Mobile tech makes my father’s weekend


51fp1bcrnbl_ss260_Every time my father comes over, he makes a comment about the outdoor fire-pit that we have on our deck. He yearns for this fire-pit like it’s the best thing since Mac OS X on a touchscreen UMPC. Seriously. I was at his home over the weekend with nary a fire-pit in sight and still he makes a comment about wanting to get one. What’s a good son to do? Offer to hit Target’s website and order the darn thing, of course. Only one problem: Dad’s computer isn’t hooked up so he canceled his lowly dial-up service. Don’t worry: we’re working on the PC and getting him FiOS on my next visit. One problem at a time for those stuck in the “Analog Age” …All I had with me was my iPhone because I had planned this to be an “unplugged” weekend: no computers or web work as Barb and I had a free weekend without the kids and we need get cracking on the details for our wedding. So I pulled out my iPhone and told my Dad that we’ll get the fire-pit ordered. He couldn’t believe that I could navigate to Target, create a new account, enter credit card info, and order the fire-pit from a phone as quickly as I did. (Wait until he sees he can track the package progress via the UPS link I just sent him!) Now most of you won’t be surprised by what I did, but I always find it enlightening when those new to mobile tech have an “a-ha!” or “OMG!” moment in situations like this. Got a recent experience where your mobile tech wowed someone for the first time? Share it in the comments so my Dad doesn’t feel like he’s the only one left living under a rock.


hmm, how do one id a plant using google? did i miss some king of beta service, like say google plants?


It took years for my mother to get it when I’d show her something on one or another Palm or tablet, only with wifi, nothing extraordinary, from the web. I’d show her the answer to a question, like the location or hours of a store or whatever, and she’d follow up with, “Uh-huh, I see, but can you look it up when you get home?” as though what I’d just done was make-believe, like a picture I’d stored to demonstrate what a computer can do, not what it just did.


A few weeks ago I was at a bar-b-q with a group of 16 to 50 year olds when a discussion took place about an unidentified plant in the yard.
While they were discussing it, I Googled it with my ATT Tilt/WM6 and had the answer, together with a picture of the plant, within less than one minute. All of them were impressed with the ease and speed of use – and that’s how I came to lose possession of my Tilt for the next hour or so! Grrr ;-0

Philip Ferris

For a first time wow I guess would be last week when I was approached in London and asked if I knew where the American Embassy was. I had to admit I didn’t and off the group went trying to puzzled out from some sort of street map. Meanwhile, I flipped open my N95, Googled it and caught them up and read out the location. Job done.

Greg C

For a long time, my wife (a very analog creature) looked down on my Palm Treo as an expensive toy. One day we were at lunch and were talking about our plans for having some friends over for dinner. She wanted to stop at the store on the way home and get what we needed to fix dinner, but we couldn’t remember everything we needed. I have Avvenu running on the PC where our recipe files are stored, so I pulled out the Treo, connected to Avvenu on the browser and logged into my home PC. I did a Google desktop search for the recipes, downloaded them to the Treo and put together the necessary grocery list, and sent an SMS message with it to her phone. While she wouldn’t admit it, she was suitably impressed and now when she’s curious about something, she asks “can you look that up on your ‘brain'”?

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