May 2010

USDA Inspected Verbiage

ControlData3600computer2 I’m no tough guy, but there’s not a lot of stuff that truly frightens me. There has been way too much water under the bridge for that. There is, however, one thing that truly scares me and that is a blank computer screen… well, not totally blank of course. I mean a totally blank document in either Word or Live Writer that screams: “Feed me! I’m undernourished and need a high caloric intake of adjectives, adverbs, and nouns. No filler or fluff. I want pure, Grade A, USDA inspected verbiage.” This, for me, is more intimidating than facing a 300 pound angry drunk in a dark alley or starting a project with a new piece of graphics software. I guess that’s pretty self-evident when viewing the number of my recent blog entries.

Well, since I do have Live Writer open and am writing, I’m now obligated to express something of value to you, my illustrious audience.  Cover me. I’m going in.

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time on the internet. Everyday I am astounded at the new technologies that are emerging and the things that people are doing with the existing ones. The science fiction of our grandparents is the reality of today. Just stop and think about this for a minute. You can type a few lines of code; mere words and symbols; and like magic a video appears that can be seen by anyone in the world with an internet connection. How in the hell would you have explained that to your great-grandmother? Arthur C. Clarke was right when he said: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” 

In the early eighties I studied computer hardware. I look back on the stuff we were working on and laugh. Hell, we learned to fix card readers for Christ sakes. (Remember those IBM cards?) A disk drive was huge. The actual disk was approximately the size of a record album (You do remember records, right?) and the reader was the size of a Volkswagen. Tape drives were huge versions of the reel to reel decks that audiophiles were using to record Tangerine Dream in the seventies. The CPUs were the size of a ‘58 Chrysler 300…just not quite as pretty. It’s been thirty years, (and a couple years of partying), so my memory is fuzzy on some things. If I remember right we were working on machines that ran IBM 386 assembler code. (Hey guys, help me out. Does that sound right?) I don’t remember the processing speed or the amount of RAM, but I’m pretty sure that this five year old, relatively cheap laptop has more processing ability than that monster did. The 16g flashdrive that I carry on my key ring probably has more memory than that beast had.

We’ve come a long way in thirty years. Can you imagine what’s coming in the next thirty? Perhaps this:"What your phone will do in the near future" is a good indication. In the immortal words of Dennis Hopper: “The future is a trip”.

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A Walk In SB

A Walk In Downtown SB from John Bielecki on Vimeo.

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Ok, so I haven’t written anything on this blog for months…shoot me. I’ve been getting all these mysterious cyber-prompts to get off my ass and do something. I guess that’s expected when you follow several writers on Twitter and subscribe to creative-type RSS feeds.

Well, as excuses go, I’ve been busy. My, is my new toy and I’ve been…toying with it. A year ago I knew very little about constructing a site, but with the advice of a few friends and the incredible resources available on the net, I’ve been able to pass something off that resembles a viable web presence. Imagine that! A bonehead from the south side of Chicago with a webpage…miracles do exist. 

I will make a concerted effort from now on to write something on this thing at least once a week. Hopefully, it’s not mindless drivel.

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