Friday, 30 April 2021

More Good Technology

 After going on about the concept of distributed power (posited in the excellent  F Paul Wilson book “Legacies”), this morning something happened (that has happened before) when I tried to photograph the moon which looked rather close , so I took a picture with my Canon camera that has a 25x optical zoom and 100x digital zoom (I think the more megapixels your camera has then the better the digital zoom will be) although when you get to very high zooms you need a way of stabilising the camera , just holding your device won’t do it. As an example my Google Pixel 2XL phone had one of the best cameras when it came out but only has a 7x digital zoom.


Anyway back to the initial point of the post. When I downloaded the picture onto my computer I opened it up and in the top left hand corner was an aeroplane which I hadn’t seen when I took the picture. Digital photography has given everyone the chance to take brilliant pictures, and not only that , you can take lots of pictures and choose the good ones to share. Someone remarked on the high quality of my friend Chris’s pictures and he replied (roughly) “For every shot you see, there’s a thousand in the bin”.


When we used film , you never knew whether the pictures were any good, you had to send the film off to be developed and wait for it to come back and hope that there were some good. This is a great example of how some technology can improve our lot.


As I am writing this Google Docs is checking my spelling and my grammar, another example of improving technology that makes our lives easier. I do remember writing documents and then running a spell checker, and proof reading to hopefully spot any grammatical errors. Modern word processors now do that as you are typing so you can be fairly sure that your text will come out and the end at least fairly readable.


Mobile phones have now become handheld computers. As well as using them to contact people by voice , like our original wired landline phones , we can text , send pictures and video calls. And that’s just the contact bit. We can now use them to access the internet and find out almost anything we want. The internet is an amazing reference library although you have to know how to search and I tend to just use Google although on my work computer it defaults to Bing .


Technology is enabling me to write this article, and I remember when people wondered whether to buy typewriters. I used one as a teenager and while I can use one I would rather use some form of word processor.


Our music has gone from live and written through vinyl storage , magnetic tape , to computer storage and digital media meaning that music and video can be stored and streamed on the aforementioned phones and other devices.  Paper books are also published as digital copies, although this was started by Project Gutenberg which transcribed out of copyright and print books onto digital copies which are now available often for free.


Amazon Kindles and other reading devices (you can use your phone for this as well) are great for reference books and very large tomes. A paper book doesn’t need power and sometimes is preferable to an ereader. 


One old technology thing I miss is teletext. I would like a text option on my TV, but the amount of real programs on demand probably negates the need for it, but I dod like the fact that you could overlay what you were watching with what you were searching for. Then again I do have my mobile phone to search the internet  if I want to find something I need to know.


So the perfect piece of music to accompany this piece is “Good Technology” by Red Guitars. I remember having to buy “America and Me” on vinyl (my favourite record of theirs) , although I did eventually find it on a CD album , so there is more good technology.


I feel I have hardly scratched the surface with this , so no doubt I will be revisiting in the future, then again I might not , but who knows?


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