x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Out of step in the march for technology

A technophobe tests to boundary between computer and television technologies.

I am a terrible technophobe. So quite why I managed to convince myself that it was a good idea to buy a brand-new gadget last week I still don't know. The purchase was a moment of madness and is one that I have been regretting ever since. Before I stepped into the shop, I wasn't even aware that such a thing existed, let alone that the invention was in its second generation. Then, as now, I was unsure how to work it.

The gadget in question is a digital media receiver that allows you to stream content (rented films, music, photographs) straight from a computer to your television. The added bonus here being that (once you get the thing to work) this all happens wirelessly. Still with me? Good, because I've almost lost myself again.

I don't even like gadgets. I've been delaying making the switch to a smartphone for months and although I was given an iPod Touch a couple of years ago, the only time I use it is when running. On that note, I highly recommend the gadgets aimed at those who listen to music while exercising. I have a little device that records how far you run, at what pace and how many calories you've burnt. If you're finding the going tough, you simply press a button and a specially selected "power song" starts up. Who can fail to run faster when Eye of the Tiger blasts out?

This was my very favourite piece of technology, until recently when the all-important sensor came loose from my trainer. I managed to boot it into the middle of a busy road, only to watch in horror (cue the slow motion) as it was crushed under the wheels of not just one, but several cars. A running session just isn't the same without Paula Radcliffe congratulating you on a new personal best at the end of the route.

But back to the TV situation. Intentions were good. The device was quickly unpacked and plugged in with minimum fuss (for which I congratulated myself). It was only then that I hit a wall. After several evenings of experimentation, I'm still unable to view the films that I eagerly downloaded back in the early hours when I thought that the gadget and I could be friends.

The little box sits in the corner of the living room, taunting me with its shiny newness and endless viewing promises. And there it shall stay, like a shunned child, because for now, technology and I are taking a break.