Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Bumping The Limits of Technology

September 21, 2008
My Apple iMac.

My Apple iMac.

I really do love my iMac and most Apple software.  I’ve been a Mac user for almost 20 years and I have to be dragged kicking and screaming to use a PC.

I’ve had this Mac for about six years now.  Most of the time I have no problems, but lately I’ve been having a problem with Apple’s iWeb application.

When I started writing this blog in January, 2007, I was using iWeb for the blog itself and also for my photo pages.  Things went very well until April of this year when iWeb suddenly stopped publishing my blog.  After several days of experimentation I discovered that by deleting entries from my blog archive I could resume writing and publishing.

Things went well until mid-July, when once again iWeb quit publishing my blog.  That time I moved my blog to this site, removed the blog archives from the old site, and continued to use iWeb to publish photo pages to my old site.

Earlier this week iWeb stopped publishing again.  Further investigation showed that I’ve bumped up against the limits of memory (RAM) in my computer.  Betsy and I were going to get new computers this spring, but we changed our mind.  Perhaps that wasn’t such a good idea.

I’ve ordered some more RAM memory for my computer to get me through until Tennessee’s next tax-free weekend.  When the memory arrives I’ll have to perform surgery on my computer.  I’ll keep you posted!

I Should Have Been on Star Trek

July 31, 2008

Yesterday I had a CT scan.  I’ve been bothered by a health problem and my doctor ordered a CT scan to help determine the next course of action.

Fortunately I haven’t had a lot of experience with medical technology.  Since I at one time taught computer science I knew a little of the theory behind CT (Computed Tomography) or CAT (Computed Axial Tomography), but I had never seen a real CT scan device.  I had heard horror stories from individuals who suffered claustrophobia in the “tunnel” when having a scan, but I didn’t pay that much attention.

I’ll have to admit that the experience was interesting and not unpleasant.  I didn’t have to wait too long in the waiting room to be called for my scan and the two technicians were friendly and efficient.

The device itself looked like a donut with a bed attached, very similar to the picture above.  The whole thing only took about five minutes.  The device had several lights (I don’t know the purpose) and a computerized voice telling me when to hold by breath and when to breathe normally.  It looked very scientific and modern.

All in all I felt that I should have been on an episode of Star Trek!

Computers and GM

July 29, 2008

As many of you know, I’m a big fan of computers from Apple.  I’ve owned Apple computers (first AppleII and then Macintosh) for more than 25 years.  I’ve had to use Windows-based computers in my work, but my co-workers (and for a while even my own son) couldn’t understand my choice in personal computers.

Betsy’s friend Betty Callis sent us the following e-mail which does a pretty good job of expressing my feelings toward those other computers.

For all  of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers  have enhanced our lives, read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,

“If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash…….. Twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car  that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as  easy to drive – but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation” warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.