Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The PhD Launch Pad

Living in the IT-hub called Seattle and hanging out with a bunch of techie geeks, I listened with yawning boredom to all the tech talks, the heated discussions about if an Ipad is better than an Ipod, an Ipod is better than the Droid phone, and so on. I was surrounded by gadget maniacs, people who lived, loved, and were wedded to gadgets. I have known friends who window shopped at the apple store for hours, or booked iphones even before they were launched. 2G led to 3G and then 4G. I don’t really get much of it, and learning new technology sure does scare me. I like to keep the things in life simple. I used my phone set, a simple one that can be used solely to talk, for four years till it’s parts were threatening to come apart, thanks to excess usage and baby Kalyani fiddling with it whenever she could lay her tiny hands on it. Last week G forced me to get a new phone, a free upgrade that I had resisted for so long. It’s a simple phone, again used solely for conversation, but just the thought of learning how to use a new device scared me. It took me days to figure out how to control volume or put it in the silent mode, how to send messages without sending it to the wrong person, and how to set the alarm clock so that I wake up on time. You get the point I hope.

My advisor is a gadget crazy person. Like I’ve noticed with most men, his eyes light up with childlike excitement whenever he talks about those cool machines he ordered and the glamorous phones and computers he uses. I am yet to see the cool machine he has that tracks eye ball movements as one gets into deep thinking. In one of those states of deep thought, he finally blurted out, “I need you to get an ipad.”

I didn’t think I heard him right. Who needs an ipad for research? He said he needs to keep in touch with me even when I am traveling. I tried assuring him such a situation wouldn’t arise as I wouldn’t travel if there was work. I mean it takes me hours to figure how a simple mp3 player works. I thought ipads are toys for the rich and spoilt CS people. I left it at that.

The next day he asked me again if I had given it a thought. What was there to think? I didn’t want an ipad, or any gadget. Why couldn’t he get me a gift card from Barnes & Noble? Or take me to his next conference where I could see a new place? But then, words of wisdom came from a senior who I asked if there was any need for me to have an ipad.

“Take it as a gift from a person who loves technology and leave it at that. It’s much simpler that way.”

So dear friends, I’ll soon be a proud owner of a 64 GB ipad 3G. I don’t know what those words mean, I just googled the name. Like I told a friends, “I usually have an apple in my bag just in case I get hungry…... now I'll have 2 in my bag :)"

How times change. 4 years ago, my school gave me a flash drive as a gift. It had thrilled me beyond everything. The world has come a long way from giving away flash drives to ipads.

How much I learn to use it is yet to be seen though.

sunshine

7 comments:

Shashi said...

I go with you totally. Sometimes I wonder why should I buy an electronic device that will be outdated in the next 1 year.

So, I have stuck to my 'outdated' mobile for the past 5 years. The only thing that I use it for apart from talking is to take pictures. Once outdated, always outdated. It doesn't matter how long its been.

rt said...

Wow!! u r getting an iPad as a gift!!! how cool is that...
the best use- read e-books on that ;)

alpine path said...

Ha ha! that's a great way to start PhD!! Have fun!! :)

alpine path said...

Ha ha! that's a great way to start PhD!! Have fun!! :)

alpine path said...

Ha ha! that's a great way to start PhD!! Have fun!! :)

Anonymous said...

Every PhD should have such adviser... get one IIT guy around and he will teach you how to use it (just kidding)...

Raam Pyari said...

ipad is going to be super duper cool!!!