Technology for 2005
Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D.
The National Psychologist
The holidays have come and gone so now it is time
advantage of the after-Christmas sales and consider the following.
A New Computer
If your computer is 3 or more years old, now is a great time to buy a new computer. What do you need? First, what type of computer is best for you? For years I used a desktop and still do at my university. But my home computer is a laptop. I love the laptop because it takes up less desk space and often I sit on my bed with the laptop where it belongs, on my lap. It is portable and prices are more than competitive. Second, what brand should you buy? I have worked with lots of people and have found that Dell, HP and e-Machines have been the easiest to buy, set up and use. Go online and put together your own computer so you can see the options. When I bought my Dell laptop I priced options and ended up with a great machine for under $1,500. You can get an even better one now for the same price.
Third, make sure that your computer has a very large hard drive. Most programs these days take up major chunks of hard drive space and documents require space to accommodate pictures, charts, etc. I would go with at least 80 GB (gigabytes) and get 120 if you can afford it.
Finally, make sure that you have at least two USB ports. These little openings allow you to plug in your printer, digital camera, etc. and are invaluable.
If you need information from your computer to be transportable to another computer you should buy a “flash drive.” Also called “keychain drives” these little gadgets can hold gobs of information for very little money. I got one that holds 2.26 GB for Christmas for $90. A smaller one (512 MB) costs under $40! I like the larger one because I like to bring music from home to campus (I am a major classic rock fan – Fleetwood Mac, Yes, Genesis).
Did you get a digital camera for
Christmas? If not, now is the time to buy. What you need depends on what you plan to do
with the pictures. If you simply want to
take pictures and either put them on a website or print 5 x 7s you only
one that has about 2-3 megapixels. I
found several good ones (Canon,
Update on Online Dating
One year ago I wrote “Looking for the Perfect
Match” for TNP
(http://www.csudh.edu/psych/tnp43.htm). Online dating has exploded in the last
year. In October 2003 Yahoo Personals
had 6.2 million unique visitors followed by Match.com (5.5 million),
(3.2) and Friendster (1.0). Now more
than ever more of your clients will be pursuing online dating. My TNP article still contains pertinent
information. Also check out John Suler’s
fascinating reading (http://www.rider.edu/~suler/psycyber/psycyber.html)
Internet addiction is rampant. Recent studies have shown that increased use of online shopping, gambling, research and games is related to increased depression. Other studies have pinpointed communication excess (email, IM) as harbingers of psychological problems. More can be found on Kimberly Young’s informative website (http://www.netaddiction.com/articles/articles.htm).
Even Alvin Toffler did not anticipate some of the recent neuropsych research. Several studies have shown that fMRIs pinpoint regions of the brain responsible for lying and conflictual emotions. Gordon Lightfoot’s “If you could read my mind” may soon need to be changed to “you can read my mind.”
Excessive use of the computer keyboard and mouse can and will lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Experts make the following suggestions: (1) stop typing every 30 minutes, walk around and rotate your wrists and (2) make sure your hand and forearms make a right angle when you type. To do so either buy an ergonomic keyboard or simply roll up a dish towel and place it under your wrists. Recent research also shows a link between extended computer use and glaucoma.
Wikipedia.org.is a “free content
encyclopedia that anyone can edit.” This
may sound like a springboard for chaos but actually it provides a forum
up-to-date information on any topic. I
it to an ever-changing Encyclopedia Britannica.
I use it often and find the information quite informative.
To listen to
one of over 300
music stations around the world go to www.shoutcast.com.
Right now, I am listening to Virgin Radio
Classic Rock from