Tag Archives: Sci-Fi

Upgrades & Technostalgia

Computer UpgradeThere’s no denying the fact that computers are huge blessings – combined with that little invention called “internet” they’re an unstoppable pair… until they stop, and life comes to a screeching halt.

That happened last week, as our main office computer gave up the ghost, after fighting a long, painful demise.  My own laptop, from which I write, has been limping and is in need of repair, but it was our only lifeline to ordering a replacement… done, and three days later, the packages arrived!  I’ve spent the better hours of 5 days sorting out things like transfer of emails and contact lists, programmes, updates, software and hardware setups, and patch-jobs to get old programmes to understand the new ones and vice-versa!

Instead of the “old fashioned” desktop computer with a huge processor that either stands on the floor and collects cat hairs and dust bunnies or stands on our desk and collects dust bunnies and cat hairs, we decided to go with a laptop hooked up to a docking station and two screens.  Sweet!  And yes, I can use both… it’s great when I’ve got research documents open while writing, or doing translations or editing two documents simultaneously.  Now, to get my laptop repaired.

It’s amazing how we’ve become so dependent on computers, isn’t’ it?  Personal computers didn’t really begin to enter households in any significant way until around 1990; technically, they hit the market in the early ’80’s, but the products were mostly limited to electronics geeks and university libraries.  We got our first home computer in 1993, and it had RAM of a whopping 256 MB!!  How could anyone ever use THAT much??  Now we’ve passed Gigabytes, and we’re into terabytes (TB, 10004 ), and it won’t be long until we’re into petabytes (PB, 10005), exabytes (EB, 10006 ), zettabytes (ZB, 10007) and yottabytes (YB, 10008).  I remember writing business letters in DOS – back before Windows, virtual desktops or virtual wallpaper had even been dreamt of.  I remember floppy discs – the latest in technology, now used as drink coasters somewhere in the world, I’m sure.  5-inch floppy discs became passé with the advent of (gasp!) 2-inch version… how could anything that small have so much space on it (1.44 MB).  Imagine – back in the advent of computers, there was no Microsoft, no Amazon, no internet, no cloud storage, no dropbox, no websites, no Skype… they were essentially an information processor, with transfer of information only possible through a floppy disc or good ol’ fashioned printouts and photocopies (we won’t even go into the whole issue of the love-hate relationship most secretaries had with the first few generations of photocopiers).

Do you remember cassette tapes?  Polaroid cameras?  Now music is on a cloud or virtual shelf, and selfies and Instagram have made physical print photos nearly obsolete, except as an art form.

20 years later and these things all fit in your pocketMobile Phone History


These images show how far we’ve come in less than 40 years.  But you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.  Check out these up-and-coming products or concepts that are in the making:  Just hover your cursor over each image for more information.


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Filed under Articles, History, Humor, Science & Technology, Space, Astronomy

Wordless Wednesday no. 17: Architectural Inspirations #1 – Fantasy


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March 1, 2017 · 5:28 AM

5 Inspiring Gadgets

Once in a while I like to go surfing… internet, that is.  I like to search for inspiring images, whether people, architecture, Hi-Tech, transportation, or whatever floats my boat.  I come across them through a wide range of sites, and I’ve collected them for so long that I have no idea where some of them are from, but I hope that they will inspire you to go surfing, and find them on the original sites, read the articles, and be amazed, awed, or just dumb-founded.  So without further ado, here are a few gadgets:

1:  Airless tires.  How cool is that?!

Airless Tires

2: Blood-powered tattoo display.  It’s perhaps just a matter of time.  I wonder what all of those people will do who are already covered with tattoos? “Oops, lost the phone again… I know it’s on my arm somewhere…”


3: Insect Spy Drone.  Whether or not it’s really in production by the US government, it’s either a frightening thought, or inspiring for Sci-Fi writers… either way, feel free to swat mosquitoes, even if they’re multi-million dollar ones.

Insect Spy drones

4:  The Skin Gun was developed by Jörg C. Gerlach and colleagues at Stem Cell Systems GmbH in Berlin.  It replicates the healthy skin of burn victims, injecting it straight onto the burn area to grow new skin, avoiding skin-graft rejections.

The Skin Gun, developed by Jörg C. Gerlach at Stem Cell Systems GmbH in Berlin

5:  Duluth, GA-based global systems integrations firm Polytron – transparent cell phone.  I know a lot of teenagers who already have enough trouble keeping track of where they saw their phone last.  Now make it invisible… that’s either a fun prank, or just mean.  Either way, it’s cool.

Duluth, GA-based global systems integrations firm Polytron - transparent cell phone




Filed under Nuts & Bolts, Research