The great thing about the new technology is that it can give you much-needed information almost instantly – on hotels, flights, baroque artists, routes, timetables, the weather, recipes, music festivals, cats’ (and humans’) medical complaints, mountain paths – you name it, it’ll be there on the net somewhere (although accuracy cannot always be vouchsafed for!) Furthermore, socially, it is a valuable aid in helping to keep in touch with friends and relatives (or avoiding meeting them, as the case might be!)
Yet, in the dim and distant past (actually less than twenty years ago) there was a pre-internet and social network era when we obtained our information via phone calls, letters, postcards, sending S.A.E’s (stamped addressed envelopes) or even meeting and talking to people face-to-face!
I remain astonished that one of our most successful and exhilarating journeys – that through Eastern Europe and the former Soviet satellite states, shortly after the Iron curtain had fallen, on our vintage Morris Traveller car (still with us and still without the smell of a microchip about it) – was accomplished without any of the communication methods we now take for granted – laptops, smart phones,GPS and all the rest of the caboodle. Our planning was from day-to-day – we never knew where we were going to spend the night, we never knew where we would eat, we never knew if places (or even borders) were open or closed and we were happy nonetheless.
There can be a surfeit of planning – here I am checking out our summer holiday itinerary and wading through trip-advisor, Google earth and so forth. At this rate I’ll probably spend more time on the web that actually enjoying our holidays!
There is an endearing innocence in this selection of photos of our all-British-made car from that memorable trip of 1991. See if you can spot some of the countries we travelled through (hint: we ended up on the Anatolian plateau).
To come back to the present. Buying a new IT gadget may just simply mean that you’ve bought another thing to go wrong! If it does do that then I suggest a local shop in Fornoli, “PC Start”, run by Maurizio. (Details:
Pc Start Di Canelli Maurizio
Assistenza E Vendita Informatica
V. Papa Giovanni Xxiii – Fornoli, 27
55021 Bagni Di Lucca
Tel.: (+39) 058386484)
The young man took over from the redoubtable Gino a couple of years ago and he is just as reliable. I didn’t think that his shop would extend to telephony but the other day I went there to enquire about accessories for my new smart-phone and Maurizio was able to supply me with an increased external memory and a USB cable to up/download my phone data and install them without any problems.
Of course, with mainstream computing (if there will be such a thing for much longer – we’ll soon be going around with combined mobile-camera-iPod-pc-torch and shaver to boot, the size of a credit card) Maurizio can assist also with setting up a Wi-Fi network, routers etc. quite apart from selling a range of I-pads, laptops and so on. And for accessories, PC start can supply you with that maddeningly frustrating item – the ink cartridge both in original and equivalent cheap variety.
But the best thing is that Maurizio is actually willing to talk and advise you if you are not sure about your IT project requirements and, furthermore, will also make calls to sort out any mess you’ve got yourself into as a result of your-own-hands-on experience (not happened to me yet, glad to note).
Long live local shops I say.