Tuesday, October 21, 2008

“Q1 UltraMobile PC” WOW!

Remember the Library – that really old fashioned place with books? Remember the long rows of shelving and the 6 foot high rack of shelves – with rows and rows of books?

Remember the old days of having to go to the Library to get your research done from books?...you would write the information on to sheets of paper…then later re-write again into another homework paper you were writing – which would then be written long hand on to a good copy. And if you needed a copy of that one – you hand wrote again…

Today I read of a new Samsung computer called the “Q1 UltraMobile PC”. I want one and I want it now. It is the size of an actual pocket book with a large screen, keyboard to be used by your thumbs on each side and a big enough hard drive to hold almost half the books in your old library of your high school. No kidding – its small but huge.
I want one.

Not long ago when I lived in Hong Kong, only 25 years ago now, we bought the first few computers. Actually we built the machines from parts we bought in the market. Hong Kong was central place on earth at that time to buy cheap computers. They were the first desk tops and were able to hold a whole bunch of information on 5 ¼ inch floppy disks. What an amazing thing to have almost 1/3 of a million bites on a thin and floppy disk that cost so little. But then the next level came with a 3 ½ inch floppy that was actually stiff plastic but held about four times what the first floppies did. What a rush to witness this change again.

I wanted one then – but couldn’t afford it.

Now speed back through time to Regina, Saskatchewan and 1966. I was a newly minted, apprentice, computer technician. I was given the task to follow a real computer technician. He took me to the Wheat Pool Company in a huge building. We walked into the humming computer room. The room was bigger than a two car garage and had racks upon racks of electronic components stacked on the shelving with thousands of wiring cables strung from unit to unit connecting it all together. Over in the corner was a noisy card sorter that was flying through punch cards and gleaning information to generate a report and prepare mailing lists – that when reported they would be transcribed by secretaries at the old mechanical typewriters.

The one component that we carried out that day to repair was 35 pounds. It had two chrome handles on the front that would allow the extraction and transportation of this unit back to a repair shop.

Man oh man… only very large companies like the Wheat Pool of Saskatchewan could afford that million upon millions of dollars for such a luxurious item.

That massive machine was likely 1/10th of the Samsung “Q1 UltraMobile PC” which I would love to have… for only $1300 dollars.

My how things have changed.

On a warm Saturday afternoon last week I watched a Bumble Bee hover over the last few flowers in the back yard. He was maintaining an altitude just over the flowers, then dropping quickly to the top of the flower and stopping to look inside the petals… then quickly deciding he had enough he was off. I followed his flight to the next yard and then the next… we was busy and heading home…maybe a few blocks away.

How does it know where to go, which flower is the right flower and then get back home with the treasures that he collected?

I also watched the geese doing their practice flights together. The tight V shape is powerful and the honking of each goose is encouragement to the others with the flock. They will cover thousands of miles each year – flying from one area to another – both areas are familiar to the geese. And this will happen for about 20 years of their lifespan.

Buried in the small brain of the goose and the possible control center of a bee(I have no idea if they have a brain..) is that ability to compute their way from one place to another. It is amazing when you think of the relative distance that these creatures cover.

That thought brought me to our brains and the ability contained therein. Not only does it have information of every book ever read and stored but also it can remember smell, taste, images, feelings and emotions.

The other day my mom was talking about something that happened almost 75 years ago. It was as if it had just happened. Her brain is 87 years old and still clicking along. There is no hard drive, no floppy disk, no electronic storage of bits and bites – only soft tissue bathed in supporting fluid… WOW!

Now I need one of those. Or maybe I just to use the one that I have. The emotions that I felt writing this, the smell of that first compute room in the Wheat Pool, the smell of the markets that we purchased the first computer components in… and so much more came flooding back as I wrote these words.

And the words still flow around ideas that are coming to fast to type out…

I didn’t sleep well last night. The crazy brain wouldn’t quit – too many ideas. So at 4 AM I rose, went out to my workshop and carved 12 new feathers, then I took out the garbage, wrote this simple 963 word article and now am ready for breakfast.

I can’t wait until today gets rolling…more thoughts and more opportunity…

How about you?

Isn’t God amazing?!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


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