Letter from the editor: That's what I call progress!

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The Independent Online

I don't want to sound even older than I actually am, but does anyone remember how it used to be when you got back from holiday?

You'd been away for two weeks, somewhere in Europe possibly, but you might as well have been on another planet. I am talking about a time before the internet and mobile phones when, for a fortnight, you’d not seen a British newspaper or watched an English language TV channel, and you’d arrive home desperate for information. What's happened in the news? What’s the weather been like? What are the football scores? It's a bit different these days.

I’ve been on a remote island where there are hardly any cars and the chickens outnumber the people. Yet every step of the way I was connected. To the news headlines. To my emails. To the office (the beauty of global messages is that you can lie on a beach and still know that the foreign editor needs a USB cable).

I was able to watch live Premier League football games you couldn't even see. And I could listen to Radio 5 (the joy of hearing there are tailbacks on the M6 near Knutsford when you’re thousands of miles away).

When I spoke to people back home, I was better informed than they were. And, of course, thanks to my iPad app, I could download this newspaper every day. Sure, the iapp has some glitches (we're on the case) but it is still a thing of wonder. To keep in touch. Not to miss a single word of our columnists. To have Robert Fisk on tap as events in the Middle East unfold. And to marvel at how effortlessly, and entertainingly, Stefano filled this particular space. Now that's what I call progress! And believe me when I say: it’s good to be back.