In the run up to the festive season, I needed a gift idea. Tech oriented, of course. A little something for me.
These things shouldn’t be taken lightly and I gave it some serious thought.
iPod? Got one.
Xbox 360? Have not got the time.
3G phone? Don’t really need one (although they all say that don’t they before getting hooked on video calling!).
Fifty-inch, widescreen plasma television? Can’t afford one.
A session with a clairvoyant – to determine the next big tech stock on which to make a quick killing? Don’t believe in them (clairvoyants not quick killings on tech stocks, naturally).
Ten megapixel digital camera? Nope.
Hard drive handycam? Er, nope.
Espresso machine …
Clearly, this was going to be harder than I’d first thought. Then it struck me. I hadn’t got any for quite some time. Certainly six months of going without. Possibly nine. It could have been much, much longer than that even, I hadn’t really been counting. I’m too old for that sort of thing.
Enough was enough I thought, so I made a little wish to Santa … and early Christmas morning, my wish came true.
I had a smile on my face all day, and still do … every time I look at the corner of my desk.
Yes, I know what you thought but, you see, I’d had this old phone/answerphone/fax machine all-in-one threesome for about a decade. At the time I’d bought it, this baby was cutting edge – no cassette tape and plain paper capability, too. True, it was a bit of behemoth by today’s standards and took up a decent amount of desk space, but I could live with that. Size didn’t matter and, mostly, the thing had done me proud.
Over the years, however, life has obviously changed – email, text, VoIP, faxing without fax machines were no longer mere twinkles.
I loved the old girl, don’t get me wrong. But like most things of a certain age, she’d started to give me a bit of trouble. The message system was a bit crackly. Actually, more than a bit. I could barely hear some messages. The strut holding up the paper had broke a year or so back, so all my faxes had a sag in them.
Did I say all?
If truth be told, the biggest reason of all for saying adieu was faxes or the distinct lack of them. I don’t know about you but they’re not a common sight on my desk any more. And, quite frankly, give me a PDF or Word file or a .pps or an Excel spreadsheet any day.
Faxes. Bah humbug. From now on, if someone wanted to send me something on paper they could scan it and email it.
So, I’ve now got about two square feet of extra room on my desk for the ever ready overflow of assorted piles of disks, brochures, the latest copy of Reseller News, magazine and newspaper clippings, coffee cups, pens, paper clips and, oh yes, a rather snazzy little answer machine and cordless combo courtesy of the big guy in the red suit. Sleek silver finish. Digital answering system. Polyphonic ringtones. Caller ID. The works. And even a husky-voiced English lass telling me when I’ve switch it on and off.
There I was on my first day back at work, staring admiringly at this new addition to my office armoury when the heavens smiled on me and it rang.
“Hi Greg, ‘Happy New Year’. Blah, blah, blah – can I send you a fax?”