Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs & the Digital Era

An interesting juxtaposition this week.

On Wednesday, we lost Steve Jobs after his long fight with pancreatic cancer. Steve was of course a tremendous force in innovation in Personal Computers including the Macintosh.

One of the first digital cameras available to the public was the Apple Quicktake 100 back in 1994. While it wasn't a commercial success for Apple, the entire consumer market for photography underwent a profound earthquake of change from this disruptive technology. Today, film is virtually gone, as are also many small local camera stores. We still have cameras, of course, but they're now digitally based and our methods of making photo albums have also changed, with custom self-published books.

What also happened this week was the culmination of an overly long photo album project. Back in 2004, we went to Peru and with primarily an SLR, came back home with roughly 2000 images ... 75% of which were on 35mm film. A lot of digitizing and organization (no EXIF data) followed in intermittent spurts, but has now finally been concluded: an analog/digital hybrid.

This wasn't our first digital photo album, but it was quite a tedious one to work through, because of it being transitional from its analog component. It reminds us how years of innovation and improvements by people like Steve Jobs have resulted in greater productivity and ease of creating finished products - - hopefully, we won't become jaded and complacent when we realize not only how recent these innovations have been, but also how much more flexibility & freedom they have given us in making great works too.

Our parents grew up in in age where automobiles were young, airplanes were infants, telephones were new ... and then as they raised us, the solid state transistor was invented, which enabled Man's landing on the moon, as well as many other innovations. And in the closet, there's probably some classical old photo albums. Take some time this weekend to see your parents and pull out a few of those preserved memories ... and if you're smart, you'll take a digital photo of each of its pages, and if the images contain familymembers, you'll also record the names & relationships for future generations.


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