By HANS DUVEFELT
I love cars and I don’t like computers.
My car takes me where I need to go, but it also makes me happy along the way. I’ve had it for about ten years now and have covered it almost 300,000 miles. It sounds like an extension of me. Everything is perfect for the way I drive and the things I have to do with it. From the lavishly cavernous interior to the rugged all-wheel-drive characteristics and studded Finnish snow tires, it takes me just about anywhere, anytime. Why anyone would want to travel by car without the sublime pleasure of driving it is beyond my comprehension.
My computers, on the other hand, are things I avoid whenever I can. My work laptop is a clunky Windows machine. Do I have to say more? Either way, it happens in a stilted and non-intuitive way behind layers of barriers and firewalls that make me log in over and over again until I come to a pathetically awkward DME.
My MacBook Pro is thinner and smoother but I don’t enjoy using it, sorry to say.
Every word I wrote and posted – roughly as many words as the miles on my car – was recorded on my iPad’s virtual keyboard. It looks more like an extension of my brain. I use it in bed, by the fire, in the barn or on the lawn. I can even speak there without a microphone or special software. I touch the screen and the magic happens: apps open, fonts and colors change, and the world is at my fingertips, wherever I am.
The remote work I do for my upstate clinic takes place on my iPad and iPhone. This DME works great on my portable devices; the application is so much more modern and intuitive than the computer version.
Some people get pleasure from the computer itself. I cringe when I have to use it. But driving is a sultry experience, whether it’s my drive through the northern woods or my weekend trip along the Aroostook River through Fort Fairfield to Tractor Supply in Presque Isle. Changed the 7-speed manumatic transmission with the steering wheel paddles so as not to lean on the brakes, smooth acceleration in every corner for better traction, I’m one with my machine.
I take no pleasure in passing my thoughts from my brain to the medical record. I just want this to be over. So if this Country Doctor had to choose between the future prospects of a driverless car or a driverless, keypad DME, he wouldn’t hesitate for a split second.
(Written on my iPad)
Hans Duvefelt is a rural family physician born in Sweden in Maine. This article originally appeared on his blog, A Country Doctor Writes, here.