Tag Archives: Google

A Dichotomy of Operating Systems


Windows 8.1 is loading on several computers around the house as I write this. The rest have already been returned to good old reliable Windows 7.

Although I haven’t had the chance to try Windows 8.1, I’ve been reading the reviews and came to the following conclusion. It’s more a preliminary conclusion, but you know what I mean.

Android, Apple iOS, etc. are aimed at tablet users (I know –duh- but bear with me). When using a tablet or smartphone the tendency is to surf, cruise, web, tweet, take pictures, etc. It’s fun stuff. It’s quick and dirty. LOL

On the other hand, I don’t want to swipe, drag, or arrange applications on my computer. I want to enter data as a blog or other written document, analyze data in a spreadsheet or do detailed Photoshopping to a photograph. For me, this involves a keyboard and a mouse.

Windows 8.0 tried to straddle both markets, which is like trying to design a garbage truck that can go 0 – 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, get 60 miles per gallon, comfortably seat 7 as well as being an incredible chick magnet.

Things can be made: Fast. Cheap. Effective. – Pick two.

Now, just for full disclosure – I use a Kindle Fire as a reader and sometimes as a browser, etc. I’ve got an android smart phone so I’m not anti-touchscreen. It’s just that when writing IMHO I need a keyboard.

Can Windows 8.1 satisfy 2 sets of users?

Is this the end of Microsoft dominating the market?

Will this separate the old fuddy duddies from the Facebook generation?

Stay tuned!

The Advance of Technology



1963: “Teacher, how does a light bulb work?”

What an excellent topic for Science class today. Several inventors had built light bulbs, but they didn’t last very long. Thomas Alva Edison figured out how to make the first practical light bulb after years of research. He was a prolific inventor with over 1,000 patents including how to record sound and motion pictures.

For the light bulb he figured out that he’d need a filament – that is something that glows – and it needed to be in a vacuum so it wouldn’t just burn up. A glass bulb would maintain a vacuum and let the light shine through, but the filament was a problem. He tried all types of exotic metals, including silver, gold and platinum, but eventually settles on carbon. One story is that he carbonized a piece of cotton thread for the filament.

Today we use tungsten for the filament, but the rest of the design hasn’t changed much. They’re reliable – in fact there are several bulbs that were installed at the beginning of the twentieth century that are still burning today.

2003: “Teacher, how does a one of those curly light bulbs work?”

Well, let’s Google that. Hmmm, it was invented back in 1976 by George Hammer who worked for GE , but they didn’t want to spend the money to manufacture them. Eventually, the Chinese started making them.

They use less electricity than incandescent bulbs but the light is kind of funny colored. They’re supposed to last for five years, but around my house they seem to last about half as long as the old style light bulbs they replace.

They’ve got mercury in them, which is a hazardous material. The expression “As mad as a hatter” referred to the fact that hat makers used mercury and as they absorbed it through their skin, they exhibited erratic behavior, so if you break one, you have a problem.

There’s a phosphor inside that glows. That’s about the best I can do to explain it.

2013: “Teacher, how do light emitting diode – LED light bulbs work?”

Ooops, we’re out of time for science. Put your science books away and get out your social studies books so we can learn all about how Congress gets things done.