Friday, June 16, 2006

Welllllcommmmme To The Fuuuuuuturrrrre!!!!!

This morning finally culminated the painfully long process of buying a new computer: ten minutes of research, a week to get used to the concept of spending $1500 on something I already own two of, and two weeks negotiating a deal with Apple. I'm not particularly happy about the MacBook, or Apple in general, but I wanted a mainstream computer with a UNIX back-end, so there wasn't a lot of choice. But now that I've got a Mac, I'll be greping and linting and chmoding all day and night. Total dream come true.

I'm embarrassed to say that what sold me on the laptop was the thing's built-in microphone and camera and the prospect of telephony and video-conferencing. I got the computer home and started up iChat, and I've never been more disappointed in my life to see none of my friends online. I got a new toy! I want to show off! Me demand attention! It took for-freaking-ever, but someone finally came online, and I started the voice chat, and I was totally giddy. Remember how when you first got a cell phone six-hundred years ago and the very first thing you had to do with it was call a friend and be like, "Hey, guess where I'm calling from? Yeah, that's right, MY CAR!!!! Can you believe all these new-fangled gizmos they have these days! What'll they come up with next?!" It was that same feeling — "Look Ma, no phone!" ...until, of course, I realized that this is exactly what a phone does, except it's restricted to people on the Jabber protocol, and who are on my buddy list, and who are online, which is usually no one. So, it's exactly like a cell phone when you're in a tunnel or elevator, or it's exactly like a regular phone when there's a psychotic killer stalking you in your secluded house and trying to prevent you from getting help. Very useful technology.

I haven't gotten a chance to try out the video chat yet, but I seem to be anticipating the event: by this time, I've usually debased myself to plodding around my room in my underpants — but not tonight. Tonight, I still have my shirt on and I'm constantly combing my hair, just in case my big moment comes. Ridiculous. This is going to be our entire future though, and not just because the government's right now making a deal with GE to install cameras in every light bulb in your house: some asshole will drunk dial you on the holo-phone at three in the morning and then laugh at your bed-head, and we'll pretty much all be wearing a "Please Pardon My Appearance" sign on our foreheads.