Skip to main content

Upgrades... Never Ending?

I am in the process of upgrading my MacBook Pro to a 500GB hard drive. (Let's not get too technical, since I know it's not "really" 500GB.) The one thing digital media do well is consume hard drive space.
This is the third or fourth time I have updated a PowerBook or MacBook hard drive. As with all new laptops, you wonder, "How will I ever use so much space?" The excitement of having twice or three times whatever you last had soon fades as iTunes, GarageBand, and iMovie eat the bytes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. InDesign, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Flash are there to help, too.

A colleague said, "Why not just store it all on the campus servers or on Google Docs?"

Okay, this entire cloud thing is nice -- for sharing some files and for backups -- but I am not about to put my projects out in the cloud. I'd never upload confidential files, and I certainly don't want some company to have my student projects. No way.

Plus, I'm not always online. I actually do use my laptop away from the Internet. Shocking, but there really are places without wireless signals. And I'm not about to pay for a 3G account just to always have a connection to my files.

Someday, instead of moving platters, we'll probably have monstrous amounts of solid-state drives. Maybe even in a RAID-like configuration for truly blazing speed. As it stands, platters are still necessary for what I do.

My students complain about the size of media files. It seems netbooks have small drives, regardless of the technology used. Those little Atom-powered toys are cute, but they aren't meant to edit audio or video. The drives fill up, the RAM is too limited, and processors are about power consumption (long, long battery life) instead of computing power. I'm not even sure if there are netbooks with dedicated video.

The reality is that data will keep growing. I'll update to HD quality video, better sound, and suddenly my screencasts and video presentations will double or triple in size. Technology moves ahead, and I'll end up with yet another upgrade.

On the positive side, updating the hard drive is a cinch with the Macs. Sure, it's a pain to remove a dozen screws, but it's about 20 minutes from start to finish. With a FireWire case, you can clone the drive or migrate the data in an hour or so. If you simply copy the data, eSATA rocks in even less time.

Upgrades are part of being digital. Beats buying a new computer every two years.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Comic Sans Is (Generally) Lousy: Letters and Reading Challenges

Specimen of the typeface Comic Sans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Personally, I support everyone being able to type and read in whatever typefaces individuals prefer. If you like Comic Sans, then change the font while you type or read online content. If you like Helvetica, use that.

The digital world is not print. You can change typefaces. You can change their sizes. You can change colors. There is no reason to argue over what you use to type or to read as long as I can use typefaces that I like.

Now, as a design researcher? I'll tell you that type matters a lot to both the biological act of reading and the psychological act of constructing meaning. Statistically, there are "better" and "worse" type for conveying messages. There are also typefaces that are more legible and more readable. Sometimes, legibility does not help readability, either, as a type with overly distinct letters (legibility) can hinder word shapes and decoding (readability).

One of the co…

Let’s Make a Movie: Digital Filmmaking on a Budget

Film camera collection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Visalia Direct: Virtual Valley
June 5, 2015 Deadline
July 2015 Issue

Every weekend a small group of filmmakers I know make at least one three-minute movie and share the short film on their YouTube channel, 3X7 Films.

Inspired by the 48-Hour Film Project (48hourfilm.com), my colleagues started to joke about entering a 48-hour contest each month. Someone suggested that it might be possible to make a three-minute movie every week. Soon, 3X7 Films was launched as a Facebook group and members started to assemble teams to make movies.

The 48-Hour Film Project, also known as 48HFP, launched in 2001 by Mark Ruppert. He convinced some colleagues in Washington, D.C., that they could make a movie in 48 hours. The idea became a friendly competition. Fifteen years later, 48HFP is an international phenomenon, with competitions in cities around the world. Regional winners compete in national and international festivals.

On a Friday night, teams gathe…

Edutainment: Move Beyond Entertaining, to Learning

A drawing made in Tux Paint using various brushes and the Paint tool. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Visalia Direct: Virtual Valley
November 2, 2015 Deadline
December 2015 Issue

Randomly clicking on letters, the young boy I was watching play an educational game “won” each level. He paid no attention to the letters themselves. His focus was on the dancing aliens at the end of each alphabet invasion.

Situations like this occur in classrooms and homes every day. Technology appeals to parents, politicians and some educators as a path towards more effective teaching. We often bring technology into our schools and homes, imagining the latest gadgets and software will magically transfer skills and information to our children.

This school year, I left teaching business communications to return to my doctoral specialty in education, technology and language development. As a board member of an autism-related charity, I speak to groups on how technology both helps and hinders special education. Busin…