Andrew Line, Head of Consumer PC, Tablet & Visuals at Lenovo UK&I, discusses five pieces of tech that have shaped his life, from his love of music to the latest smart home technology.
ITUNES AND THE IPOD CLASSIC
I was at uni when the iPod Classic was first shown to me by my housemate. I didn’t believe it would catch on at first. I was late to the party, sticking with my MiniDisc player for a while. However, when I converted I was hooked, taking pleasure in putting my huge CD collection onto iTunes and being able to buy a song instantly. Being able to make playlists for every occasion and having this pocket-sized tech holding every one of my +30,000 songs at the touch of a button with me at all times changed the way I loved music. The fear of a scratched CD was totally removed, and some of these first playlists I made are still getting regular airplay today.
As my wife will testify, I need a playlist for everything: weekend chores – there is a playlist for that, Ikea furniture assembly – there is a playlist for that. We have a Sonos in nearly every room in the house now. Being able to walk around the house listening to the same track is a pleasure, being able to put a different playlist on in each room is great as well, especially when I’m working at home. Instantly sending a song from my phone to add to the playlist is great. I’m no audiophile but it sounds great and I love the simplicity of the app and how it works with my online music collection. One of my proudest fatherhood moments was my six year old son asking Alexa to “Play Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
A fairly recent purchase – I bought these just to be on the safe side and have the doorbell, two outdoor cameras with floodlights, and one in our puppy’s room. The cameras are brilliant and thankfully they’ve only been used to speak to delivery drivers as to where to leave the parcels, but also a lovely way to check in with what’s happening at home – watching my son play in the garden with our dog whilst I’m at work on a summers evening is great. I’ve also been able to tell him off from the office when he tried to spray the hose over the neighbour’s garden.
How do I explain to my son that when I was his age we had four channels and a VCR recorder when it came to choosing what to watch? I look after my son in the mornings before school and half the morning is spent with him choosing what he wants to watch. It’s not just Netflix, as we have Amazon Prime, Sky Q and Apple TV at home, but the choice and the ability to catch up on whatever you want anywhere in the world is truly amazing. The amount of brilliant TV series I’ve watched may be dwarfed by the amount of rubbish that there is available, but being able to watch whatever you want on demand whenever you want is something special.
I’m old enough to remember printing out AA route planner directions when I went on my first business trip to Dusseldorf to find the hotel. Landing at the wrong Dusseldorf airport didn’t help and having to drive to the other airport to start the directions may not have been the most efficient way to spend my evening. I take for granted the sat nav in my car – it knows my daily routine and always selects the best route to work for me. I’ve now driven across Europe and not had the panic of following a map or worrying if I’ve missed the right exit. Voice operated and with live traffic updates is great and constantly updating the maps is fantastic. I use it as an example of how far technology has come. I do miss being in situations where I am asked for directions to places, so I can look into the distance and give suggestion – even if I’ve never heard of the place.
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