DMS Facets

Relating several topics, including IT, Microsoft Access, sports administration, and micro-ISV business.

Enigmatic Technology

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Some rambling quirky personal revelations

sponge My friend Kirk once told me that I am “an enigma”.  I remember this, because even though I have a pretty good vocabulary, I had to look this one up to be sure.

The circumstances at the time were that I chose not to try and find a place on the floor in a crowded Los Angeles airport departure lounge to open up my laptop and check my email.

Kirk knows that I don’t have a TV or a microwave, and such like. But this email failure apparently was beyond the pale. How can I call myself an IT professional, and pass up any opportunity to use technology to the full?

Not a Luddite

My daughter asked me today about early cameras. I told her about the Kodak Brownie box camera I had when I was (much) younger, and we then watched a guy on YouTube pulling one apart.

But I have a nice digital camera now, and have no urge to revert to older technology.

On the other hand, I bought my CD player in 1987.  It still plays music, and I have no desire for anything more “modern”.

But I prefer playing records. We bought a new turntable last year. My friend Oli thought I was joking when I told him. But our turntable is by far my most recent acquisition as regards entertainment technology.

It was heartening to read an article in our local weekly rag this week, suggesting a resurgence of interest in vinyl records as a music medium. For myself, I don’t know how the interest ever waned. Playing a record is an incomparable process.

Autofocus

I also thought about this theme recently when, being the beginning of the year, I bought my 2010 diary.

For a few years I tried various software – calendars and task managers and all that.  But in the end I had to conclude that for me there is no future in this – it’s just too sterile and remote.  Computers are really awesome for some stuff. Other stuff needs hands on. Simple as that. In the case of diaries, it means pencil and paper – it looks like an increasing number of people are agreeing with this assessment too.

I have also started using a time management system called Autofocus. It is brilliant in its simplicity, and manages to combine the intuitive with the rational.

Such a system can be managed electronically.  However, I join the author of the system, Mark Forster, in preferring the pencil. He says it like this: “I find paper and pen much quicker and easier, and it has a meditative natural quality about it which the computer entirely lacks.”

Sixth Sense

I have recently watched this presentation with fascination. It is a hint at emerging technology, which is always fun to see, and ponder on the possible future real-life application of what might emerge from it.

One thing that struck me in the point that Pranav Mistry makes about this development at the end of his talk. Bridging the “digital divide”, staying human by retaining a more intuitive and natural connection with the physical world, is a desirable pathway forward.

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So, what do you think ?