Monday, November 21, 2011

Tech IT From My Barber

Happy ThanksGeeking!

As a takeoff from my current column/blog, “Take It From My Barber”, I have decided to write a new blog to focus entirely on new technologies and scientific discoveries that I feel are or should be of great interest and/or of benefit to people of all walks of life. As in other fields, my barber will be consulted knowing that he would be reflecting the public pulse from the barbershops.

There are now about 7 billion people in the world. Those aged between 0-14 years compose 26.3%; 15-64 years, 65.9%; while 65 years and over, 7.9 %.

The median age is 28.4 years: 27.7 for male; and 29 years for female. Studies show that the population is also categorized into the digital natives and digital immigrants. Those who were born in 1980 or before belong to the former while those born after are categorized as the latter.

Digital natives are naturally techno savvy or almost automatically responsive to digital gadgets. Expose the digital device to them and they would learn how to use it without much effort. Free and affordable applications usually accompany the devices to complement and/or supplement their built-in features.

Digital immigrants are those whose ability to absorb digital knowledge is not necessarily innate or automatic but no less interested or proficient in the use of the gadgets and their corresponding apps upon exposure to them.

I am a digital immigrant, so I write this column/blog from such perspective. But my exposure to digital natives are extensive and quite often.  Added to the feedback from the barbershop, my own experience using and evaluating the devices, plus the usual accompanying research that go with my writings, I hope to be able to impart useful data, info, knowledge, intelligence and even wisdom to our reader.

BGM with Digital Natives

No finite being on earth is all knowing. So everybody is ignorant or “stupid” about some things. If one admits being such initially, he or she correspondingly begins the path to being knowledgeable, learned, expert or in digital parlance, “geek”.

Whether as natives or immigrants, we yearn to learn consciously or sub-consciously. It is a process of growth and development regardless of age. Some could be late bloomers but the desire to acquire knowledge is as strong as that of a freshman compared to being a graduating senior more yearning to earn as he joins the workplace.

The fact is the new technologies and scientific discoveries have become useful tools in our daily lives; personal, home, work, business, church, government, school, neighborhood, car, hospital, etc.

We wish having these tools as we begin to live a quality digital life. The more you get involved with the gadgets and software, the more you desire for more of them and their latest upgrades. Sooner rather than later, you become a geek yourself – a big lift from initially admitting being ignorant or “stupid”.

BGM - The Digital Immigrant

Personal Use

I will start in this column by briefly describing to our readers the gadgets or tools that I currently use. Therefore, I know whereof I speak. Subsequently, I will go into specific details about their built-in features and applications developed by internal and third party developers.


I am writing this with my MacBook Pro laptop. It has both iWork and Microsoft Office. I installed Boot Camp allowing me to install Windows 7 and Windows XP as a virtual PC. This guarantees accessibility to all my software and databases that require any of the operating systems. In the 1980’s I had an Apple Quadra that used a combination of MAC, MS and DOS operating systems. So I know the value of flexibility in accessibility.

It is WiFi ready. It has all the browsers: Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox Mozilla, and Google Chrome. The major search engines led by Google, Yahoo, and Bing make my laptop exponentially capable. Access to data, info, knowledge and expert views are almost instant especially if your network is broadband. My computer has become an extension of my brain. So have all the computers and electronic libraries worldwide that the network browsers and search engines connect me to. I call this localizing global knowledge and globalizing local knowledge. The Skype app also allows me to converse with anybody in the world live and on video.

It has a YouTube and video downloader and, of course, a camera that takes and records editable videos and still photos. It has an audio and music recorder allowing me to download music, speeches, lectures and audio books. I have software that converts texts or documents online and offline to audio. I also have one (Dragon Dictation) that converts audio into text.

For web pages that I like to read again in the future, I could either bookmark them or include them in my reading list.  Or if I want to preserve them permanently, I could copy and paste them into my documents library. My screen capture software can also copy texts and pictures on the screen. Most amazingly, another software allows me to copy and preserve entire websites for easy retrieval offline later.

The internal memory of my MacBook Pro, like all laptops, is limited. So I have external hard drives with memories up to 1TB. But if I want some important documents, pictures, videos and other databases accessible and available from anywhere, the iCloud takes care of them. Dropbox allows me to store online as much data as possible depending on the storage capacity that I have reserved.

For more mobility, I decided to get an IPAD2.  Now it goes with me wherever I go. With WiFi and a data plan and having downloaded about 200 Applications categorized into News, Productivity, Education (Books), Finance, Health, Sports, Games, Entertainment, Music, Business, Photo and Video, Reference, Social Networking, Medical, Travel, Weather, Utilities and Lifestyle, I cannot leave home without it. The IOS 5.0 allows the use of very powerful applications.

Armed with all these, you cannot help but feel educated, informed, cultured, entertained, boredom-free, productive, smarter, friendlier and most importantly, more confident in the belief that solutions are provided somewhere if you patiently search for them.

I also have an iPhone and an iPod. The former replicates most of the IPAD applications plus the features of a very smart phone. The iPod replicates also many of the IPAD applications and iPhone but without the features of the latter.

I have many other gadgets with different systems, features, and uses other than Apple and its Apps. Many of the devices are launched every so often. Software applications are developed, tested, and sold everyday. I intend to discuss some of them in this column at the appropriate time.

The season for giving and receiving is now with us. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas promotions prove it. The must have gadgets lead in the wish list of both possible recipients and giving donors. GKs such as Geeky Kids, Gawad Kalinga, Global Kalinga (eRotary) and God’s Knights all recognize that the Gift of Knowledge could revolutionize one’s life.

Happy ThanksGeeking or Happy ThanksGKing to all!

From The MACnigo Clan

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