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My Tech-NO List

   March 4th, 2008

Royal Quiet De Luxe TypewriterI normally don't participate in memes. However, I am me-too'ing Jessamyn's tech-NOs post because I like the idea behind it.

A lot of librarians (and regular people) I know are hesitant to try new tech/web things because there is just so much out there and they feel they have to know about everything before they can try anything. That is absolutely not true.

Even though some people think of me as high-techy because I have a website and use flickr and bloglines, there is a lot I don't know about (and a lot I don't care about). My advice is to use tech tools to augment your life/work style, not change it; pick what you like and play with it, and ignore everything else.

So, to show off my low-tech side, here's my list of tech-NOs:

  • I do not have a microwave.
  • I don't use IM, except at work. And even there I'm more likely to phone or email than IM
  • I do not have a cell phone. I have one telephone, and it has a curly cord that plugs into the wall. I do not want a cell phone, and, in general, cell phones irritate me. Also, I have the same answering machine I've used since college, and it records to an analog cassette tape. I do not have caller id, call waiting, or anything like that
  • I do not have an iPod or other mp3 player. Why? I've never needed one. When I'm in the car I listen to the radio, CDs or tapes; when I go for a walk or hike or exercise, I think about whatever is on my mind
  • I do not have cable or satellite television. I have a television with an antennae*, and a VCR and DVD player, and I use it mostly for watching movies
  • My clocks have hands. I don't like digital clocks, so all the clocks in my house (except for the one built into the stove) are analog. I wake up to an alarm clock with two metal bells on top (I also have a bird clock*)
  • I do not have an ATV, snowmobile, or jetski. Instead, I have a mountain bike, cross-country skis*, a kayak, and hiking boots. I don't like exchanging effort for pollution (although I do have power tools)
  • I use an old-fashion twirly lawnmower. You know the kind I mean. It's fun
  • I really don't play video games. Sure, I play minesweeper and hearts, but not World of Warcraft, Second Life (I know, it's not a "game"), Guitar Hero, or any of the others. I'm interested in the phenomena of multi-user interactions in worlds like these, but I have no inclination to play them
  • I do not care about twitter. I just don't
  • I write letters in addition to emailing. I have an antique Royal typewriter* that I love using, and I fear the day the ribbon runs out
  • I do not use GPS. I like maps
  • I do not use air conditioning. I like open windows and fans
  • I have one credit card and I pay all my bills by mailing a check. I also enjoy going to the post office

I'm sure there's more, but that's good for now.

*In typing up this list, I realized that all of the *'d things were given to me by my younger brother. Thanks, Mike. And I still don't want a cell phone.

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6 Responses to “My Tech-NO List”

  1. Raquel Says:

    Nice. You must have a beautiful power bill.
    p.s. I think Twitter is silly too.

  2. Liz Says:

    Wow – this is very impressive, and Raquel’s right, very environmentally friendly. But there are a few things I can’t quite wrap my head around…

    You don’t have a *microwave*??? How do you make popcorn? How do you heat water – on the _stove_? *utter disbelief* A twirly lawn mower? I think the last time I saw one of those was in Little Shop of Horrors… But all that I can understand, I suppose, except – no air conditioning? Maybe it’s because I live in the South, but brother you have got to be kidding.

    From here on out, whenever I think of this, I’m always going to have this mental picture of you in full pioneer regalia, fuzzy hat and all, churning your own butter.

  3. Brian Herzog Says:

    Yes, my power bill is pretty low; but I also live in a very small house in a temperate climate. If I were in Texas or South Carolina, I might have to rethink the air conditioner (but then, I also probably wouldn’t need to put plastic on the windows in wintertime).

    As for popcorn, I have a hot-air popcorn popper. I generally don’t like single-use appliances, but popcorn is special. Especially when soaked in hand-churned butter.

  4. jessamyn Says:

    I have a microwave but I still make popcorn either on the stove or with one of those plastic pumper things. My biggest electrical expense/luxury up here is the electric mattress pad warmer that I use to keep the bed from being freezing at night.

  5. Caitlin Says:


    I have a royal quiet de luxe typewriter that needs ribbon. Where do I get that? I live in Salt Lake CIty, UT, do you know of any places there or do you konw of any places on line that I can get them quickly mailed to me?

    thank you,

    caitlin Barker

  6. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Catlin: someone commented on my flickr picture that http://www.scantracker.com/royal_typewriter_ribbons.htm is a source for ribbons. I haven’t tried them yet, as happily my is still working (although my printer’s ink cartridge dried out). I hope you find one.