Keeping up with new gadgets

The past few years have introduced a plethora of new digital gadgets. And just when we think there can’t be any more on the horizon, some new thing crops up that everyone feels they have to have for themselves or their kids.

Some things range from cell phones, to cable/satellite dish TV, to notebooks and tablets, e-readers and MP3 players.

I remember when the big flatscreen TVs started to catch on a few years ago and were so expensive. It cost thousands to have a 50-inch screen that is now available for half the cost. But no matter, because new developments from HD, to plasma screens, to 3-D, to Blu-ray, to smart TVs that pick up on wireless Internet streaming videos are all the rage.

While I tend to hate change, I have to admit some of the new available options are pretty cool and I like to use them.

The mute button used to be my favorite option on the TV remote, but lately it’s been superseded by the Hopper on my Dish TV that skips over commercials.

And then there is the clip-on keyboard for the iPad Herman is using as I speak, so that I can dictate my column anywhere and email it into the newspaper, my list of out-of-town email recipients and my website.

While everything technical keeps getting cheaper and smaller, more complicated and expensive items are being made at the same time. Where 42-inch or 50-inch screens were the old limits for a big screen TV, now all the big box stores are advertising 70-inch screens at the prices the 50-inch screens used to go for.

And when will we have enough? Edward G. Robinson’s reply to Humphrey Bogart in “Key Largo,” when asked, “How much is enough?” was “more.” And when asked will he ever get enough, Johnny Rocco replied, “Well, I never have. No, I guess not.”

There is always something new on the horizon and a consumer that will want to buy it. Instead this season I am concentrating on what I have and liking that. As they say, contentment comes in wanting what you have and not what you don’t.

I hope you have what you need and want this season.

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website,