Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Amusement-lover that I am, I am having the time of my life playing with my new Droid® phone, downloading applications that we all need for everyday life: a Stewie sound board, daily Calvin and Hobbes cartoons, a bubble level (handy for those whose bubbles are not...quite...level...)

But one of the nicer features is the voice identifier for messages. The keys on this dude are a little teeny for my non-teeny fingers, which tend to hit about three of them at a time, resulting in all sorts of hilarious misspellings. ("Peggy," for example, looked like "PEREGGGGY" the first time I tried.

But wait, there's more! Modern technology took guys like me into account and developed the voice-dialing technology. It's so simple! Why fumble with tiny buttons and keys, when I can just hit the picture of a microphone and speak into the phone? That way, I say, "Peggy" and the phone sort of nods to me in agreement and says "Dialing Pizza John's." So I hit the hangup picture, and say, with the exaggerated slowness that I used to use telling people the difference between a bike rack and a tightrope (don't walk on either of them!) "Peggy Cell Phone" and I can just hear the little person inside the phone saying "Ahhhhh! Gotcha! Dialing Parris Castoro Eye Surgery!"

Another talk-to-me feature is the GPS direction-giver. No matter where I am going, it always wants to get me on an interstate. I guess that way, the voice inside my phone will be closer to its brothers and sisters on the superslabs as we zoom along. But like when we were heading to Trader Joe's the other night, and I turned this feature on just to play with it, the phone told to get on the Beltway I-695 and proceed west. I kept going west, but on a regular road. Two blocks later, the voice was back, in kind of a sing-song delivery, telling me that I should have turned left and now was another chance to turn left and get on the Beltway. I stayed my course, and then got that resigned tone, as if to say, well, if you must stay on this road, drive WEST another three miles...

Man vs. technology. I can't wait to see who wins!

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