Aug 242009
 
Authors: Glen Pfeiffer, Ryan Gibbons

Last week our Collegian newsroom advisor asked around a room of staff members if they would be attending the company softball game later that day.

Ryan was out of town and Glen was the sole Binary representative. When our adviser got around to Glen, she had an additional query — “Do you know how to play?”

As Glen’s life flashed before his eyes (cue big whooshing noise), years upon years of nerdiness seemingly caught up with him all at once.

Hours in front of the computer, nights that turned to days courtesy of Mountain Dew, months of believing that Hawaiian shirts had a high coolness factor and of course the years spent waiting for the computers of yore to boot up all came to mind.

The moment passed and the dangling question was answered with a simple, “Um . yes.”

Who doesn’t know how to play softball? It was then that the long-term implications of the question started rolling in, attempting to devour his brain like a head full of zombie.

Is that the impression we have created for our readers — geeks who don’t get out enough to know simple sports rules? No offense to those disinclined to sports, but we at least resent the notion that we don’t get out.

Basically, this is just a roundabout way of saying we did a lot of cool things this summer and we missed you, dear readers, so now we want to share with you.

Ryan’s Silicon Valley safari (as told by himself):

This summer my father and I embarked upon an excursion to a most exotic region of the world, known to the natives as Silicon Valley. Our goal: to observe and document the existence of an ultra-tech environment there.

In preparation for the trip/homage, we stowed smartphones equipped with GPS for navigation, laptops to blend in with the natives and SPF 90 sun block to protect our pasty skin from the blinding sun.

The first thing we noticed there was the exotic form of transportation used by the locals. They traveled in packs, dominated by rare vehicles named BMW and Porsche, and if we were patient, we’d spot the legendary Aston Martin.

We soon found ourselves surrounded on either side by signs displaying the familiar iFruit in a spectrum of different colors, as if to warn us of a nearby sanctuary.

I quickly jumped out of the car upon the sight of Apple headquarters, standing in wonder.

Sheepishly, I wandered over to the main sign for a photo. Apple employees casually walked past, unafraid of us humans and unaware of the feelings of inferiority they were causing.

We concluded with a visit to a nearby market that sold shirts, hats, pens and other unique gear found nowhere else in the world.

After regaining our strength, we proceeded to find the location of such treasures as Facebook, Google, Intel, AMD, the ancient ruins of Yahoo! and countless others.

Glen’s experiment (as told by himself):

As odd as it may sound, I spent 31 days this summer without touching a computer or a phone.

I can hear your gasps from here; you thought Ryan and I were too addicted to technology for that.

Well, I survived. And it was mostly a good experience.

Nearly all of my time was focused on doing other things, and therefore it was easier to do without. If you want to cleanse yourself of a tech addiction, my advice to you is to focus on something else in the meantime, and you’ll miss it less.

In some cases I didn’t have a choice, spending four days in the backcountry at the Great Sand Dunes, where tech gear is just pointless weight on your back.

Would I repeat the 31 days? I don’t foresee another tech-less month, but maybe it’s too recent.

I’m not scarred for life or anything, and I don’t think I was “unfriended” by anyone on Facebook for my absence.

One last thing before we go:

To our new freshman readers who may not have read down to here because they’re too busy looking for classes, we have a remedy: the first CSU based iPhone app, “CSU iRams Campus Map”, is out for $3.99 in the App Store.

Sorry, there is no time for a review from us now, but look for one Thursday. Same time, same place.

Columnists Glen Pfeiffer and Ryan Gibbons want YOU to join the army to help kill vampire-robot-Nazis who are also zombies. They can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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