I have been sitting in Departures at Gatwick’s North Terminal for a couple of hours. I have been away for a couple of days on family matters but am now waiting for my flight back to Inverness and then will travel onward to Elgin by car later tonight.
The airport isn’t mobbed so there are plenty of seats and I can work on my laptop for as long as the battery lasts. I was going to log on to the office network to get stuff done and also go into my passwords file on my One Drive. But at the last minute it struck me that this would be absolute folly as it could give some enterprising “villain” access to so much confidential information. So, don’t worry, I did not do it.
But it does seem a bit of a waste. The airport provides free superfast broadband, and I am not using it. However, I have not been idle. A real restriction in these situations is my battery life. For my phone, I have a power pack which lives in my brief case, and I periodically check it is fully charged. I am therefore never without my phone. But the laptop is something else. When it was new I got 4 hours but now just 2. I should maybe get a new battery, unless Helen lets me get a new laptop instead!
I have spent the last 2 days with family and I and my two sisters have been reminiscing and much of that was about technology we have used over the years. In the past I have had laptops where you could hot swap a new battery. So good! Most of the time I have carried one or two spare batteries and it was not hard to change them over albeit that you had to shut down. You need a screwdriver for my current laptop. Is that progress?
I expect that in a few years battery technology will have moved on so much that then I can work nonstop on my laptop without plugging in for a whole day. That would be just so good. However, maybe the interface we all use by that time isn’t a laptop but something I can carry around in my pocket, like something out of science fiction.
It’s quite funny trying to imagine where technology will take us. I recall someone saying to me that technology had developed so quickly that it will now plateau. Then we installed Windows 95. So, it is never going to stop. It is just a question of what new things we can do or what old things we can do better or easier.
Mind you there are the usual luddites scare mongering about the evils of AI and how it is going to cost jobs and ruin lives. It’s usually the media when they have got nothing else to scare us with, so maybe a few of their jobs should go.
Speaking of media, speculation is mounting ahead of the next general election. The media does not seem to like the SNP just now. Maybe you don’t either, but they have their current darlings although one day Starmer seems to be a darling and the next he is in trouble over one policy or another. I have largely stopped watching the news. I read the news on the BBC website several times a day and that way I can decide which stories to read and which to ignore. Just suits me!
And of course, I read Accountingweb for my latest tax and accounting headlines. It is my home page so hopefully I never miss a big announcement. How do you keep up to date?
Anyway, what is your prediction for the next general election? I think that this one could be quite hard to call. What will be the new balance in Westminster of Holyrood? It’s going to be an interesting year.
Alan E Long
The Long Partnership