Monday, September 01, 2008

Convenient technology

My fancy new laptop, a brand spanking new Dell Studio and the first brand spanking new computer I've ever had (except for the Apple IIc, about fifteen years ago or so), has a fingerprint reader.

Yes, a fingerprint reader.

As I placed the order online, which involves customizing the computer so that the price is almost always doubled by the time one comes out the other side, I thought, "What the heck am I going to do with that? It's not like I work for the FBI." I briefly considered removing it and saving $50.

Then I decided that I would like, for once, to be the first person in my group to have an interesting new gadget. I mean, my "new" cell phone looks a lot like the first phone I ever got (or rather, my husband forced me to get)--back in 1999. It doesn't take pictures or play songs or any of that stuff. It doesn't even flip open; it's a candybar style. I only just bought an MP3 player this year. Yes, I do have a ten-year-old printer and an eight-year-old scanner. And my digital camera, at seven years old, is just barely younger than Dozer. I often feel like I'm stuck in the early 2000s.

Anyway, back to the fancy new laptop with the fingerprint scanner. As it turns out, the fingerprint scanner not only locks unauthorized users out of my computer, but it also acts as a password vault for any and everything that asks for a login and password.

Oh my oh my.

Needless to say, I have happily set up the fingerprint scanner to log me in to just about everything I sign in to. It's so convenient to just swipe my finger across the scanner and ta da! I'm logged in to my blog, to my credit card account, to my Yahoo! groups...

The horrific side effect is that I now have absolutely no idea how to log in without the fingerprint scanner.

This is a real problem when I go up to my office to work on my desktop. User id and password? I don't remember anymore!

Sometimes I think the convenient solutions offered by technology only lead to new and different inconveniences.

1 comment:

dennisthevizsla said...

Very high tech! Are you sure you don't work for NSA? ;-)