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What electronic device affects your life the most?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on June 22, 2005

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Photo of Sarah Wilkes

“My personal computer and the Internet. It’s where I do all of my banking and bill-paying and my weblog. I have about seven different e-mail addresses.”

Photo of Amy Perry

“Probably my computer, but my cell phone would be pretty high up there, too. I work all day on a computer, and I talk a lot on my cell phone after 9 p.m.”

Photo of Lance Taylor

“The computer, because I’m going to school this fall to learn about the one thing that the world says I can’t live without.”

Photo of Chris Redburn

“The computer. I use it all the time for work, at home and game-playing.”

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hittheroad 12 years, 12 months ago

My iBook and/or microwave. I wish I could get a device that both cooked and emailed.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 12 months ago

Radio. Love the FM radio and KKFI(90.1)(best news and music), KCUR 89.3 and 91.5 FM on your dial

Richard Heckler 12 years, 12 months ago

Democracy Now on KKFI- FM - fabulous news show 9 AM

jonas 12 years, 12 months ago

That damned chip in my head that recieves the information stream. Zoknar!

Jay Bird 12 years, 12 months ago

Radar Detector, trying to cut as much pork out of my life as possible.

audvisartist 12 years, 12 months ago

Seven different email addresses? Sounds like Sarah needs to consolidate! ;)

remember_username 12 years, 12 months ago

The integrated circuit - and I might point out to those who don't know, Jack Kilby passed away yesterday. Jack Kilby was the inventor of the integrated circuit while at TI in the late 50's. Of note is that he was from Great Bend Kansas.

twiggle 12 years, 12 months ago

My powerbook. Endless amusement, no viruses/spyware, imminently useful, gracefully powerful, and gotta love the iLife apps (iMovie, iDVD, iTunes, iCal, iPhoto).

And it looks sexy. It's the supermodel of laptops.

Fangorn 12 years, 12 months ago

extreme: There are several very good spyware detection programs available. Some for free. Google "spybot" and take a look at it.

Computers, cell phones, microwaves, even the radar detector. None would be possible without the integrated circuit. Well, I suppose we could still have these items. But the computer would be the size of your house. Your cell phone would be a "car" phone and about the same size as one. Thawing food would be done in a "macro"-wave oven. And the weight of a radar detector would make speeding impossible.

And yes, r_u, I was eating supper in the chow hall last night with a fellow Kansan and we saw that Jack Kilby had died. It's disheartening to me that so few know who he is/was yet do many could tell you the exact, up-to-the-minute status of the Cruise/Holmes relationship.

Topside 12 years, 12 months ago

Definitely my ipod!! If you don't have one I strongly suggest getting on the bus, drinking the kool-aid, etc... I love the fact I can travel with almost my entire CD collection in a device about as big as a deck of cards.

ms_canada 12 years, 12 months ago

For several years my sister urged me to connect to the www. I did have an old word processor to do my lessons Well, I am not sure I did the right or smart thing by connecting. I sometimes try to think what I did with my time B.C. (before connecting) I guess it was things like dust the furniture, plant a garden, vacuum regularly, visit friends, you know, hum drum stuff like that. Oh I should not include visiting in that list. There is something so addictive about sitting here with the fingers getting the only exercise. I better employ a bit of discipline or my derriere will soon be an axe handle wide. And I bet I will not be alone with that shape. :-)

Topside 12 years, 12 months ago

OMB-just get a set of RCA jacks with an earphone plug on one end and you can hook it up to most stereos with the AUX function. ALso, if you have a cd player for your car with the casette adapter that goes into your casette deck you can listen to the ipod in your car. It is more than just fancy headphones. I too thought as you do once, but I have seen the way....

Carmenilla 12 years, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 12 months ago

My computer definitely! Without it, I wouldn't be able to access!

I used to think that having a Palm Pilot would simplify my life and become my new best friend. After filling out the address book and dinking around with it for about six weeks or so, it now collects dust on my desk.

Some 'advancements' aren't really worth the trouble. Like the LG refrigerator with a built-in LCD television. [To check it out, visit the appliance section of Best Buy] I don't think I can cook and watch T.V. at the same time. I can barely sing or talk on the phone without screwing a meal up!

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 12 months ago

Carmenilla!!!!!!!!!!! OMG That is awesome! Thanks for making my day with that hilarious post!

Topside 12 years, 12 months ago

That is too be my next purchase, OMB (once I recoup from the high cost of the ipod). I however, was leaning toward sirius. To each his own.

linux_chick 12 years, 12 months ago

I probably spend 16 hours/day on my laptop or a computer of some sort. I would much rather lose my car than my computer. To each her own, I suppose.

Running linux, I don't have a problem with spyware or viruses. But if you're running Windows, it can be a problem. I would suggest 3 things that are essential for protecting a Windows system.

  1. A firewall- XP Service Pack 2 comes with one default turned on, so you should be fine. Another good one (for free:) ) is "Zone Alarm"

  2. Never use kazaa, find a safer p2p client like shareaza

  3. Stop using Internet Explorer. A better, safer browser is Firefox that can be downloaded for free at (Make use of helpful extensions like Adblock in Firefox)

This should reduce your risk for virus and spyware by a lot. But it's not full-proof; Running scanners like spy-bot regularly should help... I think the current version of Adaware is the best.

Depending on your computer savvyness, you could check your running processes with a program like HijackThis when your computer is slow to see if something is running that shouldn't be.

Just some helpful tips; I think computers are a great asset to our lives; its unfortunate some unethical people make it hard for the rest of us...

ms_canada 12 years, 12 months ago

Carmenilla - I ditto GEB comment. Got a real good belly laugh. Thanks.

Redneckgal 12 years, 12 months ago

I like my computer but I'd have to say the one I couldn't live without is the cell phone. It makes it a whole lot easier to keep track of the kids. Right now my middle son is gone for the week to Texas with a buddy go cart racing. In the pre-cell phone days I would have been a wreck wondering if things were going okay but now all I have to do is call. It annoys him a little but sure makes me feel better.

Carmenilla 12 years, 12 months ago

Be careful kns, you're girlfriend might declare you obsolete if she spends too much "quality time" with your back massager ;-p

Now for that smoke...whew!

acg 12 years, 12 months ago

I freaking hate computers. I spend all day long working on one and when the day ends or the weekends come, I relish in the joy of not having to deal with it for a while. I have a few at home but I don't think I've ever turned them on at home. I refuse to use a cell phone, too. I don't want people to be able to get me that easily. Used to have a cell phone. That damned thing was always ringing. Drove me insane! I made a decision a few years ago to not become a slave to my gadgets and it's made life a lot happier and more relaxed. I'm sure most of my friends think I'm an old dinosaur and it blows my nieces and nephews minds when they come visit and see that I don't have cable, or, gasp, a satellite dish! They look at me like I have the plague. "What do you do without satellite, I don't understand?!" Well, I, hold on to your hats, read, bike, hike, canoe, fish, play games with the family, do yard work, clean the house, oh the list goes on and on. Dump your gadgets folks, it's cleansing like you can never know.

linux_chick 12 years, 12 months ago

I don't have satellite, and I think camping is great (in small doses) ;)

Good for you, acg. To each his own.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 12 months ago

Happygolucky: if you want to cut the "pork" from your diet - try slowing down instead of relying on your radar detector.

I would say the most important electronic device in my life is the computer in my car. Without it my car would not run and if my car doesn't would suck.

Fangorn 12 years, 12 months ago

GEB: I couldn't believe that refrigerator when I first saw it. Even more, I couldn't believe the price!

OMB: You don't have cable or satellite, but the real question is: do you have a rabbit?

You know, we've always noted rabbits for their proclivity to reproduce. Now it's something that might help prevent reproduction. I'm so confused!

Ceallach 12 years, 12 months ago

When first glancing at today's question I immediately thought it had to be the computer. I work at one each day, surf mostly in the evening, seemed the obvious choice. For me the computer provides both income and entertainment.

However, today's posts have certainly offered an array of entertainment alternatives ;)

Ceallach 12 years, 12 months ago

Fangorn: Last night the Daily Show had a hilarious segment on Cruise and Holmes. What do you think? All hype for their new movies? Or love that defies time and space? Or should I say time and space aliens? According to interviewers, one belief of scientology is that we are all invaded by space aliens ;) No offense to any Scientologists out there, I admit to being totally ignorant on the subject. But when did that ever stop us on the LJW board? :):)

Carmenilla 12 years, 12 months ago

I go to lunch and they remove my harmless rabbit comment. What is the world coming to? Can't I spread the joy of the rabbit? Or should I say ode to ambidexterity (sp?)....What can I get away with here, folks? Big Brother is watching and he doesn't want me to talk about sex (with myself or anyone else)!

luminare 12 years, 12 months ago

Can I say a lightbulb?? o.O Honestly I dont think that a lot of things said here would work without the invention of one and I kind of like to have things lit all day while sitting inside the brick parking garage known as wescoe hall.

acg 12 years, 12 months ago

Okay now who complained about kns' comment? That was a great post! Folks need to lighten up, for real. KNS, that post made my afternoon. Don't let the whiners get you down. :)

ms_canada 12 years, 12 months ago

I think I was born 60 years too soon as I am totally lost on this rabbit thing and now I think if anyone tried to explain it to me they might get zapped. So I'll just have to remain ignorant. I don't like being ignorant. Hmmmmm what to do?

Carmenilla 12 years, 12 months ago

Watch "Sex and the City" or do a Google search, ms_canada. I can't believe I'm telling a grandmother to look this up...Its a "marital aide" winkwink*

happy_me 12 years, 12 months ago

I can't believe they removed the rabbitt but left yesterdays massager how to!!

happy_me 12 years, 12 months ago

Oh yeah the question I almost forgot Mine would have to be my Car Stereo. Only place were I can unwind no kids or ol' man. Crank the volume and chill

sunflower_sue 12 years, 12 months ago

Things that affect me (good and bad): 1. This damned computer 2. My cell phone 3. Microwave oven (Although I love to cook, this appliance sure does a better job of heating the leftovers!)

Also, thanks r_u for the info on Jack Kilby. Never heard of him but am always glad to get educated!

Too bad I missed the earlier posts but I can use my imagination. :0)

Redneckgal 12 years, 12 months ago

One other thing I couldn't live without and that is my new dishwasher they got me for Mothers day. Damn I love that thing. I never realized how much time that free's up in the evening 'till I had one.

happy_me 12 years, 12 months ago

oops guess the how too was just earlier today as well

linux_chick 12 years, 12 months ago

Honestly, I didn't think the earlier posts were that bad. With a topic like "necessary" electronic devices, some interesting ideas are going to flesh out.

Ceallach 12 years, 12 months ago

luminare: good call with the light bulb! Wescoe was also a perfect example. Went over this morning for a java fix -- it is even darker now that they have "remodeled" the area. Calling it the Underground doesn't seem to define it as well as maybe the "underworld." Even with light bulbs it is dark and dreary!!

neopolss 12 years, 12 months ago

ipod - bah I'll show no support to the RIAA mafia. At least not until copyright gos back to protecting personal property and not to support monopolistic capitalism.

I would say the computer - definately has reshaped the way the world works.

Recommeneded spyware programs/protections:

This site contains a host file and instructions on installing it (all of five seconds). It blocks almost any and all current sites that are considered adware/spyware/malware. Even if you have spyware currently, using this host file can prevent it from communicating to its destination.

Other recommendations:

AVG Antivirus (FREE) @ Avast Antivirus (FREE) @ Zonealarm (FREE) @ Ad-Aware SE 1.06 (FREE) @ Antispyware Beta (Time Limit) @

Not everyone agrees about what is best, however these are my top picks. They all work extremely well and most work better than programs you would pay for (like Norton or Mcaffee).

craigers 12 years, 12 months ago

Car stereo, palm pilot, computer and cell phone. I like using all of them.

Topside 12 years, 12 months ago

Redneckgal...A cell phone, and a new dishwasher?! I can actually hear your reckneck status being flushed away. You better take some advice from acg or we'll have to strip you of your redneck status permanatly.

linux_chick 12 years, 12 months ago

craigers, what do you use your palm pilot for? Everyone I know with one seems to use it for about 2 weeks and quickly become bored with them...

How does it make your life easier and keep its staying power with you? I would be interested to know.

Redneckgal 12 years, 12 months ago

Yes siree things are looking up at my place! See rednecks can surprise you sometimes! Now if I could just get all those damn christmas lights off the second story!! Really thats not so much of a redneck thing as a scared of the ladder thing.

ms_canada 12 years, 12 months ago

Well there you have it Carmenilla, why my education is so sadly lacking. Never have watched Sex and the City. And what the heck has being a grandmother got to do with anything, :-) I am not dead yet!!

Fangorn 12 years, 12 months ago

linux_chick: "some interesting ideas are going to flesh out" Was that an intention double entendre? Or just a really great Freudian slip?

The earlier posts were a bit racy but not really that bad. It's not like anyone was being threatened. And if a "threat" means planning to do something bad to someone else, then Carmeilla's post was the exact opposite of a threat.

Carmenilla 12 years, 12 months ago

Well, I might go blind, Fangorn! That and maybe hairy palms. Are these harmful to me? I guess it could be percieved that way.

And to Ms_Canada, I wasn't insulting your age or grandmother status. Its not every day that you tell a senior about a sex toy. I was blushing a bit when I typed it. Personally, I think you are awesome for being so open-minded on this board day after day. You put up with Christian bashers and online trolls and you keep coming back! You are definately more youthful than some 20-somethings I know. Talk about chutzpah!

ms_canada 12 years, 12 months ago

Here is an electronic device that has helped an awful lot of people. A hearing aid or deaf aid as the Brits call it. I think since it needs the electricity of a battery it can be called so. I love it because I no longer have to shout at my husband. Saved our marriage. :) :) ~ ~ Umlaut Das_Ubermime could that work?

ms_canada 12 years, 12 months ago

It didn't work. One of the little ~ that I put over the 2nd U moved over when I went to post it. Don't know why. Tried it again and still did not work. Anyway I got one to stay put.

ms_canada 12 years, 12 months ago

These electronic devices don't always do what you want them to do, do they. Have I gone nuts. Maybe. :) :) Das ubermime will know.

ms_canada 12 years, 12 months ago

Carmenilla - thank you. let's hear it for chutzpah!! Couldn't live without it. They say age is relative and I do believe they're right. You know the words from the old song by Lena Horne, something like this it went, "I can dish the dirt with the rest of the girls. That's why the lady is a tramp." Yeh! Oh BTW I googled that thing you said and now I am blushing. WOW!!!

ms_canada 12 years, 12 months ago

das - you clever rascal you!! I will try that. Now when am I going to use the umlaut? I guess I'll have to find someone german to write to, won't I. I have some german cousins, hmmmmm!

sunflower_sue 12 years, 12 months ago

Good night, All! Now I have to go set my alarm clock. Did that one get mentioned today? I'll bet everybody relies on one most of the time...unless you are one of those freaky people (like my hubby) who just don't require much sleep. I need at least 9 hours. But, before I do, I think I'll "Ask Jeeve's" about a rabbit.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 12 months ago

Oh my GOSH! Never seen one quite like that! Whew!

Ceallach 12 years, 12 months ago

lunacydetector: I just saw your 12:04 am post on bullies. I was shocked to learn that you know my boss, and apparently quite well :) Great post!!

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