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Down the rabbit hole
  1. Robert W Tarr
  1. Correspondence to Robert W Tarr, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA; robert.tarr{at}uhhospitals.org

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‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’

—Arthur C Clarke, Profiles of the Future, 1961

‘Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand’

—Archibald Putt (pseudonym), Putt's Law and the Successful Technocrat: How to win in the Information Age. Exposition Press, Smithtown, NY, 1981

In my mind and in my car,

We can't rewind we've gone too far

Pictures came and broke your heart,

Put the blame on VTR

You are a Radio Star

You are a Radio Star

Video Killed the Radio Star

—The Buggles, 1979

If you asked my colleagues who was the most technologically challenged person they knew, it would be me, alas, the section head of Neuroradiology. Nevertheless, I have managed to eek out a living in one of the most technologically advanced areas of medicine. Although I am quite sure that many, if not most, of my readers are more technologically savvy than I am, I'm hoping you will appreciate the sentiment of this piece.

Not long ago, I had the arduous task of finding a birthday present for my wife. That task was arduous because, after 28 years of marriage, finding something original that appeals to her has become challenging. I eventually decided to take a chance on a repeat idea which had failed previously, not because she didn't like it, but because of technological incompatibility. Two years ago, I bought her a new camcorder which she liked very much, but which simply would not interface with her computer, which I will call Brand A. So, the camcorder was returned and I was a little deflated and felt sheepish for not investigating the concept of …

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