Monday, July 8, 2013
Flashy, Blinky Stuff
I am not a great sleeper. It is not uncommon for me to get up in the middle of the night and go and fall asleep in my recliner down stairs. For example, I have moderate acid reflux and have had it for years. So on nights when it blows up, I will pad down to the recliner where I can sleep in a more upright position. I want to know something. Who thought all the lights we put on phones, TV's and computers were a good idea? I am extremely connected. I have a smart phone, tablet, e-reader, laptop, wireless smart Blu-ray, a desktop computer, and cable boxes and all of them have some kind of glowing blue, red, orange or green light on them.
My laptop has four bright white lights on the front when it is powered on and one orange one. I have no idea what these lights mean except one of the white lights flashes. When the laptop is off, it has two of the white lights on. Explain to me, why a laptop that is not powered on needs any lights or for that matter why one that is on needs any extra little lights on? I can look at the screen and tell if it's on. My laptop spends its time next to the recliner...you know, the one I occasionally sleep in. So I have the options of moving the laptop, covering the lights with a pillow or maybe tape or turning it around so the lights at least don't face me. Since I am pretty nonfunctional when I am moving to the recliner, I usually choose the last one. I guess I should count my blessings, at least my laptop doesn't do what my wife's laptop does. The entire keyboard glows when it's on.
Then I only have to deal with the white digital cannel light of the cable box. I don't turn it off. It's the DVR, and since it seems to have a tough time remembering when a show is scheduled if it is turned off, we leave it on all the time.
I recently purchased a small TV. It has a glowing light, complete with a reflector, under the bottom of the screen to tell me when it is not powered on. Apparently, the lack of picture and sound coming from it is not enough to tell me when the TV is off. Fortunately, I found a setting in the menu section that allows me to shut off the light. Still I have to wonder, what idiot needs a light to tell them their TV is off?
Then there are chargers. They glow red while charging an object and then go green when charge is done. You know they could just turn off the light when charging is done. No, we need two lights where one would easily suffice. I recently purchased a multi-device USB charger that I can plug into the wall. Problem? You betcha, it glows blue all the time. I tried to cover the blue lights, one for each charge connection, but to no avail. It now lives out in the living room so we can plug in our e-readers have a place to charge.
In my home office lives my desk top computer. While I don't use it much anymore, unless I want to game on it, it is still the home for the network for the rest of our wireless devices. It glows enough that, if I so chose, I could probably read in that room in the dark. There is the cable modem that has over a half a dozen lights that run all the time. The monitor has a light that runs all the time and then I also have a USB splitter that glows blue with any thing that I plugged in to it. There is a portable hard drive that is connected to the router that we back up and share through. Both drive and router also glow. The speakers attached to it has a good-sized light on it that glows. I also should mention that the desktop tower, which my son built for me, has a case that glows with neon blue when it is powered. If that's not enough all I need to do is add a CD or DVD to the drives to get a few more lights twinking from it.
We are surrounded by lights that flash and blink and change colors. They are soft and neon and glow with an enthusiasm that all lights have. The only question is why? How did we get along without all these diodes?
Did I mention my digital alarm clock has wonderful, easy-to-read, red numbers?