Windows Netbook v. Chromebook

March 20, 2013

Last night, I decided to purchase a discontinued Asus eee PC, instead of the Google Chromebook. My reasoning was that I did not act quickly, I would miss the opportunity to purchase a tool that is “ just right”. I’ve owned a Asus eee PC netbook for almost 5 years, and it’s still running a 10 year-old operating system, Windows XP and a 10 year-old productivity software, Microsoft Office 2003, quite well.

So, since Asus is no longer making eee PC netbooks and Windows 7 is being phased out by Windows 8, I felt like this was my last chance. Hopefully, it turns out to be a good investment. I was looking at the high-end Chromebook, and it was priced at $1,200. The Samsung Google Chromebook is $250 – about the same price I paid for the eee PC.

My plan for the netbook is to use it as my primary JavaScript coding computer. I’m thinking of loading MS Office 2013 on it, but my opt just to keep it as a Netbook with as little on-board software as possible. I was initially planning to purchase a Chromebook, but after reading one review of what life is really like using one on the road – I decided that having a netbook that could function effectively off-line would be a smarter choice. I’ll check-in later after the computer arrives with my assessment.



The Future of TV

March 11, 2013

My topic for today will be “the future of television.”  It’s difficult to predict what is exactly going to happen.  However, some observations.

  1.  More online tv.  I have a TV in my office.  I watch whatever programs that will stream to it.  At this moment, I’m using it to view random photos on Google Picasa.
  2. Mobile TV and second screen TV seem over-rated.  I can only pay close attention to one thing at a time.  Therefore, being able to glance at “tickers” is an easy way to check-up on things when I want to take a break from regular TV.
  3. 3D can be a sleeper hit.  Stereoscopic photos and movies have been around for a long time – as early as 1838 for stills, and 1915 for movies.  About 100 years later, so what?    I believe stereoscopy *is* a gimmick, but one that makes the normal photo “otherworldly”.

So to avoid wasting time, check-out video on-demand (VOD), hopefully without commercials, and the quick-glance apps.  Also, lookout for photos that are special.  I may do a project that’s 2D on one shot and 3D on another, just to do a side-by-side comparison.

TV Market Maps

March 7, 2013

I found this website, that has a great tool for viewing counties across the US and what TV Market they’re in. This is helpful to see where tv households really are.

IMF – Interoperable Master Format

March 2, 2013

Here’s a great presentation about work being done on IMF at SMPTE,  by Annie Chang, VP of Post Production Technologies at Walt Disney Studios.

VBA and JavaScript: good uses of my time

February 19, 2013

19 February 2013




Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin companies, says that he believes blogging is good for one’s health.  I’m going to give it a try, as writing a journal (a.k.a. “blog”) is a good outlet for contemplation and good opportunity for reflection.


Since I majored in English in college, I might as well admit to myself that I *can* write.  If I wanted to become a professional writer I could, except I’m way out of practice.  Well, maybe that’s not entirely true – I last wrote vigorously up until 2010, the year I completed my master’s degree in educational communication and technology.


Since then, I’ve been wary of technology.  I’ve been skeptical about how much of a difference the computers we us today (2013), different from ten years ago (2003), or even 8 years beyond that (1995).  18 years ago, I was on the Brave New World of technology using the “start” button to launch into applications from Windows 95.


Windows 98 was a significant improvement, and then Windows XP (circa 2001), after that.  I’m still using Windows XP today, even though we’re up to Windows 8.


Knowing what I know now, about how quickly and slowly things change, I would invest more of my time on the common languages, namely JavaScript and UNIX. (Linux, BSD, OS 10).


Interestingly enough, I have these powerful skills in the desktop applications space:  VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) via Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access.


These MS Office programs don’t get a lot of credit for their programmability because they are commonly known to be used by non-developers, rather than expert tools for the software engineer, database administrator, and application developer.


For myself, and anyone else who cares to go “against the grain”, I pick these technologies as my primary focus (for prototyping).  To save time in the long run, I will continue to use the tools that I’ve mastered, and practice new languages, initially JavaScript towards more flexible languages and applications that run online via a web browser.


So, these are my thoughts for today to avoid letting technology making me unproductive by sucking up my time.  On to JavaScript! 

99% Invisible – Podcast

September 17, 2012

Here’s a podcast series  suggested to me by Jim Timmerman of the NATAS  – Ohio Valley Chapter:

I did a quick review of the images and posts, and found them interesting.  I will listen to the podcast soon.

Online Instructional and Educational Materials

August 23, 2012

Here’s a great article in the New York Times about Discovery Communications entry into educational media.  (link)

Genesis: June 2009

August 23, 2012

As I return to *this* blog, over 2 years later, I wanted to record its genesis.  June 2009, Les Hinton, CEO of Dow Jones, referred to Google as a “digital vampire”  (link).  The context was that newspapers are feeding the vampire of  Google search and news by giving away their articles on the Internet.  My reason for writing this blog is in a different context:  to stay a way from all things digital that will suck away your time. 

Google Scholar

March 6, 2010

If you want to maximize your effectiveness in researching academically relevant information. (I.e. information that scholars have taken the time to write and revise), use Google Scholar when you search.  Simply type in your web browser, or click here: and you will be able to find references to academic articles.  If you are registered at a college or university, you may be able to download the articles directly.

If scholarly writing isn’t a priority — use regular Google.  (Blogs, wikis, and other informal information sources will appear).

Why another blog?

March 6, 2010

I thought I created this blog before — last year.  Maybe I did, and it was removed for lack of activity — or maybe someone wanted to kill it.  The purpose of this blog is not to save the traditional newspaper business — which is the context of why I chose the name “digital vampire watch”.  Despite the funny idea I have for a graphic (a cartoon vampire wearing a digital watch), I want to devote this blog toward avoiding on-line time wasters.

In other words, avoid the stuff that sucks up all of your time:  Facebook, Twitter — even Google.  But why would anyone want to avoid these site?   Well, I’m not advocating quitting them outright.  I’m simply trying to convince you, the reader, to have a deliberate purpose for your on-line time.