Tuesday, October 16, 2007

When I get home, it's hard to maintain the love...

For computers that is.

I work with computers, I sit at one all day.

There is a massive shift happening in our world and it has to do with computers. All forms of media are jockeying for position in this new paradigm. The dot com boom of a few years ago was like an attack that got swatted down. People could see the future but just couldnt quite grasp ahold of it and shake off the chains of tradition.


The way we shop, the way we talk, the way we are entertained, the way we meet and connect to others, it's all changed.

Once mighty record companies are clinging madly to their 'traditional rights' and vestiges of power. Sowing fear uncertainty and doubt is the order of the day. They still have money and power but it is dwindling rapidly and if they continue to resist, they will be swept away to join bygone historical institutions. They used to control the only connections to the market, making and breaking artists at their whim. Those with the foresight to change and adapt will survive... those who dont.... well.

Television networks will be next. On demand delivery over the internet is growing, once a novely it is gaining speed. More and more companies startup and jockey for position to try and gain an advantage over their rivals.

These are just examples of traditional forms of media that we think will always be there. Shopping, dating, working, communicating.. all these things can be done in non-traditional ways.

I'm shifting my thinking in order to even slightly grasp it. Software products and services offered for free? How? Why? I've always had to pay for things... I go to work, earn a paycheck and go to a store and buy things.

Now the payment is coming indirectly. Google Ads are everywhere! The money is domestic and international and it's BIG! A highly valued company one day, an obsolete technology literally the next.... and it's happening faster and faster because one technological breakthrough breeds multiple others and each one has it's own offspring and so on.

It's a wild ride and quite something to see. Will it stop? And what will happen to the world when/if it does?

I believe there are services that will always be needed. Though if I am to survive, I have to accept that my world, no matter how solid it seems can be changed in an instant... begging the question: is it all real?

Maybe it's the race itself that is virtual.

I definately feel a tangible 'disconnect' from the rush when I can just go home and enjoy time with my family... I can feel joy and peace there and for a while I am grounded... until I have to leave.

I would have to say family is real... and though the world will try and change the meaing of 'family' (or destroy it all together) ... there is only one true definition in my mind.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Everybody talks about Britney Spears too much.

Who really gives a crap about what some over-rich immature celebrity is doing right this second? ........... A lot of people apparently.

I just feel like talking about something close to my inner geek.

The amount of 'free' software that is being released so far makes me wonder. What's really 'free' ? I like free stuff, but in my experience there is always a cost. Whether the gain is monetary or serving a specific purpose. Nobody does anything for 'free'. Everyone needs money to live.

There might be one or two people 'living' off the land, sequestering themselves away from society. However even these people need money because governments will eventually find them and take away whatever they can if they dont have money to pay taxes (one of only two sure things in life).

So what free applications do I like?
A few pieces of software that I enjoy.

I just discovered this one...For an online photo editor it's pretty amazing. Too many features to list, but just the ability to 'remove' someone from a photo easily is worth checking out. Also, the fact that every feature seems to have a demo video so anyone can do amazing things almost immediately.

Im not sure why OpenOffice is free, but it's pretty good. Considered by many as THE alternative to MS Office, if you dont want to shell out hundreds of dollars and dont need the fanciest office bells and whistles... it is pretty impressive. I use it at home and havent got/heard any complaints.

Google Applications
Specifically Reader, GMail, Picasa... Blogger. If you dont mind the ads, the amount of applications that keep piling up under the Google umbrella is pretty astounding. All you have to do is click on the 'More' link on the google homepage to see em all. Sometimes they're in the Labs section if they're not quite ready for an official release.

I use Google Reader everyday... any of my favorite websites that have an RSS feed gets a subscription and it saves an amazing amount of 'surfing' time. It just brings everything to you in one place and you can get a summary of what's new without having to visit all your favorite destinations. When you first install it as part of your 'google' account, you can select 'packages' of subscriptions in categories you might be interested in. I was introduced to quite a lot of pretty cool content that way.

Anyways, Im not a tech blogger (or much of a blogger at all lately) and there are a lot of other cool 'free' applications out there... In my experience, NOTHING that is good will stay free so take advantage of this stuff while you can.