Am I not keeping up with technology or am I just old fashioned

Submitted: Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 21:38
ThreadID: 14137 Views:2399 Replies:15 FollowUps:9
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Hey folks

A question that has been puzzling me lately. I have noticed in past forum threads that a lot more people are taking laptop computers and a lot of other electronic gizmos for entertainment on their trips.

My question is WHY?

I was always under the impression that when one went away on long trips,(or short ones for that matter) one did so to get back to the simple life and away from all the electronic wizardry and all the other rubbish that we have to put with in our daily lives.

Are we becoming so used to having these things around that we are forgetting how to use our imagination on long trips. Now, I must point out that I am single and do not have any kids to take away with me ( am I blessed or what) so from that point of view I am basically in the dark.

Now I can understand taking a GPS and a personal EPIRB for safety reasons but why a laptop computer. Whatever happened to the hand written journal. Why a DVD screen in the car to keep the kids amused? I 've always found that there is no substitute for a good imagination. Are we not leaning on all these things as some sort of a crutch and forgetting how to do and use the basic skills that I think we may be forgetting about.

I guess what I trying to get at is, are we relying too much on modern technology and all the other things that go along with it and forgetting how to have a good time with out it.

My Grandma and Grandpa did. Maybe that explains why there were such big families back in the old days.

One last thing
Don't get me wrong, I'm not bagging anyone in particular for doing this. I would just like a basic understanding of why we do this.

Please feel free to air your thoughts

Regards Merv
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Reply By: Lone Wolf - Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 21:43

Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 21:43

Good points.........

A lot of people are taking Laptops because they go hand in hand with digital cameras, allows you to do a lot more editing enroute. Also used to keep in touch via the net.

I guess it all comes down to toys......

All my camera's are 35 mm. SLR, but I use a Waeco Fridge, Solar Panel etc......

I'm not a ludite, just like old clunky bullet proof cameras, and cold pis


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Reply By: Rosco - Bris. - Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 22:06

Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 22:06
From my point of view you're spot on. I personally think it's a load of crap.

But then again that's only my opinion and I have the utmost respect for others and their way of life. If that's what they're into, good luck to them.

I recall as a youngster many happy days spent up the local bush hooking lobbies out of the creeks. But that's a no go now due to the number of low life creeps out there that steal the little ones.

However I still feel we don't need technology when we try to get away from it all.
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Reply By: Member Eric - Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 22:10

Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 22:10
Firstly , they are defenently words from someone withought kids lol

and to re cap what a wize man on this forum once said

AnswerID: 65147

Follow Up By: Member - Ray - Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 23:56

Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 23:56
My full quote is "life is a game, he who dies with the most toys wins the game"
(the navigator reckons it's 3/4 time and i'm 3 goals in front)
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Follow Up By: desray - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 00:25

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 00:25
He who dies with the most toys still dies,, cant take them with you
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Follow Up By: Member Eric - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 07:48

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 07:48
Thats exacly right Desray . You cant take your cash with you , so you may as well enjpy it .
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Follow Up By: Member Eric - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 07:48

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 07:48
Or should we die and leave our cash in the Bank ?
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Reply By: Rokkitt - Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 22:14

Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 22:14

I also remember the days of my Dad growling from the front seat - things like "shuttit" or "as long as a piece of string" as well as other obscenities that I won't repeat. I do not remember enjoying any car trips as a kid, I do not remember gazing at the scenery etc.... but I do remember the boredom that I suffered through.
I grew up in England as well so a long trip was considered 2hrs up the road, three hours was the other side of the country. We drove for five hours once every few years for a week at the seaside, so compared to my kids I hardly spent any time in the car - me and my wife drag our 6 and 8 year old along every few weeks for a trip which usually includes that huge 'get there' trip, then days of touring before the big leg home. Suppose it comes with enjoying travelling and having to work full time.
I guess I feel sorry for the kids and I am trying to make the whole experience as entertaining for them as it is for me and my wife (helps with the sanity too). Its like taking a plane trip - that's not so much fun hence all the in flight entertainment.
All this aside if it was just me and the wife or even just myself I would still be interested in having a small TV in the car. As I am a camper, as opposed to a caravanner (new word) it would be good to catch up with the news/weather or any other information services that are available including GPS, in car TFT/DVD etc.... the list is endless - I am in computing for a living but this is still confusing stuff.
Thinking of fitting a computer into the car though........

AnswerID: 65148

Follow Up By: Lone Wolf - Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 22:21

Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 22:21
I know this game they can play........

It's called let's say these car names backwards...................

Seriously though, when I was a kid, we had to do thousands of miles between Adelaide & Woomera regularly, and I never tired of it, ever.

My kids were the same when they were younger, always busy with the maps, working out where we were, etc.

A UHF is also good to pass away time, but now I'm getting into the toy thing.

Horses for courses.


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Reply By: Rokkitt - Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 22:24

Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 22:24
Another thing: when we arrive at any destination we are all busting to get out of the car and stretch our legs, the kid's take off and explore - so all this, particularily for the kids is 'in-car entertainment' simply for the travelling.
This also becomes an electricity issue as I carry a very limited amount once parked.

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Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 23:06

Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 23:06
Hi Swerv

Definetly words from one without kids!!!

I have a 4 & 6 year old and keeping them amused for hours on end is difficult. We do all the "I spy", sing alongs, colouring in etc... as well as the TV/video. You need a whole range of activities to keep them amused. A TV/video by itself is not enough, the whole range is required. Even with all the "toys" you still cannot go for more than ~2 hours without a ~1/2 break. Kids just cannot travel that far before they need to run around (plus the obligatory toilet stop).


AnswerID: 65162

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 00:34

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 00:34

A computer to me now is just one of the tools of the kit. I have had one or more around me in business for more than 21 years so why not in the ute telling me where I am or for typing my reports ot receiving my emails, or accessing my accounts. I do use it for backing up my pics too. I don't have a dvd connected or even the CDRom while travelling. Carry paper maps too though.

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Reply By: Willem - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 00:40

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 00:40
Geez Mate,

When I was a kid I would have given my eye teeth for the toys we have today.

Now, I might drive an old technology truck but it is enhanced with so much electronic gadgetry with wires running here and there. I play with my GPS and have it connected to my Notebook/DVD/CDRW with my 250K Topo Mosaic maps and others. Not that I need them but it is fun especially if you are looking for a faint track somewhere in the beyond. Then there is the Digi camera,the Mobile phone,the HF Radio and the Satphone and the inverter, and the Walkman, and the latest fridge, and the Rotronics Battery isolator, and a Kerio charger, and an electronic alarm system, and the aircompressor.................I think thats all :-)

All wonderful stuff....and when they stuff up it takes a day to figure it all out again. Keeps me amused for hours. And I still enjoy the rough tracks, the isolated areas, the scenic beauty and those campfires on the plains or on the banks of a billabong or creek.

But despite all my toys I think still I come second to Member Eric who must be the King of Toys :-(

AnswerID: 65174

Reply By: Wil - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 06:11

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 06:11
Hey guys

We still what to look at all the forum stuff...don't we?

AnswerID: 65182

Reply By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 07:17

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 07:17
We don't go away to get back to the simple life. We go away to have fun and taking our laptop, letting the kids watch DVD's in the car, having a GPS, sending emails over my mobile phone - it's all about fun.

To me, if you wanted to go back to the simple life, I guess that you would go and stay on a small orchard without electricity, running water, TV or phones and have six kids with you and try and feed and wash them all while trying to eek out an existence and avoid plagues. I don't think the simple life really involved getting in a car and driving or flying thousands of miles all over the country - I'll take the busy life anytime.

Also - it is not as if we get somewhere and set up camp and put a DVD on. As someone said, it is like inflight entertainment - it adds quality to the trip. And I can't see that a hand written journal is more virtuous than a typed one - or that an email is less virtuous than a postcard. Aaaaaaaaahhhh - who cares anyway!!

Or is a horse riding holiday better than a four wheel driving trip - or is bushwalking better and simpler than a horse riding trip. I know of bushwalkers who think we are mad for driving. Enough Andrew!!

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Reply By: Oz Trekker - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 07:19

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 07:19
G'day Merv,

You raise some good points and for a lot of years I scoffed at travellers who carried anything more than a swag & an esky, but I must admit that I have caught the techno bug in recent times.

There is a lot of gear that others carry that I haven't bothered with such as GPS & EPIRB, but I find a laptop invaluable as an amatuer astronomer. I also use it for editing digital images and to store vast ammounts of good info that would have been carried in book form in the BC (before computer) days.

I guess a laptop to me is a combination toy/tool which I use extensively when travelling. Yes, things have changed since I travelled around as a kid with my parents, but things would have changed from when they were kids also. I have seen photos of my grandparents on an outing with a horse & sulky - a far cry from the FJ Holden that my parents used and the latest kero stove & lantern at the time.

Move with the times Merv - the technology we enjoy today is fantastic.

AnswerID: 65185

Follow Up By: Member Eric - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 07:56

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 07:56
Oz Trekker ., I trhink you made a valed point , they never used them in the old days because they never had them . If laptops were around in the FJ days , we woould have had them . This also reminded me of a conversation I had as a child when we broke down in the XW . I said to mum , wouldnt it be great if we could have had a phone in the car to call for help , My mums reply , would be great but dont think there is a telephone wire in the world long enough .
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Reply By: Member - Andrew K (WA) - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 09:42

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 09:42
G'day Swerv

I remember the good old days, but the problem was the good old days were at hame and when I went camping.

At home now the kids have all the techno stuff and are just so used to using those things. When we go bush we do take some of the stuff and it does help to entertain, particularly in the car (bloody long drives to get anyware in WA).

I'm sure my Dad would have jumped at the chance for some in car entertainment.

When we arrive we always find that the open spaces of the bush, camp fires etc always wins the battle for the kids entertainment. But it's there to use as a tool, treat or calm/slow them down.

That's my experience
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Reply By: Coops (Pilbara) - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 12:24

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 12:24
I don't have kids yet but I can well imagine what a 20 plus hour drive from Port Hedland to Perth would be like with a few kids on board. I've done the trip several times myself already and can fully understand why friends have inbuilt DVD players etc. to keep their tribe occupied.
Watched a DVD out in middle of Great Sandy desret once and considered that to be a significant event. Wouldn't do it every time but enjoyed it all the same.
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Reply By: Utemad - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 12:55

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 12:55
Well I carry my GPS, mobile phone, UHF radio (in car and handheld), inverter, battery chargers, fridge, air compressor and digital camera every trip I take. Usually the laptop too but not always. I don't have any kids to entertain and my wife thinks I'm mad but she just doesn't understand! (except for the fridge, she LOVES that)

It is all about the toys. Sure I always carry paper maps as they are great to look at around the campsite etc but the laptop is great while on the move. I have watched one DVD on it while out camping but that was really just a 'because I can' thing. I also use the laptop for digital photo storage as I only have 554mb of card storage and a 5.1mp camera uses that up pretty fast.

I would also wonder what sort of vehicle Swerv drives as I doubt it is a horse!
Horses aren't native anyway so you should be walking but that's another story.

Unless it is I would hardly find that you go camping to get away from it all as when I go camping what gives the most trouble is my brothers Landcruiser. Not the techo stuff.

Anyway I wouldn't have it any other way :-)

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Follow Up By: Swerv - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 13:08

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 13:08
Gidday utemad

Had to reply

No I don't ride a horse, every horse I've ever been riding on has always tried to bite me. No I'll settle for my trusty Mazda Bravo Trayback. She gets treated like a packhorse sometimes. Like I said I try to do it as simply as possible. Pack the tarp,the esky,the swag, the tucker and a few other essentials and away I go
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Follow Up By: Utemad - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 13:50

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 13:50
Well Swerv I don't ride a horse either....... but I do drive a Rodeo :-)

Hi Ho Silver awaaaaaaaaayyyy!!!

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Reply By: Mrs Diamond - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 20:29

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 20:29
typical trip melb to brissy.
in the car 2 mins were bored(kids)
shut up and stop whinging (me)
can we watch a dvd(kids)
yes (me)
24 hours later are we there already(kids)
great start to holliday.(every one 4 kids me and wife)
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Follow Up By: Swerv - Sunday, Jun 27, 2004 at 20:59

Sunday, Jun 27, 2004 at 20:59
I can't argue with that....LOL :-)
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