THANKS to Christmas, I could open my own gadget shop. But I am also suffering from a lack of sleep, what with all these flashing battery chargers. Red, amber and green. I awake to a plethora of the fully-charged necessities of the modern age.
I have three new additions to my family of electronics.
From my dad, I received a brand new Kindle Fire HD. From my fiance, I gained the new Samsung Google Chromebook. And my sister and brother-in-law saw fit to grant me an Echo Smartpen.
Bombarded with choice of hi-tech playthings, I was beside myself.
The Kindle Fire HD was first to be explored.
With the options of books, music, games, apps and your own documents, there is isn’t much found wanting from the new Amazon product.
For the most of last year, I had been carefully picking the cream of the crop of books and online entertainment. There is now enough on my Kindle to keep me occupied until I am at least 40.
The real test was finding the reading prerequisites for the second half of third year at university. With ease, grace and at a very low cost, every one of the books were found. I was able to find everything I needed without leaving the sofa.
After the Kindle Fire was examined and thoroughly showed off to family and friends, the next item on the agenda was the Google Chromebook laptop.
At first, I was nervous. Most of the apps and options need WiFi to work. However, I realised that nearly everywhere I frequent has access to the internet. The worry faded.
When setting up my account for the laptop, I was introduced to the inner workings. Step by step, I was taken through every aspect imaginable. How to use the mouse, how to store documents, how to store and play music, even how to download free apps onto your desktop.
I soon realised that the desktop has a very minimalistic standpoint. Not allowing for much that isn’t completely necessary, you save your own files into one of two folders: either in downloads or in Google Drive.
I believe that the laptop is up and running smoothly, although it took the best part of four days to transfer all my documents, pictures and music from my old prehistoric, hulking HP beast to the external hard drive, and finally onto the cloud that Google provide as a way to store files.
Basically now, if I ever need them again and I don’t have my laptop, I can sign onto any device that has the internet, enter my Google mail account and password and there will be all my files. From anywhere in the world. Amazing.
The next gadget was the Echo Smartpen.
When I helped it escape from the box, it had wonders to show me. The easy-to-follow instructions showed me what to do. The OLED screen on the front of the pen shone proudly once the correct language, time and date were set.
The pen is maybe one of the most unique presents I received this year. It was bought especially for uni and, more recently, for work placement.
The idea of the pen is that if I were to write something, anything, the pen would automatically save it into its memory – which holds up to 2GB – and the in-built USB would make it possible for me to have what I have written on paper as a word document on my computer.
I was blown away not only by the technology, but the fact my sister has actually listened to me throughout the year. And trust me, you’ll understand, if you have older siblings, that is little more than a miracle.
A Christmas miracle!
Lisa-Nicole Mitchell is a third-year BA in Journalism student at Edinburgh Napier University.
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