Our annual Thanksgiving Day celebration is always a whirlwind coming as a brief day off between days of dress rehearsals for the annual Christmas show we open this Sunday at Wayside Theatre, I’m typically the only geek doing anything geeky. That changed this year. At various points this holiday, my kin all whipped out various devices to check up on email, Facebook, Black Friday specials, and the like. I counted one Netbook, 1 Macbook Pro, 1 iPod Touch, 2 HP Notebooks, and another MP3 player that I can remember the make of. That doesn’t include my gear, so that’s an impressive number for a group of nine which prior to this year, hardly ever geeked around during a holiday gathering.
These family gatherings are usually a good time for me to take a small and unscientific sampling of what folks who don’t really follow the trends are paying attention to our not. this year was no different.
One sister’s family is looking at new phones. They are more interested in Verizon’s Droid than anything else (contracts are up in February). They can’t stand the iPhone and want to stay away from AT&T with a passion. When asked why, the answer was “the network is crappy.” They do want something with a touch screen though, because “it looks very cool.”
There was lots of interest in Netbooks, and thankfully my family is smart enough not to fall for the subsidized pricing models. What’s attractive to them here is that no one does any real heavy computing. What’s unattractive is that the real bargains (beyond subsidized pricing packages) all seem to be with XP installed. They all want Windows 7, which says Microsoft has won some mindshare here.
Outside of the iPhone, there was interest in Apple computers. That was quickly tamped down with, but they are just so darn expensive. Here’s where that gets interesting. When you do a quick rundown for what you get for the money you spend, it was apparent in this circle that the comparisons were being made between Netbook pricing and Apple pricing. Apples and oranges? Not in their minds.
My family are all avid readers. Books being exchanged during family gatherings is a ritual. When queried about the Kindle, Nook, and ebook readers in general, the interest was absolutely nil. At least at this point. The lack of interest was due to not being able to see one in a store when it came to discussing the Kindle. When talking about the Nook, the reactions were that they never heard of it before I mentioned it.
For fun and entertainment I usually put a few magic tricks and novelty titles on whatever gadgets I bring along, and this year was no different. I loaded up several apps on the iPhone, but the hit was the Paranormal State EMF Meter on to my iPhone and we spent the evening wandering around the house and the yard looking for paranormal activity. It was always fun when we got a hit and the meter went crazy, but then, I’m the crazy uncle who is supposed to come up with these kind of entertaining tricks.
Of course the real treat of the entire weekend was the napping.