I used to think Amazon Prime was a brilliant idea: Under £50 a year for free shipping and a bit of preferential treatment. Then it went up to £79 and, in recompense, I was given "Prime Instant Video", which I didn't want, and the ability of borrow Kindle books, which I don't use. Trouble is, Amazon doesn't believe I don't need these goodies and persists in assuming that because I don't use them I don't know about them. Mad old me.
These days I seldom use the landline phone at my home and, perhaps in sympathy, it seldom rings to disturb my peace and quiet. Twenty years ago I had persuaded myself I needed four lines: Two for voice, one for the fax machine (what's that?) and one for the dial-up modem. This was the last word in modernity in 1995. It turned out to be the apogee of the landline and it has been downhill ever since.
Last weekend the elderly Denon speaker system that has boosting the weedy sound of my television for the past eight years finally gave up the ghost. I had been meaning to replace it for some time but was stalled because of laziness and a lack of knowledge of what to replace it with. Apart from other considerations, the Denon's age meant that it lacked HDMI ports and the ability to work seamlessly with modern smart TVs.
My 24in Apple Cinema Display is well past its sell-by date. It soldiers on, with no Thunderbolt port and old-fashioned USB 2 connectors, but I have long wanted to upgrade. The arrival of the 5K iMac looks like a good starting point for the development of a really scintillating 5K display to go with the new Mac Pro and with the range of Apple laptops. But, for very good technical reasons, such an external display is a long way away.
Three years ago an article on digital wills on Macfilos created a lot of interest. As more and more of our life is entrusted to the internet and to helpful applications, sorting out the mess is an increasing challenge for executors. I constantly recommend entrusting passwords and sensitive information to 1Password, a superb application that synchronises across all your devices and is ready at a moment's notice to remember stuff you have long forgotten. The general idea is that 1Password remembers everything, you need remember only the one password. This is a difficult and unique sequence that you do not use anywhere else, particularly not on the internet.
Predictions of the future, especially of the near future, in science fiction are often ridiculously inaccurate, but it is still fascinating to see how our ancestors imagined life today. In some cases there is a rare degree of accuracy. But all too often they attempted to predict the future while assuming aspects such as dress and fashion would remain the same.