Monday, November 14, 2011

Long Ago

Long ago in a time when personal and office technology was just coming to the fore, L and I founded a little company called Jones Technologies, Inc. It is a story for another time to mention what it is called now. Needless to say it was small then and isn't now.

We started the company about the time the first laser printers with {*gasp*} built in fonts were coming to market. But, ..., nothing was standardized and no two printers had the same way of calling the fonts and using them, so they were pretty much a useless novelty. A client of mine had me create a program to set the fonts in a particular line of lasers as a sales tool. This was back in the days of MS-DOS before Windows was even a gleam in anyone's eye, so you ran my program and then your word processor to print and automagically you had the graceful fonts (but only one font for the whole page, etc ...). It was a resounding success for the client as a sales tool at the time.

In playing around that year, I decided to make what, for the time, was an impressive demo. Using FatLips (yes, I named the program FatLips internally - it was a play on the printer brand and a certain movie of the time), I created this:

At the time, it was a spectacular card. The graphic was cut and paste - literally pieces of paper taped together and added to the page. A few years later this type of thing was common place. And in another few years it was completely supplanted by pure computer techniques.

In any case, this came to mind as L was cleaning out some old paperwork and came across this and had to show me. An interesting reminder that what is now trivial to do from your favorite programs with almost any printer was once something that required programming and specialized tools. I for one do not miss those days of yore in the least!

Monday, November 7, 2011

*It* or not *It*

The other night we had a discussion about *it*. You know, the quality that some people have that makes them so appealing on television and in the movies. My writer friend with his extensive background in film and I have discussed the topic before. His claim is that no one has been able to quantify what constitutes having *it*, but almost everyone can agree when they see someone with *it* on camera. *It* seems to be a major topic of discussion and debate in film school.

The discussion the other night was engendered by the following thought chain: we all agree that there are some people with *it* and that *it* cannot be taught, but is the opposite true? Are there people that just naturally have the opposite of *it*, such that when you see them on camera you immediately react the opposite of how you react to someone with *it*. Can they be trained so that they can escape the "not *it*" label even if they cannot be trained to have *it*?

I think this is an amusing question for many reasons. I have always been struck by the fact there are people who exhibit *it* on camera but who do not exhibit the least amount of *it* in person. When we lived in LA and hung out with some Hollywood people, I was often surprised at how little *it* showed up off camera. Likewise there are people who seem to have *it* in person, but who do not show the same on camera. My claim would be that there are people who have the opposite of *it* and they exhibit "not *it*" the same way.

So what do you think? Are *it*ness and "not *it*ness" qualities that just exist and cannot be changed? Or are they learned/trained quantities that anyone can attain? Inquiring minds want to know.

While you are pondering that question, you can enjoy this cartoon from The Math Plane:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Fall of Indian Summer

Amidst the interesting potpourri of odd web information I have stumbled across in the last couple of weeks is this gem from 2dayBlog:
To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click "I agree."
A sad but true summary of a great many religious persons and their relationship to the master source material of their belief system.

In other news, fall/winter has arrived here. A couple of weeks ago it was pleasant and in the 80's. Now we have had two snow storms and the third is forecast for tomorrow evening. So here are some pictures of L and I strolling in the park with Molly the wonder dog before the snows arrived, supplemented with a couple of pictures from my strolls about the neighborhood:

Of course, once you see the streaking ice crystals running across the sky, you know that snow and cold is not far away. So when I spotted this in the sky I knew that Indian fall was soon to fade away.

Sure enough, the next morning this was the view out the front door.

It warmed up and melted a bit, then snowed again and has stayed cooler so some of the snow is still around. So the predicted 6-8 inches tomorrow night will add to what is already hiding in the shade and make it seem like winter is coming. But at least I don't have to mow the lawn!

More later. I wanted to make sure you knew that I hadn't died. {*grin*} The MIL had double knee replacement surgery, I needed decommission a couple of servers here and replace them with more power efficient units, I have been changing my insulin regime, and ... In other words I have been a bit distracted and busy. I hope to get back to posting on a more regular basis soon.
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin