Wednesday, 14 January 2015


THIS MAN REALLY INVENTED THE IPAD, IPHONE OR MODERN PHABLET This Extract from: THE VENUS BELT by L..Neil Smith published 1980!!! Next I carefully undid Clarissa’s giftwrapping. (She always saves it.) A paperback-sized brick of the same flat white pseudo ceramic Telecom screens are made of. No instruction booklet, no nothing. Just a manufacturer’s card advising me to punch the single activating button on the edge, then type out K-E-Y.Nice trick, without a keyboard. At the bottom of the card, in her professionally indecipherable scrawl, my wife had added, Type out W-I-N first! Same problem, dearest. Oh, well, I pushed the little button. The image of a keyboard materialized across the surface of the gadget. Okay, I touched each phantom letter in succession: W-I-N. The keyboard vanished. Clarissa’s picture appeared, dressed in the same golden-brown outfit she’d been wearing this morning to see me off. She stretched sexily across our emperor-size bed like an aftershave commercial; the fact that she was five months pregnant, and the homey sight of my age--stained shoulder holster hanging from the cornerpost, may have spoiled the effect—for anyone but me. “Have a good trip, darling, and hurry home. While you’re gone, I hope this gimmick keeps you entertained almost as well as I could!” She glanced over her shoulder as the bathroom door swung open behind her. I recognized the hairy body that emerged, dripping wet. “Did you say something, dear?” The naked figure had a towel draped over his face, rubbing his hair dry. I really do need to lose some weight. “Bye!” Clarissa winked conspiratorially, grabbed a corner of the duvet, and flipped it over the pickup. Shucks—I’d thought she’d been making the bed. The underside of the quilt lingered for a moment on the screen, then faded. I was already homesick. This time I punched out K-E-Y: “Congratulations!” congratulated a congratulatory congratulator. “You have acquired the latest in nanoelectronic miracles, the [blare of trumpets, followed by angel chorus] Helmers Gigacom 67G! Contained within its sixty-seven gigabyte memories are movies, books, audio recordings, interactive games, and plenty of room for any audio or visual information you might wish to store. The 67G also functions as computer, calculator, encyclopedia, alarm clock, cigarette lighter...” I let the unnecessary sales pitch run down. Nice picking, sweetheart, and thanks. I punched out I-N-S-T-R and, as soon as I felt competent, very carefully lifted Clarissa’s message from temporary storage, where she’d modestly recorded it, burning it permanently into the machine where it would stay like the inscription on a watch. Thumbing through the contents, I found hundreds of films, thousands of novels and records, a good many of them custom-selected. She’d included all the Mike Morrison movies I’d learned to love, and a surprising number of my favorites from the States: Cornell Wilde’s The Naked Prey; Thirty-six Hours with James Garner. I conjured up a particularly cherished Maria Muldaur album and let it fill the cabin with weird and lovely music while I finished unpacking. Some call it corn, but others call it heart. FOR 30 YEARS I LUSTED FOR SOMETHING LIKE THAT DESCRIBED ABOVE AND THAT'S WHY I FINALLY SELECTED A SAMSUNG 6.3 INCH SCREEN MEGA AS MY DAILY DRIVER.

by Meyrick Jones

January 14, 2015 at 08:36PM

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