While we were making the five-plus-hour trek to Palm Springs (that’s five hours each way, in one day) to spend Thanksgiving with Peter’s family, I happened to notice something interesting. Three of the four people in the car had headphones/ear buds on. Peter was listening to his real estate classes on an MP3 player in preparation for taking his licensing test. I was pounding away on my Mac (sans earphones, but I had a pair in my bag). My daughter was listening to her CD player and singing along. And Calvin was watching Cars on the portable DVD player (courtesy of Grandma) while looking at the Black Friday toy ads.
Not sure what this says about us, but we have gadgets and we’re not afraid to use them to keep ourselves occupied on a long car ride. Beats singing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” or the Christian version that we sang on youth group outings “99 Bottles of Coke.”
But their is cool side of technology too. We took my laptop inside and Peter was able to share with his father a video from YouTube. It was a documentary on famous Hungarian soccer player, Ferenc Puskas. His dad was really impressed.
. . .
Two things I hate about using my computer in the car. One, the glare. I end up squinting because I can’t wear my sunglasses and see the screen. Also the screen is just plain hard to see anytime you use it outside (I have this same problem when I take it outside to work while the kids play). Sometimes, though, that’s a good thing. It keeps you typing away on your WIP without really looking at the words and editing.
The other annoying thing is the trackpad. When the car bounces, even slightly just from normal road stuff, my hand hits the trackpad and all of the sudden I’m typing in another document or a different part of the same documents. And because of the screen glare, I don’t always notice it right away. I can’t always figure out where the cursor is either.
When I had my PC laptop, I would get frustrated at night. The glare was gone, but I couldn’t see the black keyboard. So, when I got my Mac, I specifically got one with a lighted keyboard. That is very cool. Of course I have this odd bluish glow on my face that occasionally gets me strange looks from passing cars.
I still tend to be pretty productive in the car. I’ll never forget finishing my first novel just as we were approaching Phoenix on the way back from California. The scenery between Phoenix and Palm Springs is nothing special. I’m bored, so I might as well write, and I have no Internet connection to distract me. However, if I even get a broadband connection, that might change.