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  • #2290754

    Consumed with IT

    Locked

    by house ·

    Hardware devices, that provide a more narrow functionality, are quickly being replaced by home computer solutions. Telephony service is rapidly being transformed into the highly configurable VoIP technology. I bought a DVD player last year, and now I am reading about the new blue-ray technology. People are ripping off satellite television service at an alarming rate. Say goodbye to the media monopolies that have been taxing us over the past century, and say hello to the more controllable, yet still unreliable, alternative options that have been introduced through the advent of the “information super-highway”. There is no love lost regarding these media giants, but my main concern, is that there are many people who will not be able to keep up with the coming trends. These poor uninformed folks aside, we all stand to make a killing off of their lament and ignorance. Is it ethical? If so, what does it mean for the future of IT? If not… well who cares… it is happening, and it is happening now.

    VoIP has been taking the industry by storm for a few years, but it is now cropping up in “home” solutions for the common user. Aside from the home telephone systems, there has been much talk and action regarding the integration of VoIP into common chat clients. I fear it won’t be long until we see more people abandonning their more traditional forms of communication, for that of an internet and IP solution. What standards can be developed regarding privacy, legal rights, and quality of service, when the technology that is in question moves so much faster than any courtroom or political organization could possibly imagine? Right now, I could change my phone number with the click of the mouse. I can add forwarding services, answering services… I can actually disconnect my main feed into my home, and provide VoIP service through all of my phone jacks in my house. Are we going in the right direction here? Is the internet itself ready to handle the forecasted influx of communications media?

    What does your home theater consist of? Despite the subpar sales results of the Windows Media Center, it is a known fact that many people are now using PC solutions for their home entertainment. Many of us have actually owned a DVD-Rom before we’ve invested in a DVD player. Some of us link our video and sound directly to our stereo. I’ve even seen wireless AVI links from a PC to a home theater. What does this mean to home entertainment? What does it mean for those of us who have an investment in Information Technology as a career? I know for a fact, that not everyone is interested in tackling the myriad of issues that we face in configuring and maintaining our equipment. There are so many codecs available to us in regards to audio and AV, and so many different pieces of software to manage, convert, and mount these formats. I have always been a subscriber to the fact that hardware solutions are generally better than software solutions. We are heading in the direction of the software solution in all forms of media. Quality and control are being replaced by quantity and personalization, and I’m sure that I am not the only one who choses the latter, in full hypocrisy of my ‘hardware’ statement.

    As the years roll by, and as technology grows thicker, the specialization of our class grows weaker. When I don’t understand “the way things work”, I will invest my time and effort in deciphering the technology, so that I can acheive a higher level of knowledge, and provide support to my clients. I am now entering a new dimension, where I am faced with an overwhelming crossroad. An ultimate understanding of information systems and communication media will soon be unattainable by even the most dedicated of geeks within our industry. Ten years from now, my calendar will be built into my refrigerator. I will retreive my grocery list via palm PC. I will walk into the room, and my thermostat will adjust the temperature according to my own body heat. I will shake my buddy’s hand, in order to pass on a personal message, or to simply swap files. I will send my girlfriend a message when she is sitting four feet away from me. Despite the complexities, it sounds like a barren wasteland to me. I will definitely need to invest in an amphetamine chip for my nervous system, or perhaps a brain buffer so that I may retain this knowledge after a good night’s sleep.

    I’ve gone a little off topic here, but I was not interested in composing a proper essay anyways. Is this too much? Are you consumed with IT?

All Comments

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    Replies
    • #3298089

      THE UNFINISHED REVOLUTION

      by fluxit ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      There is a book written several years ago about the information technology revolution. It points to a movement into human centric computing and consolidation of technologies.

      http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=fq6ppEo9Ua&isbn=0694525030&itm=10

      If you go review the DARPA projects (where the interent began) and the direction of movement there I think you’ll see where we are headed.

      Many technologies will consolidate, the link into every home will be fiber most likely and on it will be electrical power, phone, cable, and internet services. The smart home will most likely progress in this next 40 to 80 years. You’ll observe consolidation of kitchen appliances and newer appliances come to existence. Your home will have a personality and other devices will be consolidated.

      The reason for the recent downturning economy is a cycling of the economy for about a 40 yr growth cycle. Invest in companies that show movement in the directions I talk to above.

      • #3298086

        Also:

        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to THE UNFINISHED REVOLUTION

        At the risk of a hate fest this book as well:

        Bill Gates – ‘The Road Ahead’ speaks to a lot of these things. (Yes, including his house)

        • #3298083

          MICROSOFT ZEALOT

          by house ·

          In reply to Also:

          Sorry… I had to do it. 🙂

        • #3298081

          Woulda been dissapointed if you didn’t

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to MICROSOFT ZEALOT

          actually 😉

        • #3301494

          Viva La Microsoft! Viva La Microsoft!

          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to MICROSOFT ZEALOT

          Long Live The Bill!

          It was far too much to resist!

        • #3301448

          Elvis Just rolled over!

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Viva La Microsoft! Viva La Microsoft!

          🙂

        • #3318572

          Speaking of Elvis..and totally off subject..

          by maecuff ·

          In reply to Elvis Just rolled over!

          I watched a movie this weekend, “Bubba Ho Tep”, Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead) plays Elvis living in a nursing home and warding off soul sucking zombies. It was a riot.

        • #3318489

          Off topic??

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Speaking of Elvis..and totally off subject..

          It wasn’t that far off topic really….

          Sounds like a standard Microsoft vs Linux ‘movie’
          to me 😉

        • #3346836

          Could be meaningful…

          by aceskaraoke ·

          In reply to Speaking of Elvis..and totally off subject..

          So…

          Microsoft would be “The King”…

          Aged in a nursing home. Fighting off…

          Linux (the soul sucking zombies?) the relentless armies of Open Source fans.

          Does sound plausible as a MS vs. Linux “movie”

          Bill Gates nightmare on the big screen?

        • #3318509
          Avatar photo

          Just out of curiosity

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Viva La Microsoft! Viva La Microsoft!

          What has a British Police TV Show “The Bill” got to do with Microsoft?

          Now that one was just too much for me to resist!

          Col 😀

        • #3318487

          Ahh yes, but In ‘Maecuff’s’ example

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Just out of curiosity

          Linus had a starring role as the ‘Soul Man’.

          DAFE2:-)

          My appologies to ‘maecuff’ …..I couldn’t resist that one!

        • #3346693

          never too much as long as……..

          by chief125 ·

          In reply to Viva La Microsoft! Viva La Microsoft!

          Your auto transmission is very complex but the end user does not have to mess with it. When it breaks, you to to a transmission shop. The headache is offset by the benefit. With hi tech, if it is relatively transparent, it is not too much. If everyone has to “become an it expert”, it is highly excessive. If it is excessive, it won’t sell. The buyer will make the ultimate decision with their purchases. Quality and ease of use have nothing to do with it. The buyer can be very fickle and opinionated. Too much is too much if grandma and grandpa say so.

        • #3346651
          Avatar photo

          You raise an interesting point here

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to never too much as long as……..

          There was a time when Auto Transmissions where more expensive than the manual’s but today it is the opposite as any manual will cost you more to buy new than an auto of the same type. Also the Autos are now far more complex as well. Even the current crop of Electronically controlled Autos while having some benefits for the idiots as you can be moving forward select reverse and they just will not pick up the gear so they are more reliable from that point of view, but by the same token a friend of mine who works on these things claims that on most repair jobs he only has to attack the electronics and generally doesn’t have to remove the transmission from the car to effect the repair. But it now costs more to repair and the shop doesn’t make as much in the job either.

          Col

        • #3345324

          all in perception

          by chief125 ·

          In reply to You raise an interesting point here

          point well taken about many repairs to AT being in the electronics. But, we now pay more to shift for ourselves because it is more fun. Again, the purchaser uses their perception of their “needs’ and “wants” to decide where to spend their money. If it weren’t for marketing created perception, who would want to listen to rap.

        • #3298064

          READ THAT TOO

          by fluxit ·

          In reply to Also:

          I have several books on these topics. The Unfinished Revolution was about 2001 and centered on human centric computing. The Road Ahead was out about 1996. The term ‘The Road (Way) Ahead’ is a term used in government and I suspect that Bill is not as genius as some think. I suspect that Bill was talking to technocrats who were already designing our new ways. ‘Business @ The Speed of Thought’ also by Bill came amidst several of books on the same topic.

          Microsoft has never invented anything to date. They take existing concepts and exploit them for profit. ie the windows concept was developed at MIT in the 1960’s and called x-windows.

        • #3298060

          Funny, I thought it was PARC

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to READ THAT TOO

          They stole ‘Windows concept’ from Xerox @ PARC.

        • #3298057

          Yes, I thought that it was Xerox too

          by house ·

          In reply to Funny, I thought it was PARC

          I’m not sure where the “windowed” concept came from. I thought the GUI concept came from Xerox too, but in defense of Gates and Allen, they were innovators at one time. They created the BASIC programming language, as well as other hybrids and contributions to others such as COBOL.

        • #3345376

          No they didn’t

          by peter_es_uk ·

          In reply to Yes, I thought that it was Xerox too

          The Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code is a lot older than either Gates or Allen – I learned to code in Basic when I was at college and that was in the 60’s

        • #3345347

          Absolutely

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to No they didn’t

          I had to take a course on elementary programming concepts in 1972 as a prerequisite to COBOL; the language used was BASIC.

          What Bill actually did was port BASIC to the i86 architecture.

        • #3345829

          Really ?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Yes, I thought that it was Xerox too

          Day not wasted, learnt something. Bill invented BASIC, always wondered who to blame for that.
          Oh well, have to take it back.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC_programming_language#History
          Wasn’t Bill aparently, nor was he the first to take it on board followed on from DEC PDPs among other’s apparently.

          Terrible language, though. Could be made better with a few changes but then it would lose both it’s appeal and it’s main marketing advantage.

        • #3345734

          Ooops

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Really ?

          Forgot to read before responding.

        • #3345746

          Alright… alright… alright

          by house ·

          In reply to Yes, I thought that it was Xerox too

          Ok.. ok.. ok.. You guys got me. I should check my sources next time. I have an old Sybex A+ book that lays out the history of manageable software. Gates was creditted with the invention of the BASIC language. For the past 5 years, I have been under the impression that this was a fact.

          My mistake. 🙂

        • #3346828

          Invention=Genuis?….Maybe

          by aceskaraoke ·

          In reply to Alright… alright… alright

          Inventing things does not make you a genuis, and, unfortunately, being a genuis doesn’t mean you’re smart (sounds like an oxymoron, but let me explain).

          Often inventions are made by necessity, serendipity, or pure accident. Though I’m sure there are many geniuses creating things daily, I believe that more often you’ll find inventors just have drive and curiosity and that even when they don’t get the result they expected, they document what result they did get and sometimes proceed from there.

          Often invention just stems from a problem put forth with a need for solution. A prime example being the internet (ARPA and the ARPAnet at first). Some truly gifted minds were commissioned by the government to get some big computers in a few universities and the government to communicate with each other. These individuals broke down the problem into pieces; what languages would the computers communicate in, what sort of physical connection would there be, how would transmissions be initiated and carried out, etc.

          They approached the problem logically and made it happen. Logic rarely embraces genius, and genius is rarely logical. Admittedly, there may have been a bit of both involved in the project. One of the biggest inventions of importance to the advent of the internet of today- email, was just created as an afterthought (serendipity).

          True, now we have thriving e-commerce, huge amounts of information at our disposal, and search engines to sort through it all. In the beginning, it was hard to communicate from one computer to another and you really had to know what you were doing to find information; even once these things got refined a bit there wasn’t much that would draw the average user in, much less make them want to spend the kind of money it took to buy a computer.

          Something about e-mail is appealing- both personal and impersonal at the same time. It can be both professional and playful. Imagine if the internet today had no e-commerce, no glitzy websites, no search engines, AND no e-mail. How many average users would turn on their computer to do anything more than write a paper, play a game, or do their taxes? If it was just about information, the internet wouldn’t be the phenomenon it is today.

          Geniuses not smart? OK, I haven’t forgotten about that. Of all those guys who were commisioned to create that first basic internet, how many are well known for it (except in very eclectic circles) or made a dime off their inventions or contributions? You guessed it…none of them…sad really, but I do think it illustrates the point of a genius not necessarily being smart.

          Do I have a point? Yes, I almost forgot (it’s 3am and I may be rambling a bit). Bill Gates may not be a genius, but he IS smart. He has the gift of recognizing POTENTIAL and thinking of ways to market and exploit it. He may run out of options if he doesn’t find a way to adapt to, overcome, or Borg-style assimilate Linux and its rising importance in business and home use.

        • #3297931
          Avatar photo

          Steal isn’t the right word

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Funny, I thought it was PARC

          As Xerox showed both Gates & Jobs their prototype before they junked the “Lidia Project” in favor of their core business.

          Col

        • #3345339

          Steal is such a harsh word

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Funny, I thought it was PARC

          We prefer to think of it as borrowing with no intention of returning or giving credit where credit due.

          It is all in how you look at it.

          For some people the glass is half full for the rest it is a monopoly.

        • #3345695

          Borrowed it is

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Steal is such a harsh word

          I was going to go for ‘aquired’ but…..

        • #3298026

          MY UNDERSTANDING…

          by fluxit ·

          In reply to READ THAT TOO

          is that MIT developed the OOP concepts that x-windows was built on during the 1960’s. However, the computers of the time were unable to do that kind of operation. It was not until later circa 70’s that corporate america began experimenting with the concepts developed at MIT.

          This is why I posted a thread that so many think they know it all and yet know nothing. I was speaking to a teacher recently who teaches history. She was telling me all about the internet and how Al Gore started it. When I told her it was an outcome of Sputnik and the space race beginning in the 1950’s before Congress funded the idea in the late 1960’s she became absolutely obstinate with me not much different than some people here.

        • #3298018

          Huh?

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to MY UNDERSTANDING…

          They where HONEST questions.

          I’d thank you for clearing it up your thought but I feel I may hurt the only feeling you brought here today.

          Get a grip.

        • #3301733
          Avatar photo

          Well Mr Miami Al Gore I’m impressed

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to MY UNDERSTANDING…

          She honestly really didn’t say that did she?

          That reminds me of the Evangelical Christians who sing Bob Dylan’s Knocking on Heavens Door as a Gospel Song, they too do not really understand what it means but at least they are good for a laugh.

          Col

        • #3345795

          SOME SARCASM IN IT

          by fluxit ·

          In reply to Well Mr Miami Al Gore I’m impressed

          The dialogue did occur and she was very obstinate that she knew it but the Al Gore part just added the right seasoning. I was hoping that so left wing nutcase would fly off the handle so I could run up my posting meter having some fun.

        • #3301489

          Beginnings of the Internet

          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to MY UNDERSTANDING…

          While it is a heretical view, I would counter that the Internet was actually started by the science fiction fans, such as Roger Ebert, publisher of Stymie, who had discussions in their small fanzines who are actually the fore-fathers on the Internet and even the discussion boards, of which Techrepublic is an example.

          While I am aware that most of the TechRepublic readers were born far after these halcyon days when a reader could actually speak to a 20-yr old Harlan Ellison, it was those fans who eventually became the scientists that did invent the hardware and software that became the Internet.

          I would direct everyone’s attention to an interesting essay which Roger Ebert produced for Asimov’s entitled “Thought Experiments.”

          http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0501/thoughtexperiments.shtml

        • #3345792

          MIND CONTROL…

          by fluxit ·

          In reply to Beginnings of the Internet

          Did you know that Techrepublic is actually using the technology that the ‘Watchman’ sports watches use when programming those devices.

          Instead Techrepublic is really programming our minds with sublimal flashes of the screen. Read some of the posting – I think they were made while in a catatonic state during the mind programming sessions.

          For example, I am a ‘Tron’ drifting aimlessly in a plasma ion cloud through out the universe unbounded by space-time.

        • #3346826

          MrMiami

          by aceskaraoke ·

          In reply to MIND CONTROL…

          Is the heat and humidity getting to you?

          Or the hurricanes?

          Or all the old people?

          You may be feverish…you seem a bit delusional.

          Did you watch the “Manchurian Candidate” recently?

          If you answered yes to any of these questions (or even if you didn’t), please report to the brain-washing academy for debriefing and subsequent re-programming.

        • #3345336

          Public education at it’s best

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to MY UNDERSTANDING…

          I even had a teacher claim the Civil war was fought to free the slaves.

          Go figure.

        • #3345950
          Avatar photo

          It speaks volumes about

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Public education at it’s best

          The standard of education though.

          Don’t you think?

          Col

        • #3345791

          1 of my bigest buttonz that.

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to It speaks volumes about

          The way they’ve taught kids in the UK over the last twenty years and counting makes me livid.

          Competition is bad for them, good attitude for the real world that.

        • #3345801

          YOUR POINT?

          by fluxit ·

          In reply to Public education at it’s best

          The Civil War was not fought to free the slaves. It was fought to preserve the Union because the south wanted to secede. The slavery issue was used to rally the people.

        • #3346655

          The political science answer

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to YOUR POINT?

          The war was fought because the south wanted to protect states rights, and chose to secede to do so. The states right that the south wanted to protect most of all(though not the only one) was the right to decide whether or not they could have slaves. They were worried that with the balance of power in Washington, and new states being made “free” states it was only a matter of time that the majority of the more populated north, and the new free states would make an ademendment to the constitution to ban slavery.

          So while you are technically correct, you don’t note the causal factors. Its like saying WWI was started because somebody shot Archduke Ferdinand – there are years of causation before that event.

          Ironically, on issues other than slavery, the Confederacy became more autocratic and less concerned with states rights when the “survival” of the Confederacy was at stake.

          James

        • #3346724

          Civil War?

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to Public education at it’s best

          I thought the Civil War was fought between the supporters of Parliament (Roundheads, Cromwell et al) and supporters of King Charles I (the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels), in England, and had nothing to do with slavery. You must be thinking of the War of Northern Agression, where the Yankees waged war against the Confederate States of America, when slavery became an issue after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Declaration, about 2 years after the Yankee invasion of the CSA began.

        • #3345317

          slavery?

          by sonicwallroc ·

          In reply to Civil War?

          Not only that, but who had control over most of the food supply? Lincoln said he wouldn’t have freed a slave if it weren’t for keeping the union together. It was an added benefit from his perspective.

        • #3346748

          Gore’s role?

          by gratefulblue ·

          In reply to MY UNDERSTANDING…

          I found it interesting that last summer I was at a conference where Vint Cerf was giving a discussion relating to regulation of the IP world and pointed to the key role that Gore played in the growth of the Internet. He flagged Gore as an integral player in understanding what the Net could be and why Federal support of the various initiatives was critical. He also stated that Gore was instrumental in forcing various Federal organizations to share their research and findings with each other via Interconnected links and processing. Seems common sense now, but Mr. Cerf said that had Gore not driven this across the Washington bureaucracy, that the rapid growth we saw in the early nineties would have been stifled and slowed greatly. While certainly not “the father of the Internet”, it appears he can claim a place in Internet history. It made me stop laughing at the apparant lunacy of Mr. Gore’s statements of nonsensical credit-taking, and recognize them as simple political rhetoric. For whatever it is worth, Mr. Cerf gave credit to Mr. Gore’s role in Internet history.

      • #3298085
        Avatar photo

        The beginnings of the smart home are here now.

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to THE UNFINISHED REVOLUTION

        I have a friend who has just got an apprenticeship to install computer connections and outlets in new homes. By this I do not mean the traditional Network sockets but computer controlled light switches, air conditioning and the like. Right now it is hideously expensive but as I’m told as the technology is used more it will become far more affordable.

        The one item that I did like was the Toilet Pan with a sensor in it which sends data to your doctor when ever you go it screens for specific programmable things and then sends a report of its findings straight to your chosen doctor. Now there are some interesting things that could come about if you wanted to screw with the system.

        However house is quite correct there are major privacy issues that will not be addressed in the short term and by the time that the Powers in Charge get around to addressing one set of issues they will be old hat and several generations old in technology terms. This is defiantly one area where technology is fast outstripping the Legislative process.

        But as that Ancient Chinese Curse Goes “May you Live in Interesting Times!” We all are right now.

        Col

        • #3345777

          Computerize the lawyers

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to The beginnings of the smart home are here now.

          Fun thought.
          Privacy is a big issue now. Unfortunately, governments seems to hamstring the legislation every time they get near it. The data protection act in the UK seems to have more exceptions than rules.
          Vice Versa as well.
          News story the other day was how a lot of our goverment agencies were shredding documents by the tonne ready for when our Freedom Of Information act comes into force.

        • #3346720
          Avatar photo

          Actually here in Queers-land

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Computerize the lawyers

          We already have what is called a “Freedom of Information Act” in place but in fact it really boils down to a Freedom from Information in the real world.

          You can get pages where everything but the page number is blacked out the whole thing is really lubricious and what makes it even better is that if a Government wants to bury something that just have to put it on the agenda for Cabinet that way it is privileged information and is locked away for 30 years no matter or not if it was even actually looked at.

          Col

        • #3346672

          Don’t worry

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Actually here in Queers-land

          We’re not all barking mad in the UK, there are equivalent proviso’s in our FIA in order to protect the government I mean nation from the non patriotic muck raking, anti-current philosphy types. The documents are being shredded on the watergate principal I think, no one suggested they shouldn’t be.

      • #3345341

        hello?

        by aactech ·

        In reply to THE UNFINISHED REVOLUTION

        You know its funny but technology, IT, whatever is something I do , it is my career but the only part that really does anything for me is wehen it REALLY helps people. I’m afraid wired refrigerators, etc. just make me laugh and think that the world has lost its humanity. Many of these things mentioned are just trinkets, toys, babbles for small children.
        When I first “discovered” computers back in the early 80’s I was totally entranced by it all. Twenty years on I want to know “What use does it really have?” Useful -use it. Useless put it in the toy bin.

        Mike

        • #3345796

          UNLESS…

          by fluxit ·

          In reply to hello?

          you are the one in business making the money on it. The you appear to be having is that you are unable to visualize new products that are not yet available. You may be thinking in terms of a refrigerator as it is today. When everything has a radio frequency bar code on it and refrigerators are integrated with other appliances you may find that the new services and conveniences are helpful. Lets say you are handicapped or elderly and these devices are able to assist you with groceries and cooking. Or lets look it from the standpoint that you are alone and unable to cook.

        • #3345764

          Last I saw

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to UNLESS…

          an internet freezer was a browser bolted to a freezer, the only thing it did was save you a power socket.
          Now if it monitored the contents, and ordered some more frozen meals for one that would be potentially useful. Of course they would have defrosted by the time you got home. Fridge would be whole different matter

          If NoOfBeers <=16 Then Call Order(Beer,MaxBeers - NoOfBeers,Supermarket) End If Damn I'm coding in BASIC automatically now, where's my pascal manual. Seriously the potential is there, but most of it at the moment is gimmicks. After all anyone can superglue a pc to a kitchen appliance, I just can't figure out why I would want to buy one.

        • #3346717
          Avatar photo

          Wait until Blue-tooth matures

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Last I saw

          Then you will not need the super glue they will just talk to each other regardless of if you want them to or not.

          Col

      • #3345662

        Technology marches on…

        by gaijinit ·

        In reply to THE UNFINISHED REVOLUTION

        Face it, technology advancement is never going to just stop. We are now working in a field that was unheard of 20 years ago. The ‘clock race’ may be stalled for now, but IBM? just announced a breakthrough in chip technology that allows chip miniaturization in the order of hundreds and related speeds just as bold. Miniaturization equals convenience for the user (imagine lugging around a 20Kg ‘walkman’), and lower costs of production automation will soon equal ‘throw away’ devices.

        So where is the future for IT pros? In the software/application end, not in the hardware. Redundant remote controllers are a burden to the consumer, and standards development must create an environment where a person can buy one remote to control everything is his home. Towards this end, unification of firmware is a must.

        This will require agreement among competing manufacturers which is never easy (Beta vs VHS, Firewire vs USB 2.0) unless someone higher up (the government?) sets the rules. And the government reflects the general population (technologically clueless). Hopefully, government institutions will recognize the need for experts to help iron this mess out for the good of both consumers and ease of manufacturing costs, giving a much needed boost to the current host of out-of-work IT pros looking to employ their skills.

        One thing I agree several postings completely about is that if some guidance is not provided, the present confusion can only get worse as technical discoveries open up new applications. They WILL be applied, sensibly and economically or not.

        IT specializaton will continue to exist, but perhaps not as we now perceive it. But as always, if we don’t grow with it, we will certainly be left behind. IT is one profession in which you NEVER stop studying and learning to stay up to date.

    • #3298082

      It’s funny you mention this stuff at this time…..

      by dafe2 ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      (This kind of) ‘IT’ is boring the hell out of me.

      There’s just too much of it out there, none of it is truly quality. Have you tried to buy a cel phone lately? Who the F.uck wants a camera and internet on a Cel phone anyway? Unless your some ‘upskirt perv’ who can put up with surfing on a 2″ screen.

      In the home I find most people today wouldn’t know a (true) home theater from a transistor radio anyway. As you say, most of us have been doing ‘convergence’ for years. I’ve had a wireless ‘home jukebox’ forever it seems. Consumer product is so cheap and available it’s gross. You can now buy ‘digital cameras right next to the chocolate bars at the grocerie store.
      It’s kind of one size fits all deal right now huh? Great for the ‘consumer’, bores the hell out of the rest of us.

      Today, the only home for ‘REAL’ IT is in business.

      • #3298079

        That’s my beef

        by house ·

        In reply to It’s funny you mention this stuff at this time…..

        “There’s just too much of it out there, none of it is truly quality.”

        That is one of my main concerns. Perhaps, IT as you say, is separating from the home user support aspect of the game. IBM might have been a lot more more intuitive in their business plan, than most would have us think. I am still worried about the support infrastructure after the move, but perhaps it is better for all of us to run while we still can. Get out of home solutions right now, if you know what is good for you. It may become be more lucrative in the years to come, but the stress involved when tossing around half-@ssed products developed according to immediate need, just might outweigh the good.

        “Today, the only home for ‘REAL’ IT is in business.” I need to get away from home services. I’m becoming jaded and “type-cast” already.

        • #3298073

          At least you have ‘a clue’

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to That’s my beef

          What I found a few years back, and it probably affects my attitude today, is that when we’d go ‘out’ with friens or whatever, the topic would turn to PC’s within five minutes of walking into the restaurant or someones house! That…….after fighting fires all day long.
          It got so my wife would bet on how long it would take. 🙂

          The old ‘when I start up my PC…………’
          Now I just tell them I don’t know a thing about ‘home PC’s’. Take it to your ‘dealer’.

          Kind of a blessing in disguise I supose. I think Col mentionned the Smart Home, I find that stuff VERY interesting. I’ve actually just connected some cameras to the alarm system & the alarm system to a server here. (Time on my hands) :-0

          Your right though, the home stuff (As we new it) is dead.

          You mentioned Voip in the home. Can you recomend any product or sites where I could learn more about it?

        • #3298070

          Do you want…

          by house ·

          In reply to At least you have ‘a clue’

          A sales pitch or solid information. The latter is the weaker of the two. There is more effort in promotion right now, than there is in real information.

          In a nutshell, from a home user point of view,you install a gateway (router) in your home. You can put it behind another router or firewall, but you will need to open the reserved ports responsible for the voice data. You specify the server by IP address, and provide an endpoint name (soon to become MAC address) in order for it to authenticate you, and provide your number, services, and a sort of “proxy” for POTS (lack of a better term).

          The backend of the technology is not very well documented on the internet. There appears to be an influx of proprietary information though. I will search for these ressources on your behalf. My knowledge comes from the direct administration of such products. I am looking for vendor neutral information myself.

        • #3298065

          Great

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Do you want…

          SUre Chris any info you can find would be appreciated.

          Most of the stuff I’ve done with Voip is with CISCO & Avaya……….not parctical for the house of course & the knowledge I gained from these implementions wouldn’t help me in that area.

          Hardware wise, I use three routers at the house so that’s no problem.

          Thanks again.

        • #3298054

          Here you go

          by house ·

          In reply to Great

          Here is a resource guide, developed by a company who ripped us off. Ironic as it may sound, their documentation is more thorough. We had a contract with the manufacturer that stated that they would not release any of our joint developments to North America. The company in question has since invited third party, GNet being one of them, to set up shop in Taiwan, so that they could purchase the product there, and export the gateways to our continent under their own name. Sneaky little @#$%#. We are currently working on a partnership with a North American company who will remain nameless for the sake of business.

          The link will lead you to a .pdf file.

          http://tinyurl.com/3jk9m

          I will still keep you posted, as I learn more theory behind the topic. My knowledge on the subject has been acquired, like I said, through personal training in a work environment. Please don’t hesitate to offer your resources as well. I am more interested in the backend.

          You will recognize the UI, as it is very similar to those of a home router.

        • #3298017

          Thanks & Here ya go:

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Here you go

        • #3301724

          Crap

          by house ·

          In reply to Here you go

          It looks like you beat me on that one. I gave you a 32 page instructional booklet with screenshots, and you gave me a freakin’ Cisco textbook. I will be reading than one right through, start to finish. Awsome reference. Thanks. 🙂

          * Note that the reference that I’ve posted, is very outdated. We have released about 4 or 5 flash upgrades since… adding new functionality… and changing the interface in the style of our corporate logo. I’m not sure if “keep alive” was an option on our original. That setting will allow your call to remain “alive” in the event of short burps or brief periods of inactivity on the internet. Obviously there will be packet loss, that goes without saying, but the call itself will not be disconnected.

        • #3318515

          Woops

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Here you go

          Oh well……..something to keep your mind sharp on those cold days? 😉

        • #3301731
          Avatar photo

          Just remember that VoIP still depends

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Great

          On having power. If you have a power outage then no phone unlike the existing Telco setup.

          I’ve seen many adds for “home VoIP” but none of it really impresses me that much.

          Col

        • #3301729

          It also

          by house ·

          In reply to Just remember that VoIP still depends

          …depends on the internet. The internet does go down, therefore, I still have my plain old telephone too.

        • #3345888

          Typical for me also.

          by worm farmer ·

          In reply to At least you have ‘a clue’

          Same thing. Every conversation used to be about computers and the latest and greatest bestest hunk of PC machinery available at the time.

          It got to the point where I just say I’m burned out on IT and the Bestest of the computer world…
          I think I’ll just go into the worm farming business. Put up a bait stand on the highway. Hey! Maybe I could add value with an internet cafe fishing!

        • #3346846

          We live in a virtual world

          by rind ·

          In reply to Typical for me also.

          Will those be virtual worms?

        • #3298067

          U MISSED THE POINT…

          by fluxit ·

          In reply to That’s my beef

          I think the smart home is very business oriented. Think out-of-the-box about services and products.

          Right now in your kitchen you most likely have a blendor, dicer, slicer, grater, mixer, juicer, toaster unoven, toaster, can opener, etc… Can you imagine a kitchen device, a food processor, that combines many of these into one item? I am not talking about an As-Seen-On-TV Ronco-matic trash. Instead, I am talking about new ways to prepare food.

          I can envision a kitchen device being marketed that goes on the internet and has no buttons. Instead, you talk to it and tell it what you want to eat. It pulls from bins and makes your request. These bins are for hot and cold stock, agreggate stock, and liquid stock. Recipes are downloaded from the internet and custom individual taste, flavors, and preferences are uploaded to suppliers. One goes to the grocery storage and buys stock modules that plug into the machine. Suppliers stock local stores based on uploaded preferences. A service may even come into play that ultimately eliminates Grocery stores. When a bin is approaching empty a new one is ordereded and delivered.

          So your beef may be processed and minced into a powder then reconstituted by this machine. I don’t know specifics but these kinds of things will be happening.

          I believe that Corporate America as it is known today, principally desk jobs grown in large cubical farms, are on the downside. Most of these desk or cubicals will become virtual companies outsourced and run from homes in small towns across the US or globe. Corporate America will become more or less virtual companies assembled and composed of dozens if not 100’s of small companies communicating over the internet and using the logistical infrastructure to move materials and things.

          These home businesses will use the Smart Home tooling to do things that were impossible by small business in the past. For example, a virtual secretary may participate in phone calls and prepare documents, contracts, and other things that in the past required a staff of CPA’s, Attorney’s, secretaries, and general staff.

          These virtual secretaries may collect requirements and task several small businesses in the background to conduct the task at hand. The preparation of a contract may first be tasked to a secretary company out of Kansas, A CPA in New York may underwrite the contract and an Attorney in Hawaii may give his seal of approval. All done over the interent for a monthly service fee paid by a small business in Florida.

          I think that the opportunities are amazing that are coming down the pike. But it will take sound and visionary governmental leadership as well as businessmen who understand the potential. This would be a highly charged discussion on the psychology of government and business. Liberal versus Conservative – Social Responsibility vs profit.

          As for myself, I would deeply enjoy a opportunity to develop some of our future products or services. I am currently studying robotics and I believe that there is a enormous future in this area.

        • #3298062

          Nah……….

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to U MISSED THE POINT…

          Most of the stuff you describe is or will be easily implemented by a homeowner. Most of the things we have today are just kludgy implementations of things to come. SImply stated, there’s just to much garbage out there right now.

          Anyone in (IT) today needs to concentrate on Vision and learning efforts on the Back End to support all this.

          The ‘Home PC’ as we know it will be gone & replaced by one panel in the basement with a fiber running through the JB. As you say, it won’t be too long that an IC alone could probably do most of what you describe.

        • #3298040

          I HAVE AN IDEA…

          by fluxit ·

          In reply to Nah……….

          that the PC may have 100’s of cpu’s in them in the future and that everything will be componentized as you suggested. The business needs to support someone and that someone is the end user.

        • #3301730

          Multi processor & dual core combination

          by house ·

          In reply to I HAVE AN IDEA…

          It appears that the “clock rate” race is over. To promote speed and stability, everyone has been focusing their attention on dual core technology. Combined with a multiprocessor system, you have twice as many configurable CPUs with which to set an affinity, and divvy the load. Most current software is not really built to handle the dual core yet, though it seems to be the way of the future.

        • #3346008

          MEGA PROCESSOR CONCEPT…

          by fluxit ·

          In reply to Multi processor & dual core combination

          A system having 100’s of processors would have each processor with its own clock and they would exchange data asynchronously. I could foresee a logical backplane that is used to organize the array of processors. That backplane could be a function of the operating system and software would task a ‘mother’ processor that manages the tasking. another approach is a layer could be added in that is above the operating system and below the application software.

          An encapsulated CPU processing device could have a dual processor arrangement to promote stability.

          The use for such an arrangement could be used to have the computer establish lines of logic based on a sensory array inputs. Parrallel processors would assess data inputs and serial processors would establish lines of logic. So your home would have a human like personality and be able to bahave like a person would in realtime. Other uses could be realtime decision making in a high tempo operation.

        • #3345986

          “Fix it” visits

          by cp7212 ·

          In reply to Nah……….

          I have to agree with this and your previous post. New technology will be implemented (I don’t know about easily, I could have pulled all of my teeth out easier than show my parents how to program the VCR when it came out) by the home user. I used to date this great woman, but had to stop seeing her because before a date, the question, “When I use my PC…..” It got old mighty quick. The new technology may be very useful, but nowadays it’s almost a better buy to get a new PC than pay for a couple of hours repair work, unless you have sensitive data. It’s almost getting to be a paradox, get a new Dell PC for $300 now, but pay $80/hour to get it fixed after the warranty runs out?!?

        • #3345745

          Personally

          by house ·

          In reply to “Fix it” visits

          I’ve never been to a “computer shop” myself for that type of service. It’s almost worth the time that it takes for you to figure it out yourself. Of course it depends on what kind of stuff you have at home, and whether or not you are interested in the PC at that level. Personally… if I don’t know something, I will research it… that’s just my way of dealing with technical issues. $80.00 an hour is insane… depends on the issue.

        • #3345692

          Heheh thats true

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to “Fix it” visits

          I just love the one where they ask if you want that extended warranty too.

          Your right…………for the most part it’s better to buy new (or) as house says fix it yourself.

          I was in to future some store not too long ago to get some cartriges for a 2 year old printer. I didn’t realize how much they were until the checkout clerk asked me for $150.00.

          I put them back & bought a new printer for $200.00 & some change.

        • #3346842

          I noticed that

          by house ·

          In reply to Heheh thats true

          What is with these cheap ink-jets that cost $50 for an ink cartridge – that you will drain while trying to clean the heads?

          I’ve got a nice Lexmark Optra S 1855 laser. It costs me $200 -> $300 for the toner, but I get about 20,000 pages out of it. It is well worth the money in the long run.

        • #3298053

          Unfortunately

          by house ·

          In reply to U MISSED THE POINT…

          The robotics and engineering involved are not moving at the same exponential rate as that of information systems.

          Are you thinking of “replicator rations”? Too much sci-fi for you my friend.

        • #3297936

          NO…

          by fluxit ·

          In reply to Unfortunately

          I am not thinking like the ole star trek replicators that fashion food from molecular stores.

          Companies that went belly in the last several years such as Sunbeam are looking for new ways to re-enter the marketplace. I think the smart home offers great opportunities.

        • #3345748

          More than that

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to U MISSED THE POINT…

          I had this sudden thought, about 100,000,000 clock cycles after implementation. Your house would be
          Discussing your habits with next door.
          Reading your mail when it opens it for you.
          Burning it’s logo for equal rites.
          Wanting a divorce with half both of your incomes as AIlimony.

          LOL

        • #3346710
          Avatar photo

          Not to mention

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to More than that

          Talking with your Bank/Mortgage Owners computer working out ways to rip you off without you even knowing it is happening.

          Lest see your pays gets automatically transfered into your bank account and then the house automatically redirects the entire pay into the mortgage and then allows you to borrow against the mortgage to actually live and pay for the little unnecessary things like electricity and food.

          Then communicates all your buying habits with the product referral companies so you can be targeted for any new appliances that comes onto the market.

          Col

        • #3346665

          Digital emancipation

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Not to mention

          I don’t know whether they’d learn to order their own upgrades or the manufacturers would add it as feature so you never be so unfashionable as to have an out of date item in your kitchen. Imagine if you’d invited your friends round for dinner and the oven simply went ‘ding’, when the meal was ready.

        • #3346648
          Avatar photo

          Yes it would be impossible to live

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Digital emancipation

          Without your very own Serving Robot wouldn’t it?

          The consumer society just couldn’t function without all the mod cons as the Jones would be all by themselves with no one to be compared with would they?

          Col

    • #3298055

      Rabbit Ears

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      .
      I still have rabbit ears on my television set.

      I got a cell phone only when my company agreed to pay for it.

      I still have and listen to record albums.

      My (outstanding) home stereo system is older than many people who post messages in these threads.

      MP3? Why would I want one of those if it won’t play my records?

      DVD? I don’t even have a CD burner in my home computer – a 733 MHZ PIII.

      I’m consumed with IT issues at work. But at home it’s a different story entirely.

      • #3298013

        I’m with you..

        by maecuff ·

        In reply to Rabbit Ears

        I only have a cell phone because my company tells me I need to have it. We listen to record albums. I did, however, break down and buy a DVD player last weekend.

        One of my employees asked why she never sees my palm pilot. I said, because I don’t have one. She was shocked. How do I keep track of everything. Well, same way we did when we didn’t have palm pilots?? This is the same employee who couldn’t believe I didn’t take my cell phone when I go for a walk, what if my kids need to get a hold of me? What if something goes wrong at work? Well, I guess it will wait until I GET HOME, same as I waited for MY parents when they went out without me. sheesh.

        • #3298007

          My only Palm Pilot

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to I’m with you..

          .
          My only “Palm Pilot” is the person flying the plane when I fly to Las Vegas.

          ba-da-boom.

          (sorry, couldn’t resist.)

        • #3297996

          You got that right

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to I’m with you..

          Over the past couple of years I’ve been ‘tearing down’ all the tech stuff. Fed up with constant upgrades & all that BS.

          At one point, I think a couple of years ago, I had a Pocket PC, BlackBerry, Cel Phone and pager plus VPN to the office.
          NO ONE needs to be that available.

          I agree, there’s nothing like the sound of a needle going across vinyl at the end of the day.

          Make no mistake though………..that remote control isn’t THAT far away from me either.:-)

        • #3301627

          Remote

          by maecuff ·

          In reply to You got that right

          Well, you NEED a remote. Who wants to get up to change channels? Although, small children work just as well. 🙂

        • #3301455

          LOL

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Remote

          Guess who finds it when I ‘lose’ it 🙂

        • #3318511
          Avatar photo

          Mine used to do it very well

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Remote

          And then they grew up so I had to splash out on batteries and learn how to use the remote for the video.

          What can I say I’m a stupid Computer Tech I can not be expected to know how how to use such complicated things like remote controls or be able to reset videos after a power outage that’s what the wife and manuals are for. The same applies to my Ceil phone provided I can accept calls and make them I do not really care what else is on the thing and other than putting in a Sim Card and battery it’s all I’m interested in. I just do not need the rest of all the junk that comes on them.

          Col

        • #3345738

          Gee-Whizzery

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Mine used to do it very well

          Need a new Mobile so.
          Went in the shop, was immediately pinned to the counter by three sales people, who told all about the brand new phone with GPS, internet, blue tooth ….
          They seemed shocked when I asked them if you could ring pople up with it, as though I’d asked if you could use it for a bizarre sex act.

          Current trend you’re going to be told about all sorts of connectivity, speed, power …. And then have to say
          Yes, but will it freeze my food ?

          I can manage the VCR, washing machine, now that’s an entirely different matter. There’s a device that would benefit from a GUI.

        • #3345332

          But you might need to order a pizza

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to I’m with you..

          I thought I was the only one to feel that way about cell phones. (I still haven’t got one yet).

          Why would I want someone calling me when I am driving or walking or whatever? Most of my calls at home and work go right to voice mail as it is.

          But then again, Microwave popcorn does take too long.

        • #3345990

          I don’t take my cell phone when I go for a walk

          by consultant davea ·

          In reply to I’m with you..

          This is the same argument I am having with my wife and 16 y/o daughter. She wants a call phone. Here are her reasons why:

          1) When she’s waiting for the school bus, and it doesn’t show up, she can call her friends and find out what’s happenning. Answer: Walk back the 150 feet to our house and use the phone at home. “But what if the bus shows up while I’m inside?” Ans: If they don’t wait, take a day off from school, and I’ll deal with the bus company about it.

          2) How do I call home when I’m out with my friends? Ans: They all have phones, use one of theirs.

          3) What if I need to reach Mommy when I am at school? Ans: The school has phones, ask to use them. Lord help anyone at that school who refuses to let my child call her mother when she thinks its important!!

          Imagine – she wants me to pay $10 a month ($120 a year) so she can make idiot calls to her friends and other bull—- things.

          When she starts driving herself to college, it will be a different story, but until then I don’t find she has a valid reason to need a cell phone … All her life emergencies either happen at home or school or with friends, where she has phones available.

        • #3345893

          One argument in favor of cell phones

          by netman1958 ·

          In reply to I’m with you..

          I whole heartedly agree with what everyone is saying about cell phones. I have had one for years and it seems they always ring at the most inopportune times. I’ve almost thrown mine out the window several times.

          However, on New Years Eve of 2000, my wife was living in an apartment. She was in bed asleep while people were playing with fireworks outside. Some of the fireworks landed on the roof of the apartment building and started a fire that ultimately destroyed the building.

          My wife’s cat woke her up and she noticed the smoke in the apartment (the smoke detector never went off). She went to the phone and it was dead. She found her cell phone and called 911. At this point, the fire department had already arrived and was putting out the fire. They thought they had everyone out of their apartment but couldn’t see the door to to my wife’sapartment because it was in an awkward area. 911 radioed the fire department and relayed the info as my wife gave directions to her apartment from the parking lot. The fireman found her and got her out seconds before the roof collapsed.

          So all the aggravation notwithstanding, I’ll keep my cell phone with me at all times.

      • #3301728

        Actually…

        by house ·

        In reply to Rabbit Ears

        I don’t have cable or satellite television either. I have no use for it. I am, unfortunately, addicted to video games. I’ve had pagers and cell phones, but I haven’t used one or the other in almost 2 years. There are certain things that I can do without. I am more concerned about society as a whole.

        I’m consumed with IT issues in the pursuit of knowledge, and not necessarily for personal luxury.

        • #3318482

          It’s funny though

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Actually…

          I could never do those………..but i’ll spend crazy ammounts of money and time on Home Theater Gear. Then top it off with a ‘turntable’. Still nothing compares to that sound.

          Too funny — > I setup a wireless link to my receiver so I could play music from one of my systems. If Outlook happens to be open and I get mail the Hoooooteeeeeel Caaaaaliiiiiforniia may just as well be in Japan.

          Even better? I don’t care ennough to deal with it 🙂

      • #3301479

        Technology at home

        by nd_it ·

        In reply to Rabbit Ears

        I have cable at home, since I enjoy watching different cable channels, mostly the outdoor channel, and movie channels. But my PC is only a 700Mhz with 320MB of RAM. I only turn it on to read the news maybe once a week. Being consumed with it at work, I don’t feel like turning it on at home. What’s funny is I didn’t even buy a computer until I was done with college, of which I have a IT degree 🙂

      • #3345874

        Me, too. Business has missed the point.

        by john bartlett ·

        In reply to Rabbit Ears

        I agree wholeheartedly. I try to keep IT (and “hi tech”) out of my home as much as possible but stay connected. At work anything goes.

        It seems to me that these startups (or upstarts?) are so facinated by a possibility that they don’t even ask if it makes sense. I guess it is our fault because there always seems to be enough of us out there, with more money than brains, who will buy this stuff. Whatever happened to keeping it in the labs until it worked and made sense?

        My real concern is that big business is acting like teenage kids. They “grow” by sucking up half-baked businesses and trying to generalize their niche. All of my clients just need to communicate (written and oral) and have it be simple and reliable. They can’t afford to be changing an OS or Word Processor every year and don’t need it. Their needs were met years ago but they have to keep dealing with it because they can’t get complete support for their five year old system. Business used to insist on a ten to twenty year support life and most people would still like it that way dispite all the Microsoft (et al.) marketing.

        • #3346706
          Avatar photo

          Actually it has always been something like a 4-5 year

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Me, too. Business has missed the point.

          Turnaround on plant this is because after that time the Tax Benefits of keeping the old stuff just do not add up.

          They actually begin to cost the company money to run that is the hardware in IT anyway. Even MS could make a very nice living by still selling Windows 98 and supporting it currently I buy new copies of MS DOS for some applications and while MS is more than happy to sell it they offer absolutely no support for it. I actually thinks that breaks the AU Law on selling Mechanizable product but I’d rather have the new DOS and no support than have to re-engineering everything over to embedded XP.

          Col

    • #3298047

      Expectations

      by salamander ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      One of the areas that I’ve observed stemming from the growth in technology is the increase in expectations of productivity and availability…for everyone.

      Sure, technology is intended to enhance efficiency and productivity…but when do we reach a saturation point? It was not so long ago when a person was unable do their banking online at 2 a.m. — they would have to wait until Monday morning. Consumers can shop at any time, anywhere, without moving from their chairs. I have more than 65 channels with basic cable, and can order up a movie whenever I like.

      With this constant availability, there is also an expectation placed upon people — consumers and IT people alike — an expectation to do more and to be available 24/7. Modern technology has often created more work and a blurring of our personal and professional lives.

      I have an electronic leash, on page 24/7, a pager that is always on. I had to change personal cell phone numbers because somebody at work got ahold of the number for the phone that I leave in my car for emergencies. He was upset that I never left it on…for their convenience. I get calls in the middle of the night at my home regarding technology troubles, often because it’s easier to call me than look it up in the documentation. I don’t mean this to be a Gen-X complaint about company loyalty impinging upon my personal life. I get paid for what I do. But a generation ago, I think that would have been unfathomable.

      People are expected to do more with their personal lives, to multitask everywhere. I drive down the street and see people with DVD players on in their minivans…for trips to the grocery store. Call waiting allows you to chat with boring people until someone more interesting rings. Kids don’t find books entertaining enough, anymore…they have to have video games to teach them to read, something that engages *all* their senses. People get upset if there is a line at the drive-through or the ATM. People have the expectation of being entertained and their needs catered to at every moment. Myself included — I’m listening to the CD player as I type.

      My grandmother is funny…I envy her sometimes. She goes “to town” and does her shopping once a week, and it is a big treat for her to go eat out. She has no computer, no e-mail, no answering machine. She has three channels of television from the rabbit ears. No VCR, no DVD. And she is happy…imagine that.

      We don’t have to *wait* in our society for anything, anymore. We have the attention spans of gnats, in large part due to immediate technological gratification. What we fail to realize is that there is a cost to this, both personal and professional.

      I think the cost is this: that silence will become obsolete in the future.

      • #3345982

        Bradbury

        by jcbick ·

        In reply to Expectations

        Ray Bradbury covered a large part of this concern in Farenheit 451. The ability to have contact and gratification without leaving the house or actually interacting directly with another human may have been extreme in the book, but I’m not sure how far any more.

        • #3345914

          It’s sad…

          by salamander ·

          In reply to Bradbury

          …that the concept of “deferred gratification” is lost.

      • #3345979

        There was a home technology revolution in the 50’s too…

        by is girl ·

        In reply to Expectations

        During the 50’s, the housewife was supposed to be freed from her life of drugery by the revolutionary new appliances being marketed. Imagine life without a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, and an electric vacuum cleaner.

        People thought the quality of their lives would improve because they would have so much more time to spend with their families.

        What happened to all that time? Women went to work to pay for it all. They still work just as hard, but at different things that hanging sheets on the line and beating rugs.

        The future will be just like the past. We will buy into the myth that the new gadgets and technology will improve our lives only to find ourselves working harder to pay for it and more stressed out than ever.

        How about technology that will do our jobs for us so we can go home and fix a real meal for our families, plant a garden, take a walk or spend actual time chatting face to face with a friend?

        • #3345945
          Avatar photo

          I believe that Cloning Humans

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to There was a home technology revolution in the 50’s too…

          Has been baned by most countries so we’ll all have to wait a bit longer for it to come about.

          Col

        • #3345915

          Revolution…

          by salamander ·

          In reply to There was a home technology revolution in the 50’s too…

          I agree with you, IS Girl. I can see our needs and wants completely spiralling out of control…for things that are really luxury goods. Not that I would consider my washing machine and vacuum cleaner to be a luxury good…but the Palm Pilot sure is.

          I read a marketing study a couple of months ago about how sellers of goods that were previously considered to be unobtainable luxury goods…auto makers, jewellers, perfumiers, designers, etc….have purposefully marketed to the middle- and upper-middle classes the idea that luxury goods are the status quo of living life in the U.S. For Pete’s sake, Isaac Mizrahi (sp?) is now designing for Target. The bar is forever being raised, and we will forever be caught in the hamster wheel trying to achieve that standard of “success.”

        • #3345886

          About Marketing…

          by davspa ·

          In reply to Revolution…

          About the marketing, I think that sellers are trying to saturate the entire US market. They are doing this by attempting to alter our thinking about a product into “I can’t be without this”, or “I’m nobody without this”, or “I’ll be left out without this”. But it is all hype, not true. Only some things are essential, regardless of what they say. I don’t think we have to listen to their marketing.

          Does anyone of average income listen seriously to Lexus or Mercedes or Rolex ads on television? They are nice items, but I never seriously consider buying them.

        • #3345710

          Re: Marketing

          by salamander ·

          In reply to About Marketing…

          I don’t personally take that kind of stuff seriously. If I was rich, I wouldn’t buy a BMW, Lexus, or Mercedes. But I have friends who are jonesing over the thought of purchasing their first Beemer. And I think you’ve hit the nail on the head: “I’ll be nobody without this.” Everybody wants to be somebody; it’s unfortunate when people have to define themselves based on which mass-produced goods they choose to buy.

        • #3346824

          There is a job with all these percs

          by rind ·

          In reply to There was a home technology revolution in the 50’s too…

          it is called unemployment. When corporations can replace people with alternatives, they will. A corporations best employees aren’t the human ones; and it’s best customers are other corporations. I envision a world where corporations will run without any human intervention, selling and buying to other similar corporations and it will all be based on todays it technologies.

    • #3301483

      Not Me

      by bob in calgary ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Both my wife and I work in IT all day at work, When we get home the last thing I want to do is see a PC. We have cell phones for the kids to get hold of us and work cell phones when on call but that’s it, Our home PC is a 266 MHz dinosaur that only has dial up access to work. For us our non work hours are spent tending to our animals, Talking, walks on the ranch etc oh and the occasional trip to the local bar for a dose of reality, Very redneck as we live in cattle country in southern alberta.
      Our retirement dream is to never see a computer again.

      • #3345379

        A dream shared by many in IT.

        by phineas ·

        In reply to Not Me

        “Our retirement dream is to never see a computer again”

        you are obviously a very intelligent man Bob.

        come and hang out with us ‘old farts’ in Europe any time you want 🙂

    • #3301480

      It all makes me want to garden

      by gralfus ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Sometimes, all I want to do is prepare my planting bed and think about what I’m going to grow this next season. Technology is fine, but when it becomes so important that our lives wrap around it, I start looking for real life: dirt, plants, worms, hot in summer, cold in winter, wet most of the other time. I used to get my raincoat on and go lie down in the back yard and listen to the rain fall on and around me. I try to “see” my surroundings by shutting my eyes and listening for each puddle and sound the rain makes.

      I know some folks that live among the Mexican Indians, who have no electricity, no electronic devices, barely any flashlights. When the stock market falters or crashes, they don’t even notice. In fact, they’ve never even heard of the stock market, DVDs, MP3s, VHS, records, or reel to reel tapes. Yet, they continue to live and draw in their harvests year after year. It isn’t comfortable at all, but they have a culture, families, and houses (stick huts and dirt floors).

      So technology has its advantages, but “a man’s life does not consist of the things he owns.”

    • #3318291

      house…

      by salamander ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      …love the picture! Which one of your “fur people” is that?

      • #3346389

        Salamander…

        by house ·

        In reply to house…

        That little guy is ‘Fatty’.

        PS – I couldn’t find my USB cord for my camera, so I cropped one of my old pictures. I just realized that I have no pictures of myself.

        Chris 🙂

        • #3346314

          He looks like one of my little ones…

          by salamander ·

          In reply to Salamander…

          …only much larger! I adopted a kitten recently with markings almost exactly like that. I thought about posting it, but you’ve beaten me to the punch! I haven’t yet found any good ones of salamanders, so I’ll be sticking with “generic shadow person.” 🙂

          One of my previous employers wanted to post our pictures on the internet several years ago. That was one thing that was strenuously resisted by all, and was thankfully defeated.

        • #3346305

          Cool

          by house ·

          In reply to He looks like one of my little ones…

          Tell you what… later on, I’ll upload some pics to an Apache web server… I will post the link under here so that you can check them out in the directory… if you want. 🙂

          chris

        • #3346295

          Okay

          by salamander ·

          In reply to Cool

          Thanks, I’ll watch out for it. 🙂

        • #3345427

          Cats

          by house ·

          In reply to Okay

          Chat-man

          I decided to upload pics to a site, rather than host it myself.

        • #3345922

          Cats

          by salamander ·

          In reply to Cats

          Great pictures, house! My new little one looks almost exactly like your “Keaster Bunny”…she even has white paws! 🙂 I’m sure that you guys enjoy all of your little ones…but do you have a favorite?

        • #3345763

          Salamander

          by house ·

          In reply to Cats

          Fatty was my cat, so I guess he is my favourite. Kissa was my girlfriend’s cat before we met, and Chaton, the orange guy, is one we adopted together.

          My cat… her cat… and our cat. 🙂

        • #3345705

          Funny…

          by salamander ·

          In reply to Cats

          …Funny how that stuff works out with the “yours,” “mine,” and “ours,” doesn’t it? Felines are great judges of character. 🙂

          Sometime, I should figure out a way to send you the pictures of my little friends, especially the one that looks like your girlfriend’s cat. You guys would be amazed at how much this kitten looks like your Kissa.

        • #3345691

          Free account

          by house ·

          In reply to Cats

          You can sign up for a free account at http://www.flickr.com. You can upload your pictures and post small messages similar to the ones that I left. It is a sort of blogging site, but it is more for pics. It took me about two minutes to set that up. 🙂

          You could also peer mail me and I will respond with a valid email address that you could use.

        • #3346140
          Avatar photo

          Come on now Chris be honest

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Salamander…

          If someone was to attempt to take your photo the camera would break.

          That is why you have put the USB lead in such a safe place isn’t it?

          Col 😀

    • #3345380

      think further

      by pivert ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      look around you and look at the jobs around you. will there still be cashiers at the supermarket? or even will there still be supermarkets or are you going to order on-line and have it delivered to your frontdoor? banks: on-line, cars: you’ll be doing everything from home,… i think we’ll have to reconsider the whole concept of money and jobs. if this evolution is going that way, i think the economy as we know it will suffer from a “the day after tomorrow”-scenario. think further but be ready for some sleepless nights 🙂

      • #3345350

        Gratification factor

        by gurkhan ·

        In reply to think further

        I think you may be forgetting the gratification factor. I can order on-line, often cheaper, but I still like to go down to the local store to buy much of what I want because I like to feel the items and be able to walk out the door with them. It is still fun to go out to a real store and browse first. As for cashiers. Yes they will be around for a long time. Stores in my town put in the self-serve check-outs and then started to reduce the number they had because most people still like to have a cashier do it for them. Technology doesn’t drive change, people do.

    • #3345367

      Alas for the march of progress

      by blart ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Think to the manufacture of cars, which have a longer history than IT, but in many respects are just more ‘technical gadgets’. Superb innovation in streamlining, safetey devices, fuel injection, engine management and efficiency and construction techniques have been made over the last hundred years, but what do the marketing departments sell … alloy wheels and walnut trim to the dashboard.

      I think that eventually everything will come down to watch the pretty lights and don’t even think about what goes on under the bonnet (sorry, under the hood). It’s a bit sad for the likes of us who like to know what goes on – but then we’re not a very large market sector, so we’ll just have to trust the manufacturers of these things to get it right and be honest about what’s being sold. After all MicroSoft et al. only have your best interests at heart, don’t they?

      • #3345940
        Avatar photo

        Funny you should mention that

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Alas for the march of progress

        Volvo has a new car on the drawing board that is based on womens wants! Naturally it is impossible to gain access to the engine or under the Hood/Bonnet as it is a sealed item just like the engine which will never need servicing.

        Currently they have been unable to work out a way of doing away with the fuel filler but they are trying.

        Col

    • #3345346

      the quick and the dead

      by shuubz ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      in every field, it becomes difficult to keep up with advancements and improvements as the field matures. my orthodontist made that same exact complaint about his profession, and basic medicine has had this problem for ages. my aunt, who is a nurse, has to recertify every two years, or she loses her license.

      globalization accelerates this trend. it injects many more hungry, capable people into one’s field. like it or not, this will be the way of the world. those folks that beat the globalization drum the hardest, woke up one day to discover that they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, and now have to compete with people from all over the globe, as national borders no longer shield them from competition. i would laugh at them, but i’m in the same boat.

      i have worked in the US for the last 20 years, and the phrase “it’s not what you know or how good you are, but who you know that matters” made it difficult to do well in the workplace. this new tech order may actually turn the field more meritocratic, where people who are technically excellent and professionally effective will excel. you can call it darwinian if you want, but i think it may do some good, and force the complacent and the ineffective to get off their butts, or get out of the way.

    • #3345340

      Consumed or overwhelmed? www.mlgrocksit.com

      by redragtoabull ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      The scenario you describe is interesting in that it is the “Future Now”. With few exceptions the technology you discuss is not only available but almost ubiquitous, though not necessarily present in the form factors you describe. Note: Internet appliances for the kitchen counter (Calendar 2 feet from the refrigerator), USB key chains (not far from a handshake), SMS phones and blackberries for sending love letters to your amour, and personal RFID implants in use by prominent south american politicians.

      My question is are we consumed, or is it just another thread in the fabric of evolution?

      Maybe we techs are overwhelmed by the constant development or new applications of technology, but
      in reality, the more advanced it gets, the easier it is for us. How many techs worry about IRQs or memory pages these days? Except for hardware geeks and assembly language developers, not too many I would guess thanks to plug-and-play.

      The cool thing about technology, especially as it relates to the internet, is that it makes it possible to create and leverage a personal “network” of subject matter experts. No one person need be an island anymore. Services like http://www.Linkedin.com and http://www.mlgrocksit.com enable us to leverage other people’s skills and experience, making it unneccesary to learn each and every nuance about the latest and greates mousetrap.

      I no longer worry about keeping up with everything, because no matter what the technology, there is someone out there in my network that knows it inside and out.

      Will Mechem
      people.love.technology
      http://www.mlgrocksit.com/MCHome

      • #3345868

        It’s easier to lose control

        by dmerrill ·

        In reply to Consumed or overwhelmed? www.mlgrocksit.com

        “… the more advanced it gets, the easier it is for us. How many techs worry about IRQs or memory pages these days?”

        Exactly. It’s easier for us because of what we no longer need to “worry” about. In ten years, how many techs will understand what an IRQ is or what it’s for? How many programmers will understand the nature of assembly language? (For that matter, how many understand it now?)

        “No one person need be an island anymore.” In fact, no one person CAN be. If we needn’t understand it, we won’t learn it. We’ll depend on someone else to know it and build it into the hardware or the IDE that we buy. As the outer edges of technology expand, control of the core technologies moves into corporate hands. Our jobs become more specialized (and less distinguishable from others), and those precious core technologies are leveraged for profit in the web-based refrigerator and the everything-in-one cell phone.

        • #3345721

          Four years ago

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to It’s easier to lose control

          Graduate in IT, came in to help me with an interface. Explained I wanted to set up a socket link between his system and mine and he asked me what TCP/IP was.
          ????

    • #3345335

      Back to the Future…

      by sww ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Sounds like what Great Grandpa might have said about refrigeration, electric fans, toasters, central heating or any other scientific “mumbo jumbo”: “BAH” “Who needs all that complicated junk?”
      Advancement(of any technology) merely expands the need for specialization – and thus creates jobs.

      Can you troubleshoot and fix your car’s fuel injection system? Someone can.

      Can you install your own central air unit? Someone can.

      Can you identify a tumor off of a CAT scan? someone can.

      etc, etc, etc.

      Advancing technology is only a bummer for those of us who wear many hats – and like it. We just have to give up a few of the hats.

      • #3346818

        creating jobs??

        by rind ·

        In reply to Back to the Future…

        I agree that everything is becoming more specialized, but no new jobs are created with specialization of a field. It is contrary to the term specialization. A lot of jobs are lost due to specialization. Specialization is not more people to do the job but less people to do the job. I would love to lessen the load and lose a few hats but can not afford the time or money required to specialise in a specific field. Even if I did get qualified in a field there would still be an experience requirement to fullfill. To become specialized I will probably have to take a large paycut for a number of years before I can even enter into the field.

    • #3345977

      Solutions in Search of a Problem

      by kangaroux ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Advancing Technology expands our envelope and opens our minds to unforseen possibilities. I don’t believe that Technology can advance too far, but it can outpace the human element.
      The choice to accept or reject that which is new is open to everyone. The few who grasp the theory and embrace the mindset have to decide whether to help society with their knowledge or victimize society for their own personal gain. These are decisions that all of us make with all that we do in a social environment.

    • #3345954

      What about time traveling

      by gnx ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      With all the technology that is coming out now, can’t someone build a decent time machine? But seriously, stuff that was simple when I was a kid is now complicated with passwords and access codes etc. Kids now seem to play baseball on a PS2. We seem to be overteching (a new word) ourselves faster than we can understand it. Let’s go back to the days of the 4 barrel carburetor and rear wheel drive. It will be much simpler and less stressfull for us in IT.

    • #3345948

      But that’s why some of us got into IT in the first place….

      by placidair ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      because of it’s ever-changing nature. I’m one of those people who becomes horribly, horribly bored if things aren’t changing and I’m not having to learn new things all the time. IT was the perfect field in which to avoid that issue. And there are a lot of people like me in the field. I’ve met many of them. Something new comes down the pike and it’s almost as if you’ve given us a new toy to play with and we want to master it and get it down until we’ve got it — and then we want something new to “play” with. Yes, we take our work very seriously and understand that it’s not really play, it’s work and the results matter — and that’s part of the fun of it. Yes, I said “fun”. I’m happiest at work when learning something new. Some new concept, new application, new logic, new working model — something, anything that makes my brain work. Some people have to pursue hobbies to get that for themselves. Those of us lucky enough to be working in the IT field get to get that from our work (as long as we have a job at a firm that isn’t scared of change and therefore still running software that is several years behind current rather than “risk” anything new).

      Now how cool is that?

      • #3345319

        But that’s why some of us got into IT in the first place….

        by sonicwallroc ·

        In reply to But that’s why some of us got into IT in the first place….

        Not me man. It’s a job. I’m happiest when I have time to fish, hunt, read and especially spend more time with my family.

        I don’t think businesses are “scared” of change. I think that they’re scared of getting hosed in the process of ALWAYS changing. Upgrade this, upgrade that, but what is my REAL ROI????

        Lew

    • #3345928

      Rabbit Ears & Gardening…

      by eggy ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Wow! This is eerie! A whole bunch of other folks think the same way as me?!

      My aerial (upgraded from rabbit ears!) works fine to bring me all the ‘entertainment’ and ‘recreation’ I want from that media. (yes, there’s sarcasm in there).

      Last year I got back into gardening. It’s very enjoyable and rewarding! Even now in January in the snowy north I’m thinking abouit next year’s garden! For years I’ve been too busy, ‘serving’ technology, to allow time for this hobby. But it’s much more relaxing and gratifying than playing with the latest cool gadget or installing another LAN/router/server/OS/SP/upgrade/you-name-it.

      What’s happening? Is it that a portion of us are turning ‘old’? Or is it affected all tech users?

      Pete

      • #3345713

        Fishing as well

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Rabbit Ears & Gardening…

        Nothing like sitting next to a riverbank for eight hours completely unreachable by anybody.
        Reminds me I need a new bait alarm and there’s radar on special offer at the local angling shop.
        Might not get that though as they added GPS, Blue Tooth and a mobile phone to it now.

        • #3346812

          Yep!…

          by eggy ·

          In reply to Fishing as well

          Well, while you’re waiting for that BlueTooth option, may as well head back down to the river for more fishing!

          Guess I won’t be seeing photos of your latest catch (or my ‘prize tomatoes’) on your ‘blog site, eh?

          Enjoy!
          Pete

    • #3345923

      If only all technology predictions came true

      by red_wolf9 ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Then way back in 2000…

      We would have teleported from the bedroom to the kitchen where our robot maid would have breakfast waiting. We would be issuing voice commands like “Car.. take the kids to school” to our cold fusion hovercar. We could fly to the office using a jetpack, and we would only have to work 3 hours a day because we are so efficient.

      Total BS I know, my point is that technology never advances as fast as you think, and like medicine just because you can… should you? Sure the digital home will evolve someday, but count me out. Just imagine how much fun it would be to hack Windows: Suburban Home Edition.

      Dear Inconvenienced Homeowner,
      If you pay me $10,000.00 dollars: I will stop flashing every light in your home every 3.5 minutes, I will allow you to set the thermostat to something other then 110 degrees. In keeping with my generous nature I will also quit powering off your refrigerator and spoiling all your food, playing porn while your children are trying to watch cartoons, stop redirecting your VoIP calls to the Public Address system at the local mall every time your wife calls her “new lover”, your stereo will be able to play something other then Howard Stern 24/7, your oven adn microwave will not always be set on thermonuclear, and the grocery store will stop sending you only adult diapers and douche.

      If you don?t pay (God help you, cause I won?t)? I will make home life far more inconvenient then it is now.

      Yours truly,
      The Home H@><0r
      (0\/\/n1/\/G y0|_|r 4r$e like n3\/3r B4)

    • #3345910

      There’s not enough of it yet

      by erich1010 ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Is this too much?! What kind of question is that?? It’s not enough, as far as I’m concerned!

      Yes, we’re getting more features in phones, PDA, and cameras. And there is some cross-integration. You now can get a phone with a PDA and camera. But it isn’t quite there yet.

      We now have cordless phones and cell phones. There’s no reason for that. We should be able to use one phone anywhere. Voice over IP is becoming viable. I have it at home. However, my cable TV still uses a separate signal. They should be better integrated, so that I can get my own TV over IP wherever I want. The bandwidth is improving daily, but is not quite enough for that on a large scale.

      Just recently, they are building some stereo features into PC and making them part of the entertainment center. However, they still haven’t quite handled the distribution of the entertainment throughout the house. There are solutions, but they are fairly lo-fi.

      MP3 players are great, but still primitive. Why doesn’t my car have WiFi yet? Why don’t my MP3 automatically download to my car stereo and personal PDA through wireless connections in my house?

      Also, the several computers, PDAs, and other electronic devices in my house are still a pain to synchronize. They should all use each other’s processing power as range and function permit.

      Any Wireless is still too limited. My cell phone has bluetooth, but the software still has too many bugs in it. Any I still have to drag too many power cords, cables, and whatnot around with me whereever I go. And even with USB becoming prevalent, there are still too many proprietary connectors for devices. My laptop battery doesn’t last long enough. I don’t have convenient power connectors in my car.

      And where are the wearable computers?? You don’t hear ANYTHING about them these days. What about implants?? Wouldn’t it be nice if people had implanted earpieces and the rest of us wouldn’t have to hear all of those stupid ring tones anymore??

      There are too many communication protocols. There isn’t enough interoperability. Software compatibility issues are still a pain. There are too many types of memory cards.

      Yes, we’ve come a long way and much of what we’ve accomplished is overwhelmingly awesome, compared to the last decade. However, there is still a long way to go. The main problem that people have with technology is not the useful benefits it gives people, but its shortfalls. If it weren’t for the annoying aspects of technology, caused because we’re still trying to figure out what’s useful, people could use it or ignore it and not worry about it.

      • #3345839

        Woow, that’s heavy but true

        by titssni ·

        In reply to There’s not enough of it yet

        Sounds like you’ve been delving into the whole IT/Electronics world for a while seeking interoperability.

        I do share your views and believes. I do beleive that the industry needs to stop producing so many contradicting devices, ideas and concepts and start coming up with single solutions that work on a broader basis.

        If you look closely there are 15-20 devices that all do the same things but are different only by a mere element or factor, from cell phone, PCs, electronics and other devices. I would love one phone which is both cell phone (outdoor/travelling) and when I get home it becomes my cordless phone in home with full speakerphone, dial pad and speakerphone in the base. Why do you need a cell phone and a home phone. I don’t know about you guys but for me here in NY a cell phone is better and more affordable to have than a land line. Now that’s serious coming from a few years back when cell phones were so much of apain with signal issues and being very costly to have a maintain.

        Now cell phones are free and plans are very affordable which warrants a better choice than a home phone.

        It’s all about choices, manay choices leads to one decision and the decision is yours to make on which of the technology you wish to get. I always check out the products and make a selection that is more than what I was looking for in the beginning.

        BTW- Great conversation guys

    • #3345869

      About complexity of modern society

      by davspa ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      It is true that technology is changing faster than anyone can keep up with it. I agree that it will not be too long until no one will understand all of it. I have also been overwhelmed at the choices, possibilities, and complexities available with technology.

      What I am thinking is that maybe the reason everything is so confusing is that it is like what one commenter said here, that technology has not matured yet, so in many cases it is more of a nuisance than a help. I am hoping that it will get to the point that it seems in some sci-fi future movies, where everything is a component, that there are standard parts and everything is made of those parts. You will be able to tell the guy at the counter that “I don’t have VOIP connectivity on my TV”, and he will bring out a standard part that will fix it. No one will understand all the small parts of things, but will just understand that the parts do what they are purported to do.

      It is just like the way computer chips are made now. No one person understands all of the parts on a chip (I imagine), but they know that each part does some function, and that it is reliable. We use cars and televisions and phones all the time, and most people do not know the intimate details of them. I think that this may be the best way to approach such things.

      • #3345323

        About complexity of modern society

        by sonicwallroc ·

        In reply to About complexity of modern society

        Don’t see it happening. A perfect example are cars. How many years have they been at building them? Are they EVER done? Nobody is ever happy and people are becoming even more lazy, which is the reason technology continues to want to combine everything into one little piece.

        Not only that, but how complex do you want them? Do you want them to go to the bathroom for you? There must be some way to get a computer to tell me when it’s time to go, the nearest bathroom and exactly how long it takes to do my business! lol

        Lew

    • #3345834

      Borg anyone?

      by reinhardt ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Absurdities abound in this new era of electronic and software driven everything. As a father, I have listened, completely baffled, as they telephone each other on their cell phones while sitting at their respective PC’s within perhaps 50′ of each other. It is my firm belief that “we” have created a monster, one that perhaps one day will have either gained or created enough “artificial” inteligence to decide that we humans are completely expendable and this planet is better off without us. My friends and family, with all the gadgets, can barely manage the On/Off functions of most of their equipment much less troubleshoot problems with software and hardware. As a society, we are so inundated with and enamored of the multitude of wizardry available to us that I can envision the day when someone will drop a slice of bread into a toaster (remember those?) and from that point on won’t have a clue how to make the thing work.
      I have watched the progression of computers from the Magnavox pong machine through Vic 20’s yadda, yadda and been a part of it all. It boggles the mind. As a result of all this what have we attained? A fatter nation, a much less fit nation and a nation that has come to expect to have it all and have it NOW. In our quest for the ultimate in electronic lifestyles we have paid the price of living, truly living and experiencing as opposed to the vicarious life we live through media, electronics and “entertainment”.
      Do we all really need to take pictures with our phones? Indeed, do we all really need to be so in touch that we can no longer be without a telephone? Personally, I won’t own a cell. I don’t even wear a watch because I just don’t care what time it is and I certainly don’t want anybody to get ahold of me any time, anywhere. But, that’s just me. The biggest and best bonus I can see from it all is the fact that the proliferation of all of it makes it easier, cheaper and faster to find and create the truly important stuff – like medical breakthroughs and most other life science endeavors. Thanks for joining me on this rant.
      But then I’m guessing that you already knew what I had to say because out there somewhere, somehow, “The Big Brother Software Co.” has already picked my brain, written what I was going to say so that I didn’t have to expend all that energy pressing keys.

    • #3345823

      No, I am Consuming IT :>

      by admin ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      ~LoL~ this reminds me of when I decided I really didn’t care to try and fully understand the schematic for the 486 chip.

      For some reason it was important to me for a long time to still try and understand the actual electron paths in IC’s- especially processors. Here’s a bit of good advice you will reach one way or another: The reason no one is satisfied with 42 being the answer to the question of the “ultimate understanding” or “everything” is that it is actually not a very good question. If you are not sure of this reference, please go here:

      http://tinyurl.com/rqf6

      These days when I breadboard, I have no idea what transistor or resistor is doing what inside an IC, but I know the pin-out and related function. That is enough. I get a lot more done and am much more happy having 100 things that do work than remaining in full pursuit of an ultimate understanding of the first thing. Of course, I would also rather eat than study botany and it’s relation to the mammalian diet, so maybe that’s just me..

      Sigh…How far it’s come since then. I built my first computer from a Radio Shack kit in the 70’s and the electron flow was beautiful- but I could figure out most everything before I even started programming it, which of course was done by setting up the wiring and throwing the switches! ~L0L~

      Then the Commodores and Atari’s (I still retain a special Atari PC love) then the 8088 chip and now I sit at my PC and know a lot about how it works- more than enough to get it to do amazing things it perhaps was not even supposed to- but could I build it myself out of discrete parts if I had to? ~LoL~ Perhaps if I had to actually engineer a light bulb or transitor from scratch I would- but with most modern appliances just sit back and make the good times roll! You are still in the drivers seat if you want to be.

      The time of the village blacksmith in computer terms has long been over my friend. Even the good Generalists are actually highly specialized in their field these days. The ultimate understanding really dropped off the planet a long time ago.

      Best of luck 2 U geeky bro! Please do try and sit back and just realize it is fun to drive from time to time!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • #3345701

        Those were the days

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to No, I am Consuming IT :>

        J-K Flip Flops
        Address decoders
        Reverse Polish Notation
        LIFO stacks
        I got my start in computing because one of the physics teacher’s at my school was your sort of nut. He put a 6502 processor in a 19 inch case with hex key pad and a 8 digit led display, taught me the basics.
        Didn’t learn everything off him though my first computer came assembled.

        48k , never use all that.
        LOL

        • #3346701

          Thx Tony -U Brought a Smile to My Day! :)

          by admin ·

          In reply to Those were the days

          Ah yes, those were the days when you could almost make a whole something yourself! Now my employees think its really wierd that I have a solder station on my bench ~LoL~ 🙂

          Have you ever thanked your physics teacher? I had a similar teacher that taught 4th graders how to build a wind generator (out of an old bicycle rim and generator) Methane generator (1 gallon glass apple cider jug and some stoppers and glass tubing) and a solar water heater (five gallon bucket insulated in a frozen food shipping container fed by a garden hose in a scrap wood frame under a recycled window). All of us kids felt soooo empowered- we could actually build our own energy sources!

          A little off topic in an IT forum, but I gotta say that if I could find (I’ve tried) Mr. Roberts from Jennings Lodge Elementary School I would give him the HEARTiest thank- you ever!!!!

          Those people who take time to show kids how to really do stuff are incredible!

          yep, and I remember well the thought of 48k being an immense amount of memory! ~LoL~

          Thanks Tony :>

        • #3346644

          Unfortunately

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Thx Tony -U Brought a Smile to My Day! :)

          I never did formally, too late now has he’s in the big school in the sky. My brothers and sister followed me through the same school though and he used to ask how I was doing. By total co-incidence his name was A.J. Hopkins, we had the same middle initial too.

          640K never use that
          1M not possible
          Now all you do is load your browser and word processor. Wonder if the rate of technology increase will ever slow down enough for memory to be important again in normal business programming.
          Coding would become an art again instead of a science.

    • #3345726

      You can only consume what you can power up

      by mandrake64 ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Think beyond the now.
      Mankind (with the exception of the bulk of the human population, i.e. developing and third world countries) enjoys its association with IT.
      But consider this, we continue to build ever smaller componenents with lower power consumption but want faster performance so use a lot of them together to achieve this. The world’s power consumption is increasing as more nations are modernising.
      And you must not forget the power it takes to manufacture these components. With the world oil production near its peak and likely to fall sharply over the next 10 years, what will power all these IT devices. Will we all end up with slower devices powered by solar panels on our hats and office windows?
      I don’t think many people will care much about technology if there is a shortage of clean water, or cheap fuel unless it is directly contributing to their survival.

    • #3345696

      Consumers like K.I.S.S.

      by callanykey ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      I got the “buzz” in 1978 when 13. This is my 17th year in the industry. I can’t help but notice that the average user?s literacy hasn’t improved at all.
      Yesterday an 18 yo wanted MSN back on the system after I’d done a reinstall. I directed her to woubaya woubaya woubaya DOT! bill gates etc… to download it.
      She didn’t know how to open IE!!!
      However, she:
      1 could type.
      2 knew the latest version.
      And 3 once installed and it looked familiar – was like a rat up a drainpipe using it!

      They learn the bare min and that?s it.

      Fear of technology destroys the ability to investigate and resolve even the most minor issue.

      I don?t think the average user will be spending money on the gadgets that confuse, and further, their growing very sick of paying support costs.

      The VCR is now in its last days. How many users have never worked out how to program the record timer? Surely this is one of the more desired features of the gadget?

      The last PDA I bought cost me 54 cents! I went up market on the user interface paying $3.50 for a really nice flowing ink ball point jobie. Lets face it: it does the job, fits neatly in my pocket, works during power outages and the data is safe after being run over by a bus!

      The world gets madder by the day, when the oil runs out will the technocrats know how to plant a crop? The internot won?t be able to help them.

      • #3346835

        Ha

        by house ·

        In reply to Consumers like K.I.S.S.

        I take notes at work all the time. I brought someone a message on a piece of paper at work, and they looked at me like I was crazy. I find that there is no urgency in computer messaging technologies… If I feel that something is important enough, I will take note and approach the individual.

        * I still use my pen and paper more often than not for quick information gathering. I spend about $20 to $40 on my pens though (kinda pointless, but I’m a dork that way). I have a few bic pens lying around in case someone needs to use it for a second. People like to steal pens as much as they like to steal lighters.

    • #3345688

      Ack a longish post

      by scsadmin ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Part of your post was talking about not being able to fully understand a technology (because its developing so fast and becoming so complex). I think very, very few people do or ever have completely understood some piece of technology. In fact I enjoy not knowing it all, since it means I learn something new everytime I go to work. Of course some people aren’t like that but I don’t think you can last long in IT and not like learning new things (since you basically have to).

      I think that this explosive growth will slow down, you have to remember that IT is still a pretty ‘young’ technology. Once growth has slowed then people will specialise and have their areas of understanding like with every other technology.

      As for IT home appliances well I havent seen any great ones yet.

      As for the quality of software, hardware etc well in the end business will get rid of the poor quality products. Like it has in every other sector (except of course where quality is delibrately poor so that the product is cheap …. damn it I hate exeptions).

      cheers

    • #3345685

      No Problem!

      by p_flick ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      House,

      I’m not “consumed with IT,” but your concern sounds very much like my mother’s as things seemed to be spinning out of her control. Your kids will probably tell you what I told my mother: Want me to teach you? She chose to learn, and certainly, I’m no spring chicken.

      There are always going to be luddites no matter when you are, just as there will always be those who worship “progress.” And there will always be we conservatives who take advantage of and learn the things that truly keep us cutting edge and toss aside those things that don’t.

      Too much tech? Not a chance. If I had the time, I’d automate my entire house. As it is, my time is consumed by work, home, and school, all three of which involve IT to some degree. I have two laptops, two pc’s that I built myself, and a palm pc, none of which are current. If I could, I’d link myself permanently to the internet, not that I need to be on all the time, but because I believe that it will be advantageous to do so in the future.

      Of course, I have one small prejudice for this opinion: I am a geek. And I plan on being a geek until I’m at least 120, giving the kiddies a run for their money. Hell, many of them are trying to catch up to me now, so I wouldn’t worry too much about how fast and far tech goes.

      And really, only a small percentage of the world will be completely bleeding edge because it’s just too darned expensive.

      Keep looking up. Them aliens are bound to get here eventually. :>

      • #3346837

        Let me clarify

        by house ·

        In reply to No Problem!

        I am do not mean to come off as an old nag. My main concern is that simple devices – plug it in and it works – are disappearing from the market. There is also a sliding form of standards in all aspects of modern technology (retail). I still have a TV kicking around that was bought in the late 70’s. Of course I don’t use it, but I can guarantee that it will serve as a backup one day when my new one dies.

        • #3346698
          Avatar photo

          The things that just get me

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Let me clarify

          Are the new appliances that just need a remote control for. The front panel controls are all but gone now days and to make it even worse you need a remote control to trigger the alarm to find the remote that you’ve lost in the first place.

          A few years ago when you took in any appliance for service you where told to leave the remote at home or it would get lost but now the remote is an integral part of the appliance and when you have any service work done you still run the risk of loosing that remote which is only about half the cost of the original purchase price of the entire unit to replace.

          Col

        • #3346642

          True

          by house ·

          In reply to The things that just get me

          That’s a good point. There are many options associated with stereo, television, and home entertainment equipment in general, which are only accessible throught the remote control.

          I have a receiver with which I cannot save radio stations to the quick keys without using the remote. I haven’t been able to find that remote for some time now. I’ve also had a universal remote that didn’t allow me that option either.

    • #3345661

      People are always left behind

      by jeff ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      With each new technology there is a group of people who are calcified into the old. This does not mean we should slow down or disregard the new if it is useful or fun. It simply means (as it always has) that open minded people will lead more productive and exciting lives than the the average Joe.

      • #3346974

        Don’t know about that

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to People are always left behind

        Even my son would agree that scoring a goal (not on a ps2) or catching a fish is more fun than discovering you can listen to a snippet of a favourite tune on your mobile by getting your mates to ring you.

        If you want a real laugh see if you can get the old atari tennis game console and swap it for your kids Xbox/PS2.
        My dad hated it, “turn that bipping thing off”.

        I think it was bipping anyway.
        LOL

    • #3346881

      So, it’s survival is it?

      by azlan101 ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      I agree with your concern regarding unchecked development, but unfortunately that is the nature of any evolving species, in my belief.
      Computers will take on their own life, grow, occupy every conceivable niche, and become as complex and as simple as required to meet the demands of it’s environment. I’ve seen arguments that support that software will/and is becoming self-guided, writing itself in some instances or at least guiding decision making pathways. What I think you’re noticing is that we are losing control of our ability to shape software to service our needs, as it becomes something onto itself. My question to the world is: do we accept that it is okay to let it evolve and then help it to change and become something more? or do we shrink away and attempt to hold onto control narrowing control to a very few whose agendas may not be in the best intrest of the whole?

      • #3346848

        On the contrary

        by house ·

        In reply to So, it’s survival is it?

        I am noticing that devices are becoming more configurable – thus leading to more technical issues in the administration and implimentation of such devices.

        VoIP is the perfect example of that. With standard POTS, plug your phone into the wall… [i]presto[/i]. With a home VoIP endpoint gateway… you are opening up quite a bag of tricks. People who hardly even know how to boot their PC are trying to administer home networks with VoIP routers. This stuff might sound easy to us, but I speak with people who couldn’t point a finger at their cable modem if their life depended on it.

        It’s great that we all have our options, but perhaps this trend is not for everyone.

      • #3345321

        controlled evolution for final goal

        by kyuso ·

        In reply to So, it’s survival is it?

        As always with a substance that are evolving over time, there should be a clear goal of where we want it to be. Let the thing evolve, but at least provide some control to guide where it should evolve.

        The goal of IT development should be to simplify and enhance our lives for more purposeful endeavors. Making things more complex only to create jobs tweaking and maintaining complexities is not the ultimate goal. IT should evolve to let us use the technology for furthering betterment, be it a stepping stone for higher level creation, better understanding of the universe, or propagating good ideas to the world.

        Just like the bible implies, let the nature evolve with free will, but control it with the ultimate goal to create a perfect companion for the Designer.

        IT should be allowed to evolve, but managed with the ultimate goal to aid us in our higher level endeavors.

    • #3346856

      Profit motivates standardization

      by chughlett ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      It sounds like we need MORE gadgets. More software to connect all our incompatible programs. More hardware to bridge incompatible devices. More, more, more. What we really need is more industry motivation to simplify lives.

      If industry can clearly see a demand for simplification, then it will suddenly come into greater supply. However, our society seems so amped with gadgetry these days (can’t be without those MP3 bath slippers) that industry has motivation to dump ever-more narrowly compatible specialized gadgets.

      Microsoft wants to keep the world of software development in the code-your-butt-off realm when it should have been in some iconic or visual symbolic paradigm for quite some time now. Take SoftWire or LabView. These tools are a small step in a better direction. In a better world, development of software would be a point-and-click experience. Let’s face it, code is mundane and repetitive. Every coding task out there we programmers have done a million times before, maybe in a different language or on a different operating system.

      What I wish for is developer kits. Not SDKs, but DDKs or Device Development Kits. It’s almost too late to fix what went wrong in software development. Our tails will always be tucked in awe of the software powerhouses. But, if someone really nice were to create a company that profitted by helping Device Developers put their products on store shelves, in catalogs and websites, on TV… then maybe someone would put together Device Developer Kits that are in some way standardized. Of course, the company that sells Device Developer Kits would make a ton of money, just the way Microsoft makes so much on us lowly coders.

      Standardized development tools might, just maybe, help to standardize some of the gadgets on our shelves.

      I can’t stay on topic, either. Blame it on Microsoft, everyone else does. 🙂

      • #3346840

        MP3 gadgets

        by house ·

        In reply to Profit motivates standardization

        I saw a pair of sunglasses with built in headphones and a USB jumpdrive/mp3 player. The first person to buy this one wins a prize… A slap in the face and a bit of ridicule from yours truly.

        Regarding mundane code – of course, languages that are mounted onto others, for lack of a better explanation, promote the development of internal appz, but not necessarily groundbreaking software.

    • #3346755

      Technology

      by louisrizzo ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Technology is a good thing. It is the tool that has allowed us to work more efficiently, communicate easier, learn more and do a lot of things unheard of a few years ago. Will it overburdon or overwhelm us is the question? I think not. We will use the technology so long as it fits our lifestyle and suits our needs. When it becomes overwhelming we will turn it off. The big question is will technology make us less loving, attentive and moral. I do not know if it will permit us to isolate ourselves from people and blind us to the needs of others. We know that unexplaned technology equals magic and we understand that no matter what tools we have we still have needs to touch one another and interact directly with each other. Some (few)may be diminished by advanced technology in the IT area but I think for the most part we will only be given more capability to deal with life’s challenges.

    • #3346743

      The Science & Art of IT!

      by pitsburghtek ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      I don?t think the issue for me is ?being consumed by IT?, but rather how to integrate the various technologies into a cohesive structure. The rapid pace of technological advances has opened the world of delivering Information at a phenomenal rate. Keeping up with this is a struggle at times. But by remaining ?true? to the goals of IT I keep my self-sane. I see the IT world as the art & science of INFORMATION. Not gadgets but information. The technology that comes with Information Delivery is ever changing and can seem like a roller coaster ride, but technologies come and they go. What fuels this is the desire of humans to be ?connected? and ?Informed?. Be it by Cell phone, Email, Blogging, surfing the internet or getting the organizations latest productivity reports off of the Citrix server. They all have the common denominator of being informed or connected in some way to other people or group.

      I have a desire to ?look under the hood? and figure out how things work, which I guess is what got me into IT. I am obsessed with new things and trying to figure them out. It bothers me that I do not ?know? why or how something works. I guess this all fits into the SCIENCE part of my analogy.
      Then there is another part that might be considered the ART. Problem solving is something I have always liked doing. Puzzles and brainteasers are fun, but the ultimate ?high? for me is solving a problem for someone else. I see a lot of people with problems in IT. The problem could be a simple instruction on an Excel spreadsheet or it could be how to take a report and turn it into a usable database that automatically gets updated daily, or it could be rewiring data-cables from one end of a building to another on an hours notice.

      It seems to me there is a constantly shifting balance between the Art & Science of IT. But doesn?t it really come down to one thing:
      Harnessing the love of learning new technologies and in turn integrating these new ?tools? of IT to solve people?s problems.

      • #3346738

        Loss of free time

        by gratefulblue ·

        In reply to The Science & Art of IT!

        I agree that the “look under the hood” mentality put me here as well. But think about the loss of time for us “computer guys”. No longer will family gatherings simply consist of virus removal, Hardware installation, or Internet setup (to name a few recent requests), but also HVAC, home applicance, and media manipulation. I may even lose my greatest defense mechanism, my wife. As where in the past she would say “No, we have to go”, now it could be “You have to get the stove and fridge in sync or else the whole family will starve!” So, much for the free time that all of this automation will provide. Oh well, I still like tinkering anyway. 🙂

    • #3345295

      Let the evolution of IT go forward

      by aldanatech ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Personally I don?t get too concerned about that. Keep in mind that IT does grow at an exponential rate, and its influence on the common Jack and Jill continues to expand by the minute. It is a natural effect of IT. Obviously, all those systems? demand for attention and maintenance grow along with it, and somebody must provide all that attention and maintenance. That is where we come in. It is our duty to keep track of all those innovations to provide the kind of service that would be expected of us. Not only does that make our job more interesting, but it also promises greater job security. So don?t worry about it. Just go with the flow and let the evolution of IT go forward.

    • #3345269

      Still many things to achieve.

      by jevans4949 ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      Looking at many of the above posts, I am reminded that an senior IBM Exec in the 1940’s predicted that the world might one day need as many as four computers. A British Government report in the early 1950’s went a bit further; Britain might one day need as many as 20. And didn’t a senior exec at Digital once ask “Why would anyone want a computer in their home?”. I believe the same sort of remarks were made about the original telephone when it was first launched.

      My point: don’t shut your eyes to the possibility that just because you don’t see the use for a technology that other people won’t. Even if that use is frivolous. (Computer Games, anyone?)

      Most of the development in consumer electronics to date has been in the fields of communication and entertainment (audible, visual or written.) Many of the predictions for the future hinge around automating “home administration” (e.g. automating food re-ordering). An area where we have failed to apply ourselves is “home robotics.” You can now get robotic lawnmowers and vacuum cleaners, but these are still fairly dumb. The average washing machine is still fairly low-tech. When we acquired our kitchen stove 18 years ago, it had a timer to stop and start the oven. I believe even this sort of thing is not now on the market. The UK Grand Prix driver Stirling Moss famously had an automated home back in the 1950’s – whatever happened to that?

      My personal wish list would be a home-use numerically-controlled machine shop, to cover up my incompetence in woodwork and metalwork. There must be a market out there.

      Finally, we had recently in the UK a TV series called “Robot Wars”. In point of fact these fighting machines were not robots, but dumb radio-controlled machines. Still some way to go there, too.

    • #3345222

      Convergence?

      by mxyzyptylk1 ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      I’ve never seen so many sets of blinders since the last Clydesdale walkthrough. This technology acceleration is not restricted to the Home PC world or the IT world: it’s happening everywhere that the government has no control over development. And it’s what they had in mind when DARPA, and the Internet, came to be. GM’s latest “car” prototype is basically an all-in-one technology sled suitable for getting any type of body installed. X-Prize, anyone? We finally have collision avoidance systems that avoid collisions with the earth as well as other planes, not to mention collision avoidance with other cars or telephone poles. Most of the power saws they offer today come with an alignment laser built-in. GMRS can now go 7 miles. You guys have a tremendous advantage in that you can at least recognize the changes when they bite you on the butt. The average person today seems to think it’s all some form of enhanced delivery system for pizza, porno, and professional sports. Cell Phones? The equivalent of wireless telephony use to take a cubic yard of equipment, and now most of the three cubic inches of phone is battery and a plastic case designed to fall oiut of your hand and under the next large falling object. And yet we have over 30% of the country insisting there is no proof for evolution, and forming flash protests with their cellphones and EMail. And yet when the Tsunami watchers in Hawaii saw the big one coming, they had no way of disseminating the information to the countries they could warn in time, because the governments there are at about the same state they were in 1930 (one wonders if India would even have warned them).
      Time to go back and watch your (bootleg) copies of “Brazil” and “Rollerball”, guys. And keep learning how to program your VCRs.

    • #3345023

      You have a choice

      by firstaborean ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      House, you feel trapped in an IT swarm of bees. You oughtn’t. There’s no trap at all, because everybody has a choice limited only by means (money) and availability. Nobody has to use everything or understand everything, and nobody has to do without the technology, except for those who are too poor to buy in.

      I don’t see any dilemma at all, and I’ve been around long enough to know. When I was little, the transistor had yet to be invented. A lot has happened since then, and I have never felt the need to keep up with all of the latest technology. Why should I? Whether professionally or as a consumer, I buy and learn what I need or desire, and I leave the rest. Most folks do the same.

      If the speed of advance of technology does not bother me, it ought not to bother you. My advice is to enjoy and stop worrying.

      Anybody who disagrees and has a rational argument is invited to send me an E-mail.

      • #3344996
        Avatar photo

        “the transistor had yet to be invented”

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to You have a choice

        I think you mean the Solid State Transistor here don’t you?

        I’m considered almost as a Dinosaur by most of the new breed coming up now days but I can remember the vacuum tube transistor very well I even started a major argument/”Problem” when I asked where a defibrillator had been found in such good condition as it was all valves. What I didn’t know at the time was it was a new model and that Solid State was not allowed to be used in Medical Equipment because the reliability factor was not as yet known.

        But it was worth the looks of horror on the faces of the sales people. I think that Solid State TV had only been in production for 10 years back then but the brand new medical equipment was all valve. It really makes you think on the mentality of those in power who make these decisions though and then having to relearn all the old valve stuff again, what a nightmare.

        Anyway I’m still unable to program a VCR and leave that to the wife with a comment something like I’m only a lowly Computer Teck what else can you expect?

        Col 😀

        • #3344925

          Longevity.

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to “the transistor had yet to be invented”

          I remember valves. That was when the tv repair man, did more than just bring you a new telly. Always fascinated me as a kid, watching him getting them all glowing when the back was off, sort of like lighting up the xmas tree, but you got to watch the clangers when he was done.

          There was a craze for valve amps not so long back and CRTs are still used a lot, so the technology is still alive and glowing.

        • #3344827
          Avatar photo

          Actually I like the Valve Amps

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Longevity.

          Because I think they produce a more faithful response curve than any Silicon technology can, but then again I can also remember a repair job at a drive in movie place that I had to fix up after an apprentice had gone out and fixed things up. They used an old AB Class Valve AMP that had a 110 V output and then transformers to step down to the speaker.

          Naturally the apprentice being such a bright lad had connected the secondary leads of the transformer to the output of the amp and the primary’s to the speakers.

          I can personally vouch for that one as I did touch one of the output leads and was flung quite a distance which was quite surprising at first as I was pulling the speaker box apart at the time so I didn’t know what had happened, just that I’d got another belt again.

          Which shouldn’t have happened, apparently the apprentice had the amp switched off and replaced every transformer in the place and then on switch on nothing worked for some funny reason which he couldn’t work out. When he saw me flying across the ground he made a rapid exit they guy that owned the place insisted that his feet didn’t touch the ground he was running so fast.

          Anyway when I again approached “Very Cautiously” the speaker box that I’d been pulling apart and only touched it with insulated things it very soon became apparent what had happened. So I got the owner to switch off the amp then waited about 30 minutes for the capacitors to discharge the amp was a massive thing that just sucked electrical power like there was no tomorrow and one belt a day was my limit at that point in time.

          Anyway I replaced every transformer and every speaker and everything worked perfectly the transformers probably where OK but as they had been used in such a manner I wasn’t going to take the risk as if one was to burn out the chances of damaging the amp was too great.

          Actually when that place shut I tried very hard to get my grotty little hands on the mono amp but luckily for me I didn’t get it as my wife would have killed me without a second thought as it was about 25 foot long 8 foot high and 4 foot deep it was a massive thing and ran off three phase power I can just see the look on “She Who Must Be Obeyed” face if I had of turned up at home with that thing. But for all of its limitations it did produce some very good sound and was far better than the solid state unit that he originally brought to replace the old Valve Amp with.

          Apparently the Solid State never worked properly so he kept it as a backup and used the valve amp all the time. The first time that I visited that place was when the apprentice screwed up and I tried very hard to get the guy to part with the valve amp after I got the Solid State unit working properly as it had never been installed properly but he had by that stage =had a gut full of the new amp and didn’t want to know about it so he kept using the valve amp as it just worked. Actually I think the same apprentice was responsible for installing the new solid state amp so that was where most of his problems originated as the little fool was far more dangerous then helpful. I really do not know how he survived till the 4 th year which was when I first ran into him after an transfer. I was always trying to kill him off because he for some reason was always trying to electrocute me through his ignorance. I think he was the son of one of the powerful people in the town so he was guaranteed a job for life no matter just how bad he was.

          The little fool was driving around town one night and spinning out his car and so forth of course right in front of the Police and when they attempted to stop him he bolted out of town and then stopped his excuse was he couldn’t be seen to be stopped by the Police in front of his friends. Well he was instructed to turn up and surrender his license the next day so he got roaring drunk drove up to the Police Station and parked outside but didn’t manage to stop before running through the fence and then from what I was latter told crawled up to the front desk to surrender his license. The cops just told him to disappear and come back when he was sober and with someone to drive him home. The little SOD really didn’t care and was just like that. He would borrow some tools and when he had finished undoing whatever just throw the tool on the ground and when needed again approach someone else to borrow the same tool again which he could then throw onto the floor and walk all over.

          I only really tried to kill him on 3 occasions well that was all that the Police actually found out about anyway they would send down a junior officer to have a talk to me to calm me down which never worked as by that time he had really got to me and I would not be satisfied until I was wearing his head on a screwdriver so I was taken back to the Police Station where the guy in charge just sat down and drank with me and was swapped stories about just how bad he actually was. I eventually began to feel sorry for the Police and would calm down as while he only attempted to kill me to them he showed them absolutely no form of anything at all. It was a regular thing there everyone was at one time or another attempting to kill him off.

          Col

        • #3344643

          Being a bighead

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Actually I like the Valve Amps

          I never really paid attention to the electricity is dangerous bit. I was mad keen on electronics as a kid and used to salvage components and sort of tie them together to see what happened. Did n’t fry myself, but I did pop the fuse for the main socket ring and set my work bench on fire. My dad was less than chuffed and banned all further experimentation with the mains supply. Given what I learnt later, and the the things I was doing, he probably saved my life.

        • #3344598
          Avatar photo

          Well when I was much younger

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Being a bighead

          Around 11 or 12 I was playing with electro magnets and I thought if I could get such a nice magnetic field from such a small power supply in this case a 1.5 volt battery just how much better would it be if I could use mains power?

          I got a bolt and wound it with quite a lot of enameled wire so much so that it didn’t actually blow a fuse but of course there was no insulation where the wires joined the mains lead. We must have played with this for about 3 hours until my father saw what we where doing and got slightly distressed. At the time I couldn’t understand it but now I can see just how dangerous it was.

          But as they say what doesn’t kill us only makes us gain more knowledge!

          Col 😀

        • #3326096

          A little knowledge is dangerous

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Well when I was much younger

          At about 12 I think
          I knew that 240 volts was too much
          I knew that I could reduce the voltage with a resistor

          I did not know by how much but this was easily solved by three salvaged tv volume knobs in series.

          My dad knew nothing about electronics, but Mum made him very aware I was the culprit in terms of burnt table and raw dinner though and he resolved matters to his satisfaction with commendable vigour. Still haven’t realy explained it to him as he’d probably give my ear another wallop.

    • #3344822

      Bill Gates

      by zlitocook ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      All ready has every thing you are talking about in his humble house. It will happen, it is like the wheel,the steam engine,paper money, the first ice box, the wonder bra. Cnange happens and the people who do not except it will adapt. Life is life a box of Chocolates, its all in what you except and learn to use. I my self can not wait to use my computer from any where I need to.

    • #3344735

      The information super-highway

      by jardinier ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      This phrase immediately caught my eye because a now deceased, very good friend of mine, Professor Ross Blunden coined this term some years ago.

      Ross helped build the first ever computer in Australia at the C.S.I.R.O (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) but subsequently became Foundation Professor of Traffic Engineering at a Sydney university. This was the first “chair” in this field in the British Commonwealth.

      Well Ross used to carry with him always a small program which he had written on a hand-held computer, which determined the rate at which traffic could flow as it converged at an intersection.

      And he combined his two disciplines to come up with the expression: “The information super-highway.”

      He correctly predicted that the Information Super Highway would in time become clogged with excessive traffic of data, just as normal highways developed bottlenecks as vehicular traffic increased.

    • #3344595

      Some Points

      by chriss ·

      In reply to Consumed with IT

      When cars were first introduced, driver’s needed to be mechanics to get from A to B. Today it matters not whether you know what the carburettor is, or how a differential works. Cars have become so ubiquitous and (relatively) reliable, we no longer need a great deal of specialist knowledge to drive one.
      All new technology has created tension in its current society. All new technology has been credited with revolutionising, improving or destroying all we hold dear. Most of the time it doesn’t.
      There is a great tendency in us all to imagine that the problems we face are unique in history, and that our time is the worst or the best of times (to paraphrase Dickins).
      Technological development and change will continue as long as there is technology.

      • #3326091

        Yeah, but

        by house ·

        In reply to Some Points

        for better or worse? I’ve been watching the decline of quality product for quite a while now. Everything I see now is a ‘piece of crap’. In fact I use the term ‘piece of crap’ almost 20 times a day. 🙂 There seem to be more options, but none of them count for longevity.

        • #3326386

          I think that that is a function of the market

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Yeah, but

          The percieved need to catch up with a competitor’s new thing, no matter how inappropriate has resulted in some very poor quality out on the market. Taking the time to do things right has been sacrificed, in favour of getting things done enough to call them a product.
          My profession doesn’t call for the constant variation in tools you guys see, but I too can get lumbered with crap on a regular basis. Things appear to be changing for the better at my level, as people are beginning to see how much crap costs, but that’s going to take a while to filter through, and it will be dropped in an instant, if the pace of change increases back to it’s previous levels.

          I’m actually enjoying my work more now even though I’m being paid less for doing something better. Funny old world.

        • #3326228

          Exactly

          by house ·

          In reply to I think that that is a function of the market

          It all comes down to ignorant clients who’s motto is – [i]I want it cheaper!!![/i] Fine… here it is. Just don’t call me. If you call, I expect to hear the words [i]You were right and I was wrong![/i] I have no pity for these folks.

          Obviously, like everyone else, I cannot afford the best of everything, but I understand what is going on when I end up with a ‘bum deal’. I don’t take it out on those who represent the product on a support level. You get what you pay for.

          Chris

        • #3326767
          Avatar photo

          House I remember a long time ago

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Exactly

          When I was working as a consultant for a car company here in AU, I was sent around to all of the dealers to show how the electronics should be handled and how to do the job properly as we had a lot of parts returned as faulty which had obviously suffered a static discharge.

          At the time I was driving a rag top 911 Porsche and one of the dealers being a fair distance away offered a good excuse to blow the cobwebs out of the exhaust pipe so I drove the 911 there.

          This was totally unconnected with my job but I was none the less dragged into it. The company was making a Soft Top “Sports Car” and this particular dealer had sold one. The new owner brought it back in complaining that the roof leaked when it rained, “Big Thrill after all it was a rag top” but what astounded me was their attitude to the problem.

          The female owner said in no uncertain terms that they had paid an excessive amount of money for this high cost car and it should be right. The car in question was under the 18 K mark and was built from parts supplied from many different companies. My response to the Dealers owner was “Well I’m driving a Porsche Rag Top and it leaks so what’s the big deal?” But that was not good enough and a cure had to be found to keep the owner happy.

          My solution was to drag her into the Porsche and drive her a short distance out of town in the rain and she complained that it leaked, I just said well if Porsche can not stop their rag tops from leaking how do you expect this company to? At the time I think I could have brought 5 of those cars and still had some change left over compared to the cost of the Porsche. Anyway the customer seemed happy enough but the Dealer owner thought differently so I just suggested that he take it up with the company and leave me out of it as I was the “Electronics Guy” and defiantly not the vehicle designer. But the leak was through the stitching on the soft top and there is no way of stopping this from happening, you can plastic weld the joint but it then tends to tear along the seam while the stitching just holds perfectly but allows a bit of water in.

          Some people have different ideas of just what is an expensive product as this person was comparing her plastic car to the Porsche and thinking they should be the same in every respect.

          OH I almost forgot she was having AC fitted when I left I never did understand why you would need AC in a rag top and just how well it would work. I can just see her now driving down the road in direct sunlight with the top down and the AC turned all the way up and still complaining that it was toooooo hot!

          Col 😀

      • #3326706

        Good points…but

        by john bartlett ·

        In reply to Some Points

        Your points are excellent and I used to feel just as you seem to. I, too, was around “pre-transistor” and remember my Grandfather (whom I greatly respected) pointing out pretty much the same observations.

        But-
        The new, unique things I have observed over the last decade or so that worry me are (A) this technology too often goes to the personal level (B) the rate of “new” releases is ridiculously fast and accelerating and (C) most of these ?advances? have little or no practical use but the marketing of them (again, mostly at the personal level) convinces way too many that they ?need? it.

        I often wonder if the .com bust of a couple of years ago was only the start and we have yet to face the real correction when all this ?junk? collapses under its own weight.

        My only hope is that the practical wins. Cars are useful. Transistors are useful. Making myself available for everyone, anytime or having my refrigerator tell me I need milk is not. It creates a clash between two very basic human needs that should always be balanced – the need to know and the time to think so you understand what you know.

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