I thought of my friend Jack Yan next. Specifically, I recall a conversation we had– something about PDAs and use of mobile devices for organizing calendar information. He said something about using a paper desk calendar being the easiest and best solution for him. (Jack: you’re welcome to clarify in the comments if memory doesn’t serve me well; I am paraphrasing our Tweets as well.) Of course, I would say Jack has a properly analytical mind; since he understands the algorithm of the Gregorian calendar, he sometimes uses old calendars, even if the year isn’t current, because the calendar nevertheless matches.
When we were discussing this, if I remember right, my wife Cimmorene was using a Palm T|X PDA, and I was using gnome-pilot to synchronize her data to my box running Ubuntu. I’ve said it here before, that I am a client-side kind of guy, but when she moved to a tablet device, it seemed easiest to move to Google Calendar, and that’s what we’re using now. Yet, we still have paper calendars about the house, and we decided to put a desk calendar on the hallway that leads to the bedrooms, that is, we chose a large paper calendar that everyone would see and use at their leisure. It is indeed used often, sometimes for things we don’t record digitally.
For a time, I experimented with calendars on dry-erase surfaces. That didn’t remain a lasting solution, but, we regularly use dry-erase boards to note locations of family members, to track household tasks, and sometimes for shopping lists. I confess to using paper notepads for shopping, although Cimmy found a good app to do the same thing. I could never profess to be a futurist– I refuse to declare that print is dead (although I notice some of my favorite periodicals in print are thinner than they used to be), and I just enjoy some analog solutions. I rarely carry a cell phone around, and since I grew weary of wristwatches years ago, I gratefully accepted a gift of a pocketwatch from my in-laws last Christmas.
I am also one that believes bringing mobile computing devices camping or hiking is sacrilege. To be more precise, I wouldn’t begrudge others that option if they so choose, but, that’s not my choice. Doing such activities, for me, is leaving a certain amount of technology behind to better commune with nature and my natural self. I’ll come back to it, eventually, but– well, I need some introspection sometimes as an introvert, and much of the technology comes with enough noise that I need a break from it now and then.
On a different note, but coming back to xkcd #1495, I would conclude that sometimes, fixes, repairs, and the like can be more intuitive. I’m not a fan of jury-rig solutions, but, sometimes, it works out for the best.
No matter how technical I get, I’ll never shake my creative roots. I am just grateful that technology allows me to be more precise with such creative expressions.