Not so long ago, taking care of lawns and flowerbeds was often quite hard work but thanks to modern technology a lot of the sweat has been taken out of the job. Nowadays there is a wide range of tools powered by petrol engines and rechargeable batteries that make light work of unruly hedges, driveways strewn with dead leaves and long grass in hard to reach areas. Digital technology has revolutionized the way we watch television as well and meant that running out of film whilst taking holiday snaps is just a distant memory. Tangled VHS tapes are no longer a problem, with disc players, and recorders featuring hard disk drives, freely available. High definition has improved the image quality that can be enjoyed by people in their own home. Apart from making our lives easier, another thing that power tools have given us is more time to relax and enjoy ourselves. Instead of spending a couple of hours raking leaves from the lawn we can now use a battery powered leaf blower and get rid of them in just a few minutes. Taking pictures of our loved ones with a digital camera is a simple process as the majority of them have an automatic setting that adjusts all the variables in order to get the best shot. A tidy garden makes a good backdrop for family portraits and a basic desktop computer can be used to edit the pictures afterwards and to email them to friends around the world.
Looking at things differently
For people that enjoy gardening, old-fashioned hand tools are still a good choice for tackling jobs around the garden, as speed is not of the essence when you are having fun. For the rest of us though, it is a relief to be able to spend less time and effort on tasks we would rather not have to do and more time enjoying life. The picture quality that can be enjoyed on modern screens has meant that many people are more than happy to stay at home and watch the latest films instead of driving to their nearest cinema. With screen sizes of 50 inches and greater and surround sound systems, the larger models offer a cinematic experience that is quite different to what was offered by older CRT sets. 3D TV has raised the game yet again. Power tools for the garden are hardly revolutionary of course but what is different about the latest generation of appliances is that more powerful, longer lasting batteries has meant that it is possible to manufacture hedge trimmers and leaf blowers that do not have a petrol engine and do not need to be plugged into the mains either. Large screen televisions still need electricity but there is plenty of portable home entertainment equipment about like mp3 players and mini DVD players with screens, which can run for several hours before they need to be recharged. These have made long car journeys and aeroplane flights a lot easier for people to deal with.
Fun for all the family
Gardening does not have to be a chore and for couples with young children it can be nice to get the whole family involved with tending to the flowers and shrubs and perhaps even growing a few vegetables if there is enough room. Not only does it teach kids that patience has its own rewards, in the form of juicy tomatoes and fresh peas, it teaches them how to relax. LCD TV sets may be more to their taste if they are teenagers but in later life they may be glad of a hobby. Liquid Crystal Displays are made in many different sizes and a 19-inch model is perfect for a child’s bedroom and saves arguing over what to watch in the evenings. With cordless leaf blowers, keeping the lawn tidy is an easy way for children to earn some extra pocket money and there is no danger of them tripping over power leads whilst they are doing it. Petrol mowers are fairly easy to operate as well but it is advisable to wait until your children are a bit older before letting them loose on one in the garden. They seem to have no problems operating electronic equipment from an early age though and it is often the case that when parents buy a new DVD recorder it is their kids that end up programming it. Modern units are a lot simpler to set however and can be programmed to record a whole series with a minimum of effort.
Holiday snaps are nice to look back on but a modern HD camcorder allows people to shoot high quality home videos that are much more entertaining for friends to watch than a traditional slide show. Some models can even film in 3D so assuming that there is a compatible television to hook up to, everybody can put on a pair of active-shutter glasses and really get into the action. When they get older, children will probably enjoy watching themselves helping out in the garden as kids, especially if every detail is recorded in high resolution. Some power tools that can help the keen gardener to tame wilder areas of the garden include electric chainsaws and log splitters. These appliances are good for keeping wooded areas under control and pruning trees that are growing a little too quickly in all the wrong directions. There are many gardening programmes broadcast in the UK with handy tips for looking after plants and making the most of the space around your home. A large screen makes watching them more enjoyable and ensures that nothing is missed. For viewing such programmes and for making action films more fun to watch, many people are choosing a plasma TV for their living room. The technology used in these screens means that they can be made in very large sizes and still weigh very little. Improved contrast and refresh rates provide a picture quality that is hard to beat and their slim design means they are very compact.