Sunday, February 2, 2014

Being a hobbyist

Technology hobbies are a funny thing. We might be talking about computers, operating systems, ham radio, cell phones, tablets… you name it.

Let’s take Linux as an example. When I install a Linux on my computer, what do I use it for? Honestly, the first thing I do is join forums, chat channels, and mailing lists so I can talk to other people who are using whatever flavor of Linux I’ve just installed. And for the next number of weeks I spend a lot of time using Linux to talk to people regarding the use of Linux.

Is there something wrong with this picture? Ham radio is no different. People get their ham license. They set up a radio station. When they get on the air the main thing they talk about is ham radio. So they are using the technology they’re interested in primarily for the purpose of talking to others about that technology.

Of course I use my computer and my cell phone for a few other things. But my main use of technology in general is to learn about and keep up on what's happening with that very technology.

That just seems a little funny to me. I wonder how much I would use technology if I only used it things not related to the technology itself. Honestly, probably not much. But it might be a fun experiment.