Tech-Mazing

I’ve had the pleasure of taking my kids to an indoor play park known locally as “FunMazing” a couple of times over last few years – as part of company Christmas parties.  So while I was thinking about the number of “devices” we have around the home now, the word “Tech-Mazing” kept coming to my mind.  It’s kind of like a technological indoor play park for adults – as well as kids, let’s face it – around our home now.  I mean, I don’t think I can even count the number of these devices we have anymore.

I could start with the latest addition which is the iPad I actually won at one of those company Christmas parties.  That alone has been a huge hit with the kids.  My daughter has to be practically pried away from that thing, while the other kids who come around likewise beg to be able to use it.  So it is a good thing indeed that there are a multiplicity of other devices to get their attention besides the iPad.

Speaking of which, the WiiU seems to be the other hit with the kids.  It was a Christmas present to the whole family this year.  But again, that means the kids in reality.  I have my own devices to keep me busy and entertained, which I’ll likely mention in my next blog.

Blackberry Cellphone

Is this the end for my blackberry?  I would be sad to see it go into the dustbin of history so soon.  It has been a faithful companion to me for and a welcome tool of communication.  I particularly liked the keypad my blackberry has – touch and user friendly.  Not that touch screen technology isn’t a great advance over these things.  But somehow, I just loved being able to type away and feel like I was actually making letters and numbers materialize out of thin air.

Anyway, I still have my blackberry for now.  I don’t really follow the ins and outs of company stocks or business doings.  I only know what I hear from the 6 o’clock news and that the company has been sold.  Also, the jury still seems to be out as far as those who sell Blackberry phones as well as the public who buy them…  or not.

What do you think?

Technology

If you’re like me, you almost never give a second thought to all the hard work and technology that goes into producing a music recording. It’s just that song you hear every day as you drive in to work. But to the musicians and technicians behind the scenes, that is work.

Nor would you think twice about the brand of musical recording equipment that goes into recording great music – like the Focusrite the sound guy uses to pump out awesome tunes for your enjoyment. We can thank them and their equipment for making music that we can simply enjoy without worrying about the technical details of how or where it’s made.

Movie

Against all odds, the appearance of video on the internet has not been accompanied by much ease with how those videos get produced and put online.  Maybe this was done on purpose.  I don’t know.  I just know that I’ve had to plow through a mountain of frustration to find out how to make just a simple short video and get it online.

One of the problems with producing your own videos that you want to post online, is that the formats are not all in agreement.  I liken it to the old days when beta and VHS were the dominant formats in home video technology.  It was disorienting enough having just two formats to choose from.  Imagine having to figure out what to do with dozens of formats.  That’s more or less the situation with internet movie technology.  I expect it will get better as the more convenient of better formats take hold and the worse ones get shaken out.  But for the moment, it’s not easy.

And then there’s the movie file size.  What’s the big deal about that, you might be asking.  Well, it may not be that big of deal forever, just as DVDs came in and basically eliminated the debate on tape technologies.  But there is a certain economy of size that has to be respected when showing movies on the internet.  For a long time, computers and internet transmission lines just couldn’t handle super large video files without bogging down and often freezing.  That’s changing rapidly at the moment with the recent development and increased deployment of faster cables and computers.  But it still must be born in mind that not everyone has a Cray supercomputer sitting at home that can crunch massive Giga byte videos.

So what can you do?  Well, you will want to reduce movie size files as much as possible to avoid frustration on the user end – for the people who will be watching your videos online.  Ideally, you will also want to make smaller video files without losing too much quality.  You will lose some quality, but with the right video converter software, this should be kept to a minimum.

 

Videos online

You’ve seen those videos online that look and sound like they were produced in a bathroom. The videos themselves are often very good as far as content goes. But you wish that the people making them had invested in a good akg microphones at Amazon before deciding to commit to taking up digital space online. It would make their videos that much more appealing and less frustrating to watch.

Computer desks

We just re-arranged our basement and put one of our computer desks on the opposite side of the room.  This can be a challenge – particularly when figuring out where to run the monster power outlet to service the various computers and computer accessories.

The sound system is also in our basement and the connections involving the speaker cable and power cords also needed to be thought out.  It was a challenge, but I think we finally figured out a way to set everything up to our liking.