Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Cost of Hubris

Okay, my brain is swimming in confusion. More to the point, I have pains in my cerebral cortex where a man of my age shouldn’t. True on some level the pain is good. It reminds me of the simple fact that there is still a lot in this world I need to learn. However; I shouldn’t be having to go through this sort of crap even if it is my own damn fault.
            Okay, I suppose I should back up a bit, you see my dear reader, two weeks ago I posted a blog about my own hubris getting the best of me. If you’ve read that then you may know why I am in such an unstable mental state.
            You see, in 1985 I bought my first computer. It was a membrane keyboard computer that hooked up to a television, had a tape recorder to save all your programs on and no onboard memory. It cost me one hundred bucks. I spent countless hours using that thing and programing in Basic language. I made a couple games, a really bad word processing program and even some eight bit graphics of girls names who I thought would be impressed with seeing their names on the screen of a television. It took me all of two months to outgrow that basic processing unit. Matter of fact, I realized how shitty the computer was when I was introduced to the Apple IIe and its amazing power and programing book.
            That was the last apple product I ever touched… until this past week.
            Thirty years have passed since those early days of personal computing. In that time I’ve become a Microsoft user and have been able to navigate my way through all of their upgrades and variances. True, there is a learning curve to be mastered almost on an annual basis but I seem to have a knack for getting the hang of their latest and greatest systems.
            However; this is not true for the Apple products. Remember the last interface experience I had was with a IIe. Now, in my hands is an iPad Air 2 with all the bells and whistles of the Apple conglomeration. I have no clue what I’m doing. And, as is the case with most new things that come across my path, I threw myself into learning about this device. In particular, the iMovies and its own version of Powerpoint… I think it is called propresenter, but don’t quote me on that. (After all, I’m still trying to figure this thing out.)
            As for the learning curve on the iMovie program, no problem. Well, that is if you have another computer ready to use that has access to youtube videos. It took me only a couple days to record video with a wifi camera and transfer that data to the iPad and begin to edit an hour long movie. Truth be told… I really dug what I was doing. Then everything fell apart. When I went to transfer the file to my photo files, a process that took almost two hours and in the end failed because there wasn’t enough memory on this machine I was beside myself with disappointment. So I decided to clear out all the unused video footage.
            When that task was done I tried to replay the video I had created. A very nice error message popped up on screen saying “Video Content Not Found”. Apparently I had deleted everything including what I’d spent days working on.
            So I started over from scratch. Reloading through the wifi of the camera and the tablet all the rough videos I’d taken. Then loading them into a file onto iMovies. For the next four hours I edited the movie. Now I’m done… sort of. It seems the presentation program does not like the length or the cues of what I’ve done during the editing process. Which means this eight hundred dollar piece of metal, glass and plastic is about to get a face lift with a ten pound maul.
            No, not really, after all, I would never do that to something. But I will say, that I’m flummoxed and in no mood to look at another Apple product again for quite some time. But I will. Simply because I need to get this project finished. I need to have it up and working. Not for myself but for the betterment of visiting customers of where I work. To show those customers what being a part of a transportation system really means. To instill in them the meaning of graded crossings and safety. As well as basic model train information.
            I feel sorry for my generation and the generations that came before us. Everything is different and seems to change exponentially as the days pass into months. I have no idea what sort of gadgets will be in the hands of my grandchildren or their children. I’m just happy I will be at a stage in my life where I won’t have to learn the newfangled tech.
            Hell, I’m having a hard enough time with my cell phone and yet now I’m trying to film, edit and produce a movie about the toy trains I work with. Sure in the end I will be more well rounded in the ways of my job and have more attuned social networking skills that others in similar positions may not have but it comes at a price. A price of learning.
            A wise man once said “Knowledge is Power.” Well, I’m gaining knowledge and it does not come easy. Yet, I don’t think I’d have it any other way.

            Have a great week.

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