Hobbies

Computers

I remember when my mother bought our first computer when I was about seven years old. This sucker was BIG. We had one of those old dot-matrix printers that sounded like an airplane flying overhead, and the leading word processing software was WordPerfect (I wonder how many remember that one).
 
 

Computers Computers Computers

 
 
Anyways, I was hooked immediately. Of course, being seven years old, my highest priority was learning how to play video games on the computer. As I got a little older, around 11 to 13, the technology became available to connect a musical keyboard and record directly onto the computer. This technology consumed me for about two or three years. It was called MIDI (Musical Instrument Data Interface), and it changed the music recording industry forever.

After a while, I began tinkering with my own computer; taking it apart and putting it back together again. Soon, I found myself repairing others’ computers. Around 16, I built my first computer and have always ungraded it myself rather than purchasing a new one.

Today, while I still maintain my other computer passions, I have focused on the website design and development aspect of computers. I am very proficient, however not certified, with the PHP and MySQL coding languages. These languages are used primarily for designing complex Content Management System websites. My most recent design, obviously, is the website you are viewing at this very moment. Additionally, I make extensive use of Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Dreamweaver CS3 when creating websites and website content.
 

Cosmology

I have recently taken on a huge fascination with the stars and beyond. Life, the Universe, and Everything… as The Hitchhiker’s Guide would say. I must give credit to Alex Filippenko, a professor at the University of Berkley, California, for fueling this passion. I was able to get my hands on a series of lectures he did for a company called The Teaching Institute. This collection consists of about 90 thirty minute video-recorded lectures. In these lectures, Professor Filippenko discusses everything from how light is refracted, how stars are born, how the earth was made, to the immense scales of distance in the universe.
 
 

Universe Universe Universe

 
 
My lifelong interest in Egypt probably fits best under this category. I have always been fascinated with Egypt and it’s history and mysteries. I enjoy watching any type of movie or documentary dealing with the ancient times. Most recently has been the Ancient Aliens show, however I do enjoy them all.

I suppose there are many periods in history that interest me, especially when it is something shrouded in mystery and controversy, such as Stonehenge, Easter Island, or the Lost City of Atlantis. However, I think the building of the pyramids ranks highest on my list. Not only is it an amazing logistical feat, but also the alignment with the stars is quite remarkable.
 
 

Egyptian Pyramids Egyptian Pyramids Egyptian Pyramids

 
 
I would have loved to travel to Egypt, however recently it looks like it isn’t on the top ten list of tourist destinations. Hopefully, political instability will hasten, agreements will be met, and the culture and attraction of Egypt will be preserved and restored.
 
 

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2 thoughts on “Hobbies

  • December 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm
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    Dear Josh,

    You say “…the leading word processor was WordPerfect (I wonder how many remember that one)”. You probably know that WordPerfect (now owned by Corel) is still very much around. Corel has in fact been aggressively marketing its recent “X5” version of the program.

    My wife and I still use WordPerfect (v. 12), especially for anything difficult, technical, specialized, or in need of easy long-term maintenance. i’ve always considered the software far superior to Microsoft Word. I’ve used a variety of high-end layout programs for book design — which can become, in its own way, almost as intricate as web design. And WordPerfect is the progam I keep coming back to for that purpose.

    As I write this, a jury is deliberating on Novell’s billion-dollar lawsuit against Microsoft for supposedly using its monopolistic power to kill WordPerfect. I don’t know the details; something to do with access to a special software development kit, and refusing to certify WordPerfect as a Win95 application. My guess is that there’s some truth in those allegations; but the larger fact, in my view, is simply that Novell, having acquired WordPerfect, bungled it and let it languish while Word took over. By the time Corel took it from Novell, it was too late; so now it’s a niche product with a cult following of folk like me. Oh, well: Save your Confederate money, boys — the South will rise again…:-)

    • December 19, 2011 at 10:16 pm
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      WordPerfect (now owned by Corel) is still very much around.

      Actually, no. I did not know that. But it’s interesting to know Bill Gates is under the gun. Although I do use Windows as my main operating system; it is the ONLY Microsoft product I own or use. I tried Linux for a while, and although I did enjoy it, I ended up reverting. I don’t like to give monopolistic corporations my money, however my operating system is the only money they will get from me!

      i’ve always considered the software far superior to Microsoft Word.

      I agree. I did think the software was extremely user friendly and feature-rich. Unfortunately, it’s never taken a deep enough root to become a standard in the industry. I actually see it’s usage declining as I get older (maybe it’s just the people I know).

      Save your Confederate money, boys — the South will rise again…:-)

      I hope so!! I think it will spark the next revolution (which we are in dire need)!!

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