Thursday, April 10, 2008
The Future Is Now (And a trivia question at the end)
Even engineers need to move forward and learn new stuff.
Though I'm an electrical engineer and I have an almost uncontrollable compulsion to want to know how things work, believe me when I tell you that if it's not something I'm interested in, I couldn't care less how it works or how to work it.
Example: cell phones. I HATE talking on telephones. I always have. I have a cell phone because they come in handy if I break down somewhere. But don't ask me how to send a text message, ok? Why should I sit there fiddling with typing in words on a number keypad when I could simply dial your number and talk in real time? Duh.
Another example: iPods. Don't get me wrong, I love music as much as anyone I have ever known, but I was doing fine with my portable CD player until Lovely Wife bought me a REAL iPod last year. I still have trouble fiddling with that little gizmo, despite loving the convenience of having every song from every CD I own on it. (Actually my trouble is with iTunes, not the iPod itself. iTunes seems very, very counter-intuitive to me, whereas operating the iPod itself is easy.)
The other night, though, I was dragged kicking and screaming a few steps closer to the 21st century when I decided to try to put some pieces of video onto my ipod.
Should be simple, right?
I found some videos on YouTube from Gibson, the good folks who made my Les Paul gee-tar, and wanted to download a couple of these nifty videos of the Gibson factory and a new guitar they released last year. (Here's a link to the Gibson web site and one of the videos online that will play on your computer, if you have a decently fast connection. This was the type of thing I wanted on my iPod, because I'm a dweeb like that.)
To make a long story short, I FINALLY found how to download video like this from YouTube to my computer, and then convert it into a format that my iPod can understand and play, and then be able to actually find these videos on the ipod and play them.
So, several hours after beginning what I thought would be a simple quest, I was up way past my bed time ('cause I'm like a dog with a bone once I get started) and have some nifty videos of the Gibson and Fender guitar factories and some selected videos of people playing this new Les Paul guitar I'd like to buy some day.
Moral of the Story: Even electrical engineers have to beat their heads against the wall when trying to learn new things about technical devices.
But by-golly, the lesson on videos to my iPod is learned, and learned well.
I think it's funny to see people do the two-thumbed typing on their phones to send text messages. In engineering school, we all developed a similar skill using our Hewlett Packard RPN calculators, to enter numbers and do the funtions on the calculator. Me and my fellow geeks at work still have this skill - when used on a scientific calculator.
At least that skill is useful, and should translate to me being able to email if someone puts a gun to my head and demands, on point of death, that I send a text message. That's the only possible way I see myself ever sending a text message, but who knows, last week I didn't see myself wanting to put YouTube videos on my iPod either.
But seriously, if you want to text message me, just dial my dang number (my number is BR 549) and let's talk, OK? Saves us both time, effort, and annoyance.
(I'll give three "atta boy!"s or "atta girl!"s to the first commenter to tell me whose phone number really was BR 549. Lovely Wife and Lovely Daughtgers are not allowed to play as this will seem to be cheating, though I know that Lovely Wife does actually know the answer to this.)