I have been a techno fan for years. I have had several home computers including a Sinclair Spectrum and a marvellous beast called a Sord M5. That was a machine which never really got off the ground. My ex wife gained custody of it and recently gave it to a computer museum.

Eventually I settled on a P.C. and even had a go at building one or two. However I have had a contract Mobile (Cell) Phone for many years and, to my surprise, they suddenly got smart. It meant learning a new computer OS (Android) but learning to use it became second nature and suddenly a new technological avenue was open to me. The reason for my lack of a post yesterday was that I was playing with the latest of these devices to come into my eager grasp.

It is proof of serendipity that these marvellous little machines coincide with my need of the things they do. I had a stroke several years ago and, of late, the memory problems created by this have got worse. It is more a short term memory thing. I am a trivia fan and it is this kind of activity that is affected. If watching a quiz and a question is asked that I definitely know, the answer evades me. Last week I forgot the name of one of the Mutant Ninja Turtles. I even sometimes forget what I am saying mid sentence and lose my track in a Blog.

The most striking thing is what happens when watching T.V. I have watched lots of T.V. and like to play the ‘Where have we seen Him/Her before’ Game. it may be that someone looking like a favourite actor is in a show we are watching. For instance I saw a woman acting in several crime dramas and her face was so familiar. It turned out she was Selina Cadell, sister of Simon Cadell of ‘Hi-de-hi’ fame. She looks very much like her brother  It may just be that someone is in a film we are watching and has been in another film we enjoyed and I can’t remember where.

The answers have always been available online but my computer takes 15 minutes to boot into a usable state. This is where my smartphone (And tablet of late, why have 1 when you can have 2!) comes in. There are several apps I can’t do without. Social networking of course, and Bank apps. Sky News and WordPress of course.

However the ones I use in terms of the memory problems are Wikipedia and IMDB. Wikipedia doesn’t help with the quizzes but does help with things like the Ninja Turtles. IMDB is, quite simply, the most comprehensive T.V. And film database, If you have the film or the name of the program you can look at the cast. When you find the actor you can go into the filmography. That will list everything they have been in. Problem solved. Well, it can be a little more complicated, if the program is one episode of a long series you will need the episode title or number.

Essentially these great machines and the apps they run can usually help with many aspects of life. I guess we are all familiar with their capabilities. Regarding my problems, anything I can’t find on the two sites I have mentioned are available on the internet in general and there is a browser on the device too. All in all, for anyone with memory issues, these little machines could truthfully be described as auxiliary back up storage. Mine are never more than a few feet away.