Friday, November 15, 2002

George Mindling Column 11-15-2002 - Computer Potato

I'm Rapidly Turning into a Computer Potato

Yes, I'm addicted to the PC! So are a lot of other people who have found a way to express themselves or indulge themselves as never before.

I amaze myself with astonishing graphics that were impossible to predict back when I was in the U.S. Air Force and-could only afford black-and-white film for my first 35mm camera. I now write and submit articles and photographs without talking to or seeing anyone. I sit, and with a few strokes of my keyboard, upload photos and new pages to my Web site where anyone in the world can stop and take a look.

I send files to my relatives by uploading graphics files that now take the place of paper photos. I haven't had a roll of film developed for more than a year. That reminds me, I have to finish off that last roll of film before Christmas.

I do marvelous things with the PC that perhaps pleases only me; but that's OK, I didn't know I enjoyed my own talents. If I want to share my electronic compositions, it only takes a few keystrokes or a mouse click or two. I can chat with people in Germany, England, as well as a few GIs who used to be stationed there all at the same time. Do I watch television? Only a few sporting and news events, and once in a while a Star Trek rerun.

Listening to the arguing, screaming and gunshots of today's programming is hazardous to my health. TV doesn't pay me to be stressed like a piano wire, so I'll just tootle over to the PC and see what's going on. Maybe I can download the biking video my daughter put together up in Athens, Ga. The quality of the video and audio is just astounding. That is the best sounding bad music I have ever heard.

It doesn't take my daughter long to adapt to the new technology. She has already seriously begun looking at converting her old VHS tapes to DVD. Sounds, just like me about 15 years ago when I was trying to save all the family Super 8mm films by transferring them to VHS tape! I saw so many shots of birds and flowers while doing the transfer that I wondered if I had any relatives at all.

Even without any sound, except the clackety whirr of the old Bell & Howell, the old films did manage to preserve several fond family moments. Many of them took place off-camera, however. When the camera batteries died, for example. We had used up the batteries and the film shooting the birds and flowers we were so thrilled to capture on film.

I watch my daughter shoot digital photographs and videos with ease. I know that she will watch the DVDs get transferred to something else. some other new technology that saves time, weight and space, in not-too- many years. .

Only then will she know if she took too many photos of flowers.

George Mindling © 2002

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