A Trip Down Media Memory Lane – Part II

I Have A Healthy Addiction: ReadingI Have A Healthy Addiction: Reading

Although from time to time, I wouldn’t mind watching a movie more than once, I could never do the same when it came to reading a book. Even if it was a book I hadn’t read in quite some time and couldn’t even remember most of the story or who the author was. I don’t know why, I can’t explain it. That’s just the way it is.

Most bibliophiles would agree with me, that the book is 99.9% better than the movie.  I would  read the book and see the movie to compare the two, only to be somewhat disappointed. Ideas for movies come from many sources, but I find the majority of ideas comes from books.

Non-bibliophiles, my common-law partner included, would always answer something along the lines of, “Is there a movie about it (meaning the book)?Then I’d rather watch the movie.” He reads to educate himself and prefers non-fiction over fiction.  While I read books on finance, investing and blogging to educate myself, I also love to read fiction.  Like many PF bloggers, I love reading, thus I love writing. The two past-times seem to go hand in hand. I enjoyed the many book fairs and read-a-thon fundraisers in school.  I loved going to the library and still do.

Books Are Here To Stay

Although it doesn’t strike us as an obvious choice, but books, magazines, and newspapers are a form of media. Print media, that is. Before we were able to bring ideas and dreams to real life in real-time, they were written and printed in text. It was up to our own imagination to visualize what the author was trying to say.

Everything was open to interpretation.

Despite the technology craze or boom, books, magazines and newspapers  have adapted in the form of e-books, e-readers and online versions. At the same time, they have still managed to stay in its original form.  When you set foot in a bookstore, there is a display of e-readers and e-reader covers, however the rest of the store is dominated by the hardcover and paperback books. People still cozy themselves in a corner of a bookstore, coffee shop or their own house and read a book. A real book.

The real thing seems  to grab hold of several of my senses. It’s the feel of the book, holding it in your hand. The sound of the page turning or closing the book shut after you’ve finished a reading session. The smell of it. The sight of the cover and the book itself. Being able to see the title  on its spine when placed on the bookshelf.

Of course, you don’t actually taste books.  But I hunger for the next best read to satisfy my literary appetite.

Are you a bibliophile? What are some of your favourite reads?


A Trip Down Media Memory Lane – Part 1

Once Upon a Time, There Was a Form of Media Called the Video Tape

I’d like to take two trips down memory lane. The first one involves renting videos from the video rental store. I remember going to the convenience store near my parents’ house and asking them if I could rent cartoon movies. A long, long time ago there were these devices called video tapes. In a way, they were similar to cassette tapes, but bigger and you had to press buttons to rewind and fast forward through the movie. Who could ever forget that message on the case: PLS BE KIND and REWIND.  You wouldn’t want the next renter to press play only to find out they have to rewind the entire thing (which at the time, seemed like an eternity).

New releases were always exciting and sometimes disappointing if all of the copies of the one new movie you wanted to watch were out. The rental period for old movies was a week, whereas new releases were 2-3 days.  One video rental store we went to even served popcorn.

Then Along Came the DVD

Then this fancy thing called digital video disc came out, which could be compared to a compact disc, the same way a cassette tape was compared to a video tape. It held movies. The awesome thing about DVDs was that rather that rewinding and fast forwarding to get to a certain scene, you could select a scene from the menu using your remote control. There were even additional features such as watching it in a different language,  director commentary and behind the scenes of filming the movie. Of course, the quality of the movie was much better too.

Soon video rental stores replaced their video cassettes with DVDs. Out with the old, in with the new or “new for now”.

I can’t pinpoint the exact year, but I think downloading movies off the internet became mainstream after DVDs. Soon people were able to get copies of the latest movies for free and watch them on their laptop.  Everyone was (and still is) burning movies  onto discs or adding them to their external hard drive.

People Will Still Pay for Movies

Just like how the cell phone became ubiquitous and the pay phone became almost extinct, downloading speed on the internet improved and movie rental stores became extinct. However, I have seen a vending machine in the grocery store where you can rent movies on DVD. I’ve also seen Blu-ray discs available for rental at my local convenience store.

As crazy as this may sound, people who buy movies  still exist.

So why bother going to the movies anymore? I certainly don’t. At least not as much as I used to. With their expensive admission prices and overpriced snacks, how do movie theaters still manage to survive? My guess is that there are still enough people willing to pay for that movie theater experience.  People like going out and seeing it on the big screen. It gets them out of the house and gives them something to do.

The published written word may be considered the oldest form of media. With the exception of the e-reader and audio books, the general format of books has managed to stay the same for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It still has its own place amongst all the other media moguls who have recently emerged.


Stay tuned for part 2: the other trip down the other memory lane


I Refuse To Be a Slave to Technology

No Slave to TechnologyYou’ve heard of the sensible advice: Don’t keep up with the Joneses’.

I will add to this: Don’t keep up with the Joneses’ and their technology.  While we rarely update our cars and houses, we seem to arm ourselves with the latest gadgets. Is it just me or do phones seem to be updated every 6 months or so? My salary doesn’t even get updated that often. Although I wish it would.

People want to upgrade their technology because it seems faster and better. It has more features. Oh look, it comes in blue and green now. Yes, I agree that technology is cool but you don’t necessarily have to follow it all the time to be cool. I have a Blackberry, iPod, digital camera and laptop and that’s about all I need. I have no desire to upgrade any of them because they all work fine.

Reminiscing about Retro Technology

How much bigger does your tv screen need to be?  There’s 3D, HD, and now there’s something called 4K in terms of screen resolution. Just how much more detail do you need to see on the screen? Remember when you had just ONE REMOTE? It takes me longer to turn on the tv because there are three or four of them and they all look the same. If I had it my way, but as you know in a relationship, there is this annoying thing called compromise, it would just be the television and the computer. I live with a tech nerd/geek, thus I have to live with constant updates to the television and my computer.

Back in the day, there was this thing called an electronic organizer. It looked similar to a calculator, but had more features. My dad had one. I thought they were so cool. Then came PDAs (personal digital assistants, not public displays of affection) such as the Palm Pilot. My dad also had a pager, before he got a cell phone.

Then came smartphones. Blackberries, iPhones, Androids. Yes, I will admit that using email and surfing the internet on your phone is pretty cool

The Forbidden Lovechild of the Phone and Tablet

Then this thing that resembled an oversized touchscreen phone or just the top half of a laptop came along. It became known as a tablet or an iPad, because Apple has to have their own name for everything. I’m surprised they haven’t created an iCar or iHouse by now. When I hear the word tablet, I think of biblical times and how the ten commandments were written on tablets. Now THAT was the first use of the tablet. Not only are there phones and tablets, there is also the product of a phone and tablet’s one night stand: the phablet.

I thought technology was supposed to move forward on all accounts, so isn’t making phones bigger going backwards? (See image at beginning of post for reference). Are they running out of ideas on how to advance technology that they’re just merging devices together and calling it something new and different?

Is Most Technology Unnecessary?

I can’t even understand the real need for a tablet. Except it might be easier to read recipes off of it than trying to keep your cookbook open with one hand and stirring your pot with the other. Is it like a glorified e-reader with all the bells and whistles? Sure, it’s lighter than your laptop, but I think people look silly when they try to take pictures with it. It’s as if they don’t want you to see them as their taking the picture. It also makes me think of photographers in a dark room when they hold up their developed photo.

When you think of how much technology has advanced and how much electronic devices we’ve accumulated over these years, it seems like such a waste when the perfectly older, but still good device  is tossed.  I highly doubt everyone recycles their electronics as much as they recycle their bottles and cans.

I feel like technology updates almost as fast a twitter feed. Who knows how many updates I’ve missed by now.

(End rant).