For me technology has two distinct smells. The first one is the one that fill us with joy happiness and anticipation, is the smell of recently formed plastic parts. Brand new equipment that brings us that new technology or feature that we always wanted or that leap in performance that would make our lives easier; that added speed that will make us more productive. I call that smell the happy smell.
But just like we have the happy smell we also have the other smell; the one that gives you that moment of terror, the fear of data loss of days with no productivity, we all know that smell very well, it’s the smell of burnt circuitry, the smell of technology that has died a horrible death. It’s the kind of damage that will cost you time, money and aggravations, probably even a missed deadline or two, the one that usually is accompanied by weird noises and a or a dark screen.
I was reminded of this a couple of times this year. I got a tablet recently, and I remember the excitement of opening it up and smelling the fresh new smell of technology. It’s true that 20 minutes later it was obsolete but it was good, even now I’m writing this on it while traversing the ocean on my way back home. Good Smell!
Just recently a family member called me with an example of bad smell. Her computer was connected and running during a lightning storm and of course with no surge protector! The sickening smell of melted plastic insulation could be noticed the minute I walked into the office. Luckily after several minutes I was able to diagnose it to a bad power supply (lucky guess) and after replacing it all was well. I even got them a surge protector for next time.
I can’t help but hope I get to smell the good technology smell many times this year!