Friday, January 9, 2015

Going totally digital in 2015 has drawbacks

Today one of those 2015 New Year prediction pieces caught my eye at the Huffington Post. Nine Items You Won't Need For Your Home In 2015 aroused my curiosity. Would I agree with its opinions or not? 

The list had one thing I agreed with. Its death sentence for cable TV. I cut the cord years ago. Streaming video content online is so superior with no commercials and the ability to watch what I want when I want. Cable TV is utterly uncompetitive. 

Then I started disagree and downright dislike the rest of it. The list said desktop computers and printers were no longer necessary household items. I understand that most people are satisfied with their tablets and laptops or maybe just a little smart phone, but I intend to always have a desktop system of some sort with a proper keyboard, mouse, and a big monitor. 

My publishing business requires me to format manuscripts for both print and digital formats. And all the editing and proofreading I do demands that I have a big screen to work on and a mouse for all the fine tuning of text. I also do some graphic design when I make my own book covers and ads. The thought of doing all of that on a tablet or even a laptop makes my stomach shrivel. I admit many people will no longer feel the need have desktop computers, but people who actually use computers to WORK will. 

The article justified the elimination of printers because things like driving directions and boarding passes can be handled by smart phones. Hello, not everyone has smart phones, and I prefer my boarding pass to actually exist and instead of depending utterly on vulnerable digital devices that lose their charge at the most inopportune moments. 

And you know what? The internet isn't always available nor is GPS. In 2013 I went to a vacation rental that did not have internet and the GPS did not work in the region due some government surveillance complex in the area. The property manager specifically sent directions on paper and cautioned that we not lose them.

Cookbooks! Really? 

Then the digital-only author had the audacity to suggest that we don't need paper cookbooks anymore because you can store recipes on your iPad, use recipe apps, and bookmark Pinterest pages. I cook a lot and do all those digital things, but when it comes down to it, paper rules in the kitchen. 

Do you want to be tapping your tablet when flour-egg-flour is on your fingers. Or how about getting that precious tablet near spitting bacon grease or kids decorating cookies?

Pinterest is a great place to find recipes, but when I find one I like, I print it and put it my recipe file. Web pages aren't necessarily forever. Someone doesn't pay her web hosting and poof "the web page you're looking for no longer exists."

My opinion especially about cookbooks might seem hypocritical because I've actually published a cookbook in both paperback and ebook formats. People even buy the ebook. It's an affordable way for cooks to satisfy curiosity and do recipe research. But a cookbook that goes into regular rotation in the kitchen needs to be in print. I have four cookbooks in my kitchen that I use all the time and few more I refer to on occasion.

I'm a bit stodgy I suppose about my love of my printer, desktop computer, and cookbooks, but it irked me to see so much bad advice. These are not obsolete for everyone. Digital is great but it's not a total replacement for everything. 

It's a good thing my Grandma wrote down recipes for decades, otherwise I never would have discovered them after her death and been able to share them with my family and the world again. 

The recipes presented in
this collection came from my Grandma’s school
notebook that she began when she was 15 years old.
She grew up in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, and her
recipes reflect the food eaten at that time and place. ~
from My Grandma's Vintage Recipes

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