Just Thinkin has moved.

So it’s been WordPress.com and 130 posts or so and now it’s time to move into my own WordPress install. Kinda’ like moving from an apartment into your first home which means all the problems of ownership (except at the server end of things) are now mine but on the other hand…I can fix them as well.

It also makes me free to mess things up as I see fit thus giving me badly needed training on what not to do when configuring my own blog site and for any readers I might have, a whole lot of laughs.

So for awhile I’ll put the first part of a new post here with a link to the new site and after the new site’s rank is back up I’ll stop doing that as well. This post will always be at the top.

Meanwhile, here’s the link to the new home of “Just Thinkin”:


All past post have already been transferred over but like in any move some things get left behind and as such, all the previous comments seem to have evaporated into thin virtual air. Such is life. Plenty of time for more comments on this, that, and the other thing.

Many thanks to WordPress.com for hosting this small portion of my life.

See ya’ at the new site.

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Sneak Peek!

Hello all.

I’ve got a secret…

If you want to know what it is…

Take a look over here (don’t fret now, it’s safe enough).

It’s not quite ready yet but I think it’s pretty cool.

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Things are getting too small.

My lady accidentally dropped her faithful old digital camera the other day breaking off the battery cover. Now this was easily fixed with a little tape and ingenuity but It got me to thinking.

She bought this “point and shoot” style digital camera (Kodak) back in 2000 and paid somewhere between two and three hundred dollars for it. It is dark gray (almost black), has straight forward “on/off” slide switch, “up” and “down” push buttons plus “select” and “menu” buttons and a small LCD small in other words; simple and straight forward. No zoom or special features, just turn it on and take a picture and the pictures it takes are usually just fine. Also, when you turn it off it actually shuts off and the batteries are just as fresh when you turn it back on days or a couple weeks later. It’s about the same size as your average point and shoot 35mm camera. Easy to handle and operate.

In 2004, she bought me a “point and shoot” style digital camera. It wasn’t even my birthday (what a gal!) but that’s not the point. This camera (another Kodak) cost somewhere between two and three hundred dollars. It’s silver, has a “turn roundy” on the top that switches between six functions including the “off” position (the other ones are “on” but each position does “on” differently), a button above the LCD display that switches between 5 different flash modes, a 4 way + center click “thumb” button on the left hand side of the LCD display, a “zoom” control rocker switch on the upper right hand side of the LCD and underneath that switch are two others marked “Menu” and “Review”. The camera and the zoom feature work fine also and the majority of pictures it takes turn out just fine also.*

*Unfortunately , like most modern consumer technology these days…it doesn’t really shut off and will kill a normal set of alkaline batteries within 2 days of sitting around in the “off” position which means the date and time have to be reset every time I put the batteries back in. I can’t afford to buy a new set of batteries every 2 days. But I do like the camera!

The problem lies not in the functions of the separate cameras but in the size difference.

You see, my camera is a bit smaller than her 2000 version which is large enough to handle comfortably. In fact it’s just that much smaller to make it uncomfortable to handle for someone who’s not too far away from fifty. And the newer cameras today around the same price range we bought our cameras at back then are smaller still and that’s ok for those  young enough to still have perfect eyesight, coordination and sense of touch but as one gets older these senses tend to dull over time (no, really? Yes…really!) and with these devices getting more and more compact these days the less we, of the older generation (not oldest, just older) have the ability to easily use them.

Unfortunately for us of the mid and latter “middle age” and older group, the PC/electronic/gadget market is 99% youth oriented yet a very large portion of people who make use of the above devices are not youths but those in late 30’s to those who still have enough of their senses left to use PC’s and various gadgets. The average users and potential users who make up a large portion of the above mentioned market are most definitely not just coming out of college or in their first two years of their first job of their new career.

I guess the point here is, is that since the tech market is geared toward the younger set who want their cell phones, computers, camera’s etc to be not only reliable but as compact as possible so it’s easier to take with them, easy to use, have as many functions as possible and can be used without any “hassles”, then that’s what the manufacturers are producing.

Now, reliability, functionality and ease of use are great for all generations but compact? How compact can you get until you’ve left half of your customers and users out in the cold? For instance; I talked to my wife at her quilt shop using my buddy’s tiny Motorola cell phone while fishing out on the lake one weekend. This phone is smaller than a pack of cigarettes  and uses a flip top lid that incorporates the speaker and an LCD display. Since I’m rather deaf and was unsure as to whether I could hear her using the phone in a “regular” manner, my friend flipped it over to “speaker” mode and handed it to me.

So here I was, out in the middle of the lake talking to my wife, holding on to something that had a strong resembled to a communicator from the original Star Trek series and I had all I could do to keep from having “Kirk here” slide out of my mouth (uh…my first name happens to be Kirk ya’ know). I was very impressed however, that my honey’s voice came through loud and clear and I could understand every word she said even though the wind was blowing across my hearing aids which make them sound like a cheap “windy” sound effect from a grade B movie.

Unfortunately, I noticed that the bottom half of the cell phone was filled with buttons. Buttons whose labels I didn’t stand a chance of making out at all without reading putting on my reading glasses. Buttons positioned so close together would have had a difficult time not punching two at a time even if I could make out what each one was for and of course I couldn’t make out anything on the LCD display as well…it was so small(!) and my eyes are really not that bad yet…just on their way to getting there which is a perfectly normal thing.

But still…I couldn’t use the same type of phone despite how impressed I was with it’s quality.

The point to this whole dissertation is that I’m becoming increasingly aware that when I really need to have something like a cell phone, I won’t be able to get one simply because it’s too small for me to use.*

*The elderly of a small town in central Vermont began pushing the county seat to find a way to install a cell tower somewhere in the Waits River valley area that would be able to provide cell access to most of the surrounding area (This whole area is nestled in the hills and mountains). The reason being is that these folks who could still work the fields or out in the woods or just plain liked to go for a walk or drive to town now and then (which was just about all of them) wanted the security of being able to call for help if their health suddenly decided to go off in another direction besides the one the they were currently traveling. I don’t know whether they got a cell tower or not but I do know that many people that I’m acquainted who are around the same age or from that area itself expressed their extreme frustration that even if they got their tower or had access already, the cell phones being offered these days that could be easily taken with them were actually too small for them to use at all.

And one day I’ll have to replace my camera but I really don’t want to have to shell out $500.00 to $1000.00 for a camera with 100 different functions and manual adjustments that I’ll never use just so I can have a camera that’s big enough for me to handle easily.

So all you manufacturers of PC’s/electronics/gadgets out there…please listen up.

You have a very large portion of your customer base that already use or would like to continue to make use of modern technology and the benefits that it offers them. It’s these customers you will lose if you don’t realize that for us…smaller is not better.

Don’t forget the older generation guys. We were your first customers to begin with and we stayed with you through good times and bad. Don’t leave us out in the cold.

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The great net debate

One of the things I’ve been following very closely is the “great debate” going on about “Net Neutrality”. Now I’m not going to go into all the details since there is already plenty of material already available on the very thing that the debate is about…the internet.

There are two websites that directly represent the two opposing sides of the issue. The first being Save the Internet which starts off with the following excerpt below (plus the extra paragraph) with the full text available via a link on it’s main page.

If Net Neutrality is gone, the future of the Internet will be dominated by only those large companies that can pay the phone cartel’s broadband fees. This predatory scheme would muscle aside the Internet’s real revolutionaries – the small-guy innovators who historically have made the Internet a beacon for democracy, economic growth and new ideas.

In the words of Internet architect Vint Cerf, the Internet is “innovation without permission.” That is the genius of the network that has proven to be a wonderland for new entrepreneurs and ideas, with all the intelligence residing with the end users and not those who control the pipes.

By the way, Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf appear to support this side of the debate.

The second, Hands off the Internet has their main blurb on the main page without the teaser and a link to click as in the former but whatever. Here’s the excerpt from there:

The online debate over ‘net neutrality’ has to date been dominated by the proponents of far-reaching new laws. We think it’s about time the other side is heard. We look forward to discussing many issues surrounding the telcoms industry, and preserving the exciting future of broadband Internet against potential regulatory legislation which might threaten it. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll explore the different sides of this debate and put it into the proper context.

So far, too many groups and individuals have painted this debate as a case of the telcoms industry vs. the little guy. But that’s not what this is about at all. This is about how we’re going to pay for the next generation Internet, and creating different ways to deliver web content to the home as fast as possible. This is also about whether we want the government to dictate how the next version of the Internet is run before we even get there.

I would suggest giving both websites a good looking over. Both offer justifiable arguments and a way to send a letter to your various Representatives, congressmen, senators etc but it’s the difference in the members of each group that becomes so interesting and the “what’s and who’s” not directly involved that support one or the other viewpoints such as retailers and the like. As my research went on I realized that a whole blog could be dedicated to this one issue so I suggest anyone interested check out the above sites and then head to your favorite search engine and start bringing up the resources and info related to this debacle.

This is serious stuff folks and will affect how the internet and the ISPs that you pay your hard earned $$ to in order to use it, will operate in the future. As for the two sides directly represented by the above sites and what each has to say, in my mind it boils down to one question…

…who do you trust?

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