Life-Changing Hardware

Life-Changing Hardware

What is seriously Life-Changing Hardware? For me, it was the smallest of modern inconveniences. The ubiquity of the digital, portable phone? Yeah, almost commonplace, now. The counter-worker at the what-a-burger has a phone sticking out of her back pocket — not out of place.

They are everywhere, the “smart” phones. Not what this is about. The first, Life-Changing Hardware wasn’t the phone itself, but an accessory. That add-on, for me?

Wireless earphones with built in mic.

And volume control!


The original, Life-Changing Hardware has to be the wireless headsets. Now, just earbuds, but at one time, it was a headset. Or, for me, it was a pair of earbuds connected by wire, with a mic (and volume control) built-in. Changed it all.

There was certain freedom that came with that first, cheap wireless set. Maybe a gateway drug? At around $20?

What was life changing about that? The right price, the right hardware, and the right usage. Freedom. I could walk, talk, and wave my arms about. Not like this is a new observation, but a recent sales list was pushing an out-dated model, with the same plug, “life changing hardware.” Gave me pause. I reflected, briefly, and yes, that was a piece of life-changing hardware, the first Bluetooth headset.

Life-Changing Hardware

What changed, and it changed everything, was the ability to listen to podcasts, or music, or converse with clients, with freedom to move about. More important, in a succession of rent cars, the handy — wireless — earbuds didn’t require convoluted sync and pairing. The hands-free worked — and that’s when this became Live-Changing Hardware.

My frequently infrequent commute to Austin is a perfect example. Maybe 45 minutes to get to South Austin and then another 45 minutes to get downtown — on a good day. That’s almost one whole Shakespeare play, or a decent lecture about the occult symbolism in Shakespeare’s Scottish Play. Or other topics.

What changed was the freedom. What the smart phone promised? Those cheap ear-buds delivered.

Life-Changing Hardware

Apple MMEF2AM/A Airpods Wireless Bluetooth Headset for iPhones with iOS 10 or Later White

Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones Waterproof IPX7, Wireless Earbuds Sport, Richer Bass HiFi Stereo In-Ear Earphones w/ Mic, Case, 7-9 Hrs Playback Noise Cancelling Headsets (Comfy & Fast Pairing)

About Apple AirPods and earlier, here.

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