The Age Of FidgetSunday, December 21, 2014
|The Ghost of Christmas Past|
The ghost of Christmas past haunts me every year in the form of some sort of computer failure. I am writing this on an ancient Toshiba Tecra laptop. I have problems writing on a laptop keyboard.
In past holiday seasons the folks who host my blog and web page and also manage my domain name will pull the plug on all of it because of my credit card’s expiry date or some such thing. No matter what you might think your presence in the internet can vanish in an instant. All those blog links in facebook will not be there. And once you have resolved the credit card payment problem it takes three to five days for the blog to slowly come back up. In those terrible instances, at the very least I have dealt with friendly Roumanian tech reps who speak beautiful English.
My Windows-XP computer failed to boot up a couple of days ago. My friend at Powersonic Computers on Bridgeport Road has identified the problem in my XP not in the hard drive. In a couple of days I should have it back. I will need to re-install my 9 year-old Photoshop but my friend and also my wife have urged me to switch to Windows 7.
I am unable to explain to them the concept of form follows function. This idea from that past century was based on the simplicity of design. This 21st century is now one that I call the Age of Fidget.
As an example I cite my iPhone 3G that has a rocker switch to adjust ringer volume. On the upside the volume increases. On the downside it does the opposite. My Rosemary’s iPhone 4 has two switches. The simplicity of one switch is made “better” with two. I don’t think so.
My Outlook Express is easy to the eye in its simplicity. My Rosemary’s Windows 7 email program is so loaded with stuff that I would not know how to start using it.
In design white space is very important. This idea would have upset those in another age of fidget, the Baroque 16th and 17th century. Every nook and cranny of a Catholic Church altar had to have something. Bach’s canons are a model for this elaborate complexity. I will be the first to admit that while I love Bach canons I cannot abide by the complexity of contemporary (this 21st century) digital cameras, the latest computer programs and all those improvements in smart phones.
I enjoy getting lost and then finding my way. I do not need “Dolores” to tell me in a sexy voice to turn left at the next block so I can arrive at the new pizza joint.
I cannot understand how folks will download an MP-3 audio file and then use elaborate devices to put back all the good stuff that was removed in compression. I just play CDs or records on my ancient but excellent sound system
I cannot understand why it is that if I correctly expose a photograph with my Fuji-X-E1 why I must shoot RAW, just in case or as I have been told, “it is better”.
Photoshop allows me to correct the increased contrast of negatives and slides that are scanned. The highlight/shadow tool of my old Photoshop is plenty useful for that sort of thing. I do not need to get a bank loan to purchase the new improved Photoshop. In fact , for under $60 Corel’s Paintshop Pro will do the job. In the age of fidget the expensive complex is always “better”.
Until my old computer is fixed I will enjoy the simplicity and calm of this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas to all.