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)
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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?