Just last week, I was in the midst of celebrating my birthday. It was more or less a camping trip and, like any true geek, I brought all my techie goodies with me just in case.
I had my Laptop, networking/FireWire cables, digital camera, AC inverter (so that my car could charge all my devices), and rechargeable batteries. You name it, I brought it and they all came in quite handy on the trip too. When I filled my CF card from my new Nikon D70 digital camera, my laptop was there to download the pictures and burn a CD backup just in case. When my camera batteries got low, I used my AC inverter, powered by the car, to charged my batteries and again, when I needed to check my email, my laptop connected through my cell phone to the net and I was able to stay connected to the outside world. All in all, I was prepared for anything, or so I thought.
As we were driving through Death Valley, miles away from any cell phone reception and further from any signs of civilization and the technological world, you can imagine how surprised I was when we came upon a broken down car. I slowed and signaled to the driver who was waiving me to pull over and help him. When I asked what the matter, I received the reply, “Non parlo inglese.”
After a few minutes of carefully planned gesticulation I learned that my two Italian friends, Mateo #1 and Mateo #2, were on their way to San Francisco when they hit a rock which smashed their oil pan and stranded them. There was an enormous language gap and most of our communications consisted of one word sentences such as “hungry?” and “hotel?” with the occasional compound 3 word sentence as in “what your email address?”
So you may be asking yourself what this little story has to do with technology so here it is: SHERLOCK by APPLE.
Fast forward 3 weeks and I’m home, about to go see a movie. Naturally, I opened up Sherlock to check the movie time and the translation button caught my eye. Translation button? I opened it up and realized that every Mac has a built in language translator ready to go with the 11th option from the top being “English to Italian.”
Here I am, a techno savvy computer dude and this most basic feature eluded me for years. If I would have known about it 3 weeks ago it would have made our rescue mission just a bit easier and allowed us to get to know our Italian friends a little more. On top of doing language translations, Sherlock can look up movie times w/ QuickTime previews, stock quotes, picture searching, yellow pages lookups and a lot more.
Sherlock, it’s back in my dock.