy.  When they first arrived on the market, I definitely couldn't afford one.  In 2010, we renewed our cell phone contract.  I still only had mobile calling and text coverage.  I couldn't afford the data plan at the time since I was laid-off from work.  In February 2012, my contract expired and I saw my big opportunity!  So, I bought an iPhone 4S - 32GB.  Siri is my friend!  I think my husband has as much fun as I do asking Siri stupid questions to see how she will answer.  The smart folks at apple have programmed in some pretty funny responses.  Check out this link to some of Siri's funny responses to questions:

I have so many wonderful and cool tech items.  I feel so very blessed to have them.  I never take for granted the blessings in my life.  I feel very blessed that I was able to save the money needed to purchase these things. 

So, next week is my birthday.  My husband was asking me what my next electronic obsession would be, and to be honest, I'm not sure.  Does anyone have a suggestion?


  1. Our first computer was also a Commodore 64 with a television as the monitor! Did you play "Lemonade Stand" and "Trails West?" We moved up through the Apples just like you did. In fact, I would love to have the keyboard from the Apple 2C (or maybe 2E, I can't remember) on my laptop.

    I'm thinking apps and downloads for your iPhone and a gift card to Amazon for your Kindle Fire downloads might make a great birthday gift.

    I'll eat a piece of chocolate cake in honor of your birthday. Have a very happy one.

    1. I don't think I ever played "Lemonade Stand", but "Trails West" sounds very similar to "Oregon Trail."

      I'm thinking that I might have my husband take me to Best Buy and look around. Maybe I'll discover some new gadget. =)