Where technology was concerned, my dad liked things that were cheap. He liked things that did what they supposed to do. And he didn’t like being hassled. Anything else, and he’d excommunicate an entire company it forever, even if the quality improved down the road. His victims were marked by derisive nicknames: Internet Exploder; Packard-Hell; America Offline. The man was fiercely stuck in his ways, and his frustrating quirks of consumption became the rule of law for our household growing up.
You see, my dad was a hardware engineer. He didn’t talk much about the work he did, which I think involved designing circuit boards and working on EMVs—those chips we all have in our debit and credit cards. But his real passion was computers: specifically, Windows-based computers. Gadgets have since become my passion, as well as the