Whether upgrading a computer (CPUs, RAM, gigabytes, terabytes, etc.) or buying that fancy new TV (megahertz, 1080p or 1080i, HD, 3D, etc.), new gadgets can be both confusing and — considering the price tags on a lot these items — intimidating.
And the speed at which technologies improve — while impressive — doesn't always make things easier on the consumer. Not only must buyers deal with obsolescence (“You opened the box? Its obsolete.”), but at the rate technology changes and shifts it's quite easy to familiarize yourself with one aspect and completely miss another.
Smartphones, email, social networking and other innovations make it ever so much easier to stay in touch with distant loved ones, or just keep up with friends and family closer to home, but they also can be a headache — even the most in-the-know technophile has moments of frustration — especially when dealing with something new.
She's not alone. It's hard to keep up — I spend hours reading up on new tech, that's part of the job of writing this column every week. But not everyone writes a column on technology and gaming, or even has the luxury of spending that much time reading about what are essentially toys — toys that make our lives easier and more entertaining, but toys nonetheless.
During the next few weeks, this column and subsequent pieces in Smith's weekly Marquee section will feature some primers on just what all those numbers, letters and acronyms mean, as well as some handy tips on how to get the most out of all these toys — whether it's saving space by converting your physical music collection in to a mostly digital one, ensuring the safety and security of your home computer with regular maintenance and backups, or how to navigate in a digital age.
And if you've got your own question about how something works, or what and when you should upgrade a piece of technology, feel free to give me a shout.
You can submit suggestions or question on technology to firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me on Twitter at @TWebb_TMT.