Enough of the techno babble, it’s time for some inspiration! In a style he called minimal realism, Charley Harper captured the essence of his subjects with the fewest possible visual elements. His drawings were influenced by Cubism, Minimalism, physics and countless other developments in art and science. His organization of forms fit together like a circuit board or jigsaw puzzle. The whimsical arrangements emulate a balanced relationship as it can appear in the simplicity of nature.
Last night I had a chance to view Alex Gibney’s documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine. It’s clearly a step in the right direction after the sappy dramatic interpretations of Jobs’ life we have had to endure. There is no question that Jobs was an iconoclast, but this documentary questions whether he was such a magician after all.
Back when I was getting involved in computer graphics, which was shortly after the American Civil War, I was trained in Burnsville, Minnesota on a workstation called the Dicomed D38. The machine was enormous, consisting of a small Textronix color monitor and keyboard under which the operator could position their legs. On the right side were the guts of the machine, the circuit boards and 8″ floppy disk drives, about the size of a home dishwasher.
Last July, I was informed by Comcast that it was increasing the speed of the popular Blast! tier by almost 50 percent to 100 Mbps, (formerly 75 Mbps) which sounded incredible to me. After all, I’m one of those people who connected to the internet 20 years ago at 56 kilobits per second, using an analog telephone line and Hayes Smartmodem. Just to put that into perspective, 56 Kbps is the same thing as .056 Mbps, so a 100 Mbps connection is an astonishing 1,785% increase in connectivity speed.
Eleven years ago, in 2003, a new type of website called a “blog” (weB LOG) had become popular. Shortly after, a blogging software called Movable Type started charging for some features, and many bloggers flocked to a free platform called WordPress. A year later, WordPress introduced Plugins, which were an easy way to add functionality to the software and make it available to others.
One of the most important human developments is our capacity to understand signs. A few individual animals use a small inventory of symbol-like units using hand signs or small physical tokens, but there is still a huge divide between humans and nonhuman animals in respect to the use of signs and symbols. The philosopher Charles Peirce divided the signs we use into three basic categories, the icon, the symbol and the index.