Editor's Note: What Do You Do When You're Not On the Computer?
Jan 14, 2011, 23:04 (29 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carla Schroder)
by Carla Schroder
Microchips are replacing chemical processes in amazing ways, and
shrinking formerly giant machines down to little bitty things, and
making all kinds of tasks easier and cheaper. I took a friend to
get a dental implant last week. The surgeon used a CAT-scan type
device that fit over her head like a little helmet, and it took
pictures from several angles. Then a software program knit all the
images together into a beautifully-detailed color model that could
be rotated through the layers at all angles. I've never seen
anything like it; it was so good it looked fake, like a Pixar
So many activities are easier now with computers-- photography,
audio production, writing books, illustrations, blueprints, 3D
architectural drawings, and on and on. There are even 3D printers
for creating prototypes, models, and other objects. Computers
control everything it seems-- machine embroidery, wood routers,
lathes, and other material cutters; cameras, cars, you name it.
Instead of making finicky manual adjustments, adjustments are made
in software. I think demand for programmers is going to rise for a
I still prefer the old-fashioned methods for some things. I
already spend enough time on the computer, and I want to retain
some manual skills. I think our brains get stale from doing the
same thing all the time and need variety to stay sharp and healthy.
Most folks are multi-faceted, with multiple interests. So what are
your ideas of a good time? When you're not messing around with
computers (desktop, server, mobile) what do you do? Can you get
away from microchips for a change of pace? Do you even want to?