Friday, April 2, 2010

The Alex Doonesbury neon-light issue

When Gary Trudeau sent Alex to MIT, at first, like all first-year students at any decent university, she found the going tough.

One week's strip had her feeling homesick. Her night-time consolation was the myriad of neon indicator lights on various appliances and peripherals gleaming back at her.

Nearer home

As he sits at his Mac in Redfellow Hovel, Malcolm has before and around him:
  • the amber/green of the power cord indicator;
  • the two greens on the JBL speakers;
  • the green on the Epson scanner;
  • twin blues on the external hard drives;
  • and occasional lime-green on the Sony DVD-recorder;
  • a red on the surge-protected extension adaptor ...
Across the room:
  • a green on the Airport Extreme;
  • four greens and a flashing amber on the cable modem (Virginmedia can interrupt those in an instant, and too frequently do) ...
Were Malcolm to venture into the sitting-room, there would be neons on the tv, the cable box, the DVD, the sound processor, possibly the magsafe cord of the Lady's Macbook ...

When Malcolm awoke this morning, there was:
  • beside him, the green on the iPod dock;
while, across the room, something different, something Doonesbury:
  • a large blue on the Canon printer (moved into this bedroom in anticipation of the arrival of grand-children)
  • the green on the Airport, assuring that the printer was linked to the wi-fi.
The other side of the bed would be:
  • the digital radio-alarm,
  • a mobile phone charger ...
So, for heaven's sake, let's not venture into the tech-savvy Pert Young Piece's luxury suite, or into the kitchen.

And all that's a quick glance at one typical home, typical of thousands similar in North London alone.

Somewhere along the Trent Valley there is a multi-megawatt power station specifically dedicated to generating the juice for all these neons.

Alex Doonesbury would have a bumper-sticker to protest. Sphere: Related Content

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