The shining light, it is a concept that starts with a vision and then moves toward it. Creating the idea of a path, a journey, and ahead in the distance of this road and journey is the shining light. Find the light that leads you to your vision and you, along with those who travel with you, will arrive.
For me, for technology, my shining path began many years ago. At first, the concept, the vision, the dream I had was of a briefcase. Yes, simply put I wanted a briefcase in 1974 that was connected including a calculation machine, a communication machine, and a reference machine. By 1975 and the arrival of the circular slide rule my dream changed to in my pocket. With the arrival of the PPC phones, it became even more refined.
There was a time, traveling all around the world that I chased media sources as well. Part of that dream was the concept of connection, the concepts of entertainment and so on. Initially, I wandered to the RIO Media player, then Archos, then Zune and finally iPod. Now, I just carry all of it on my iPhone. I do have a connected storage device that has all my MP3’s on it, why to clog my phone with 40 gigs I only use from time to time when I can connect that drive and listen to those songs when I want to, and it doesn’t chew up the memory of the iPhone!
Things change over time. In part, because people change and in part because technology changes around us. My vision, however, remained the same for a long time. I sought to replace the functionality of the circular slide rule given to me by my father. Not, what the circular slide rule meant to me as a gift, that I still have. It did, after all, come from my father! But the functionality. It had an insert that included reference materials. It has a periodic table of the elements on the back and then the slide rule itself on the front. I have sought to replace that ever since.
In fact, I replaced 100% of that initial vision with a Pocket PC phone in 2000. That was when the vision changed to become more. Not just information for reference, but the functionality I could add. Want to know what the wind speed and wind direction is, Valuud! A device that plugs into your iPhone or Android phone and allows you to capture and measure wind speed and wind direction. (yes it is a former crowd-funded campaign). You can capture UV, blood sugar, air temperature, humidity and barometric pressure with add-ons. You can check your BAL (Blood Alcohol levels), and you can take UV pictures of the world around you. All of this right on your phone.
It does change your battery consumption and what you carry with you, but, it expands your universe beyond the device. It makes your reference materials even further beyond you. As an avid boater, I can tell you that sometimes knowing how hard the wind is blowing, is critical. The Wind moves power boats, not as much as it moves sailboats, but a lot more than you would think.
If I consider what is critical for me regarding reference, it is of course, critical to me. What you are interested in or what you consider important will be different. I am a weather geek so knowing what the weather is where I am, is critical. That and I grew up in a scientist’s house, so for me, the concept of extending what I can see, what I can measure and what is around me, is something that is really important to me.
The circular slide rule wasn’t just a circular slide rule. It was the start of a journey that my father encouraged me to take. He was always supportive and helping me with where I wanted to be. I think he knew long before I did that I wouldn’t be a school teacher. That, my future was driven by my love of technology. Even though the family business, and something I did as well for a time, was education. I was a teacher for nearly seven years altogether. But that time has now long passed.
I know, having sons and daughters that the path they choose is often one you can work towards but it is not one you can dictate. No matter what and how you see them wandering, they will wander the direction they see fit. Don’t push children, in the end; you get a much better result!
seeking a new slide rule!