My Corner, Your Corner: Goodbye Thanksgiving; hello technology gifts

My Corner, - Your Corner - Tony Callaio

In the blink of an eye, Thanksgiving is done and over with for another year.

The madness of Christmas and Chanukah shopping has begun.

Black Friday probably made a lot of merchants happy as well as those lucky shoppers who got out early to grab bargains. Hopefully, Small Business Saturday made a lot of locally owned mom and pop store owners pleased, as well.

Next up is Cyber Monday, a phenomenon that began a few years ago with the advent of shopping online. Who knew 20 years ago that shopping via the computer would even be a thing?

When the computer became a staple in offices, the only thing you could do was number crunch and type letters.

When Apple came around in the mid-80s, the computer was used for graphics work.

Eventually a start-up company called Prodigy began selling online subscriptions so consumers could read the latest news and communicate with each other. America Online soon followed and the floodgates opened.

How many remember dial up? Not only would it be nearly impossible to connect with technology back then, but also once you did, you’d tie up your phone lines for hours.

Over the last 20 years, computers have become the mainstay of just about every society in the world. Even cell phones aren’t just cell phones anymore; they’re one of the most sophisticated pieces of electronics ever devised.

Some days I miss the old flip phone. In fact, at the time they came out, I thought they were the coolest thing ever invented — it was so Star-Trek like. It almost replicated Capt. Kirk’s communicator. The only thing missing were the sound effects: “Kirk to Enterprise. Scotty, get us out of here!”

We rely on the cell phone for just about everything. I use mine for work purposes that include getting assignments through texting and accessing my email.

I get caught up in social media. Thankfully, I just check in here and there rather then spend hours on it.

If not for keeping up with work and email, I’d love to go back to the flip phone. There was something about it that I liked; it was small enough to fit in my front pocket.

Speaking of technology, after seven years or so, my iMac computer may be a thing of the past. The screen is flickering, sometimes it freezes upon starting, sometimes it locks up and then there’s the spinning pinwheel or the rotating hourglass.

This holiday season already has seen some drops in pricing for a replacement and, for Apple, it seems the Christmas season is about the only time you may see one of those bad boys go on sale.

Since iMac had a major update this fall, the last version might be a bargain. Now to only find out when and where I could get that bargain.

I’m scouring the computer daily to see what’s out there. I’ve been using a 27” screen so do I want to save even more money by going down to the 21” model?

The other items supposed to be hot this holiday shopping season are 4K TVs.

In the past, the 4K was the next big thing but broadcasters didn’t get the memo. They have been lagging behind big time and the only way to access most 4K content is through a subscription with Netflix.

DIRECTV has only two or three channels dedicated to 4K. When I was a subscriber, they would broadcast a professional sporting event that usually looked fantastic.

I recall a year ago, DIRECTV predicted by the end of 2017, it would have as many as 20 4K channels. Wrong!

Comcast is no closer to broadcasting 4K than it was last year. Has the manufacturing industry been pushing 4K TVs? Beats me.

The new 4K TVs are the OLED, QLED and XLED TVs. If you thought 4K was a sharp picture, those three mentioned are amazing with darker darks and whiter whites and extremely sharp pictures.

It seems the public is going for larger and larger TVs and you may see 65” TVs in many homes today. Bigger is better, isn’t that the saying? Just like the computer screen dilemma I’m having, I’d rather a larger TV screen.

The next four weeks will be crazy for sure as we all prepare to spend a large amount of money to purchase that perfect gift.

Quote of the week

“I have witnessed the softening of the hardest of hearts by a simple smile.” – Goldie Hawn, American actress

Thought of the week

“We must not only give what we have; we must also give what we are.” – Desire-Joseph Mercier, Belgian cardinal

Bumper sticker

“All change is not growthm as all movement is not forward.” – Ellen Glasgow, American novelist

My Corner,

Your Corner

Tony Callaio