Facebook Page
Twitter Page
YouTube Channel
The Callum Houston Web Page
YouTube Channel
Message Page
When I was a kid I was obsessed with
movies and TV and one of the most
wonderful gifts I ever got was a high-
quality Bell & Howell Super 8 movie
camera my dad bought me. The most
famous filmmaker who started with Super
8 is Steven Spielberg and he was
definitely a hero of mine.

However, there were some drawbacks to
Super 8 filmmaking. These drawbacks
included the fact that (a) you had to
purchase film and (b) you had to take the
film to a camera store and pay to get it
developed. That was a pretty big
impediment to my foray into Super 8
filmmaking because as a teenager I didn’t
have the money to spend on frivolous
filmmaking experiments. As a result I
spent a lot of time simply looking at
things through the camera viewfinder
pretending to be filming, imagining what
I’d LOVE to film, without actually
shooting anything.

But now with digital video the
cumbersome issue of film and film
processing is bypassed completely. And
for those of us who remember the days of
film, that’s a pretty big deal.

Another factor with Super 8 film was
editing, which was done by cutting the
film into segments and splicing those
segments into the desired sequence with
sticky tape. Of course this is all done on
computers now and I’ve got to declare,
the video editing software that’s available
today is absolutely fricking AMAZING.
And when I say “editing,” in actuality
editing is only ONE component of what’s
available in these programs. The software
allows you to include titles, scene
transitions and special effects that are on
par with what you’d see in some
professional film and television
productions. This to me is utterly
incredible. For someone who clearly
recalls the Super 8 home movies era (the
tail end of it anyway), this software is like
something out of a fantasy. It’s magic. As
well, these programs allow you to mix
multiple tracks of audio and as a former
sound guy, this too is very impressive. It
just amazes me where video technology
is at today.

One sad aspect of this mind-bending
technology though is that having such
spectacular video capabilities available to
everyone cheapens the art of film and
video production as a whole. And it IS
available to everyone. The program I use
costs only $50 to buy. The realm of the
filmmaker is no longer an elite, exclusive
guild that requires technical expertise and
money -- anyone can do it! In fact, there
are young auteurs out there shooting
movies on SMARTPHONES these days.

But for me, being able to easily shoot
video and then edit that video on my
laptop limited only by my imagination is
like a dream come true. It’s as though I
actually got to realize a wish from my
childhood and it’s not very often a person
can say something like that has happened.
This time around I’m going to list what I
consider to be the top five most mind-
blowing tech products of the past decade or
so. These are innovative re-thinks that have
taken the product not just to another level,
but to another DIMENSION altogether.
There may be other advancements in tech
Home Page
This time around I’m going to list what I
consider to be the top five most mind-
blowing tech products of the past decade
or so.
HOT TECHNOLOGY TOP FIVE!
August 11, 2017
that are much more groundbreaking than what I’ve listed below (hey, I’m no expert
on technology), but these are things that rock my world on a personal level so here
they are.
HOT TECHNOLOGY TOP FIVE!
August 11, 2017
Name:
Comment:
Have a comment?
HOME PAGE
1 / 1
These are innovative re-thinks that have
taken the product not just to another
level, but to another DIMENSION
altogether. There may be other
advancements in tech that are much more
groundbreaking than what I’ve listed
below (hey, I’m no expert on
technology), but these are things that
rock my world on a personal level so here
they are.

1. THE SMARTPHONE

I actually remember the very moment I
saw an Apple iPhone for the first time in
real life. It was the summer of 2007 and
I’d embarked on a road trip to the BC
interior. That summer the iPhone was
brand new and I was super-eager to see
one. I was totally fascinated by this new
Internet-oriented device that you
operated by touching its screen. It’s hard
to believe, but touch screen interfaces
were far-out sci-fi technology at that
time and, until the introduction of the
iPhone, not available at the consumer
level.
1. THE SMARTPHONE

I actually remember the very moment I saw an Apple
iPhone for the first time in real life. It was the summer of
2007 and I’d embarked on a road trip to the BC interior.
That summer the iPhone was brand new and I was super-
eager to see one. I was totally fascinated by this new
Internet-oriented device that you operated by touching its
screen. It’s hard to believe, but touch screen interfaces
were far-out sci-fi technology at that time and, until the
introduction of the iPhone, not available at the consumer
level.
My road trip included going through the town of Penticton and as I was about to
depart Penticton I decided to stop at a mall and get some lunch. I walked into the
mall and saw that there was a cell phone store there. And there it was! They had an
iPhone on display! The phone was mounted on a pedestal and customers could
actually pick it up and handle it if they wanted to. Of course, there was a small crowd
of people buzzing around this ultra-hot item but I had to see it. So I went into the
store and took a look and as I was standing there the group of people moved away
from the phone. I had it all to myself! What a delight! I carefully picked it up and
used my finger to move some icons around on the screen and I smiled with joy. How
cool! Then I turned it sideways and watched everything on the screen flip fluidly
ninety degrees. Awesome! It was like looking at alien technology or something. I was
utterly enchanted. To me, the iPhone represents one of the last great technological
events of the computer revolution.
2. FLAT SCREEN TVS

I’m a big movie lover so the first thing that
wowed me when I got a flat screen TV was how
perfect movies looked in the 16:9 format that’s
standard for them. It’s almost like watching films
in a boutique movie theater. I’ve been waiting for
this for years: as a reformed home theater buff, I
know that the flat screen TV is a BIG
BREAKTHROUGH. In the old days in order to
get the big screen experience in your living room
you had to buy a rear-projection television and those things were not only HUGE but
costly too. Plus the picture quality wasn’t that great either. Like most tech products
these days though, flat screen TVs are quite economically priced.

There’ve been a number of progressions in the world of television over the years: the
advancement from vacuum tubes to solid state; the introduction of portable mini-
TVs. But to me, the flat screen TV is the greatest revolution in television since the
introduction of color. In fact, I’d say it’s probably even cooler than when color came
in. If you’ve watched a lot of TV in your lifetime like I have you’ll recognize that
these new TVs are very special. Saying goodbye to the old picture tube TVs after
having them around my entire life was quite something to behold.
3. DIGITAL TV ANTENNAS

A few years ago all television stations stopped
transmitting over-the-air signals in analog and
switched over to digital. If you have cable you
might have missed this but it mattered if you use
an antenna to get your television. What the
change meant was that you now needed both a
digital television receiver and a digital antenna to
pick up the new signals the stations were
transmitting, the old antennas didn’t work
anymore. I use an antenna to get my TV so I was
aware of the change.
My new flat screen TV had a digital receiver built into it so I decided to purchase a
digital antenna and see if I could pick anything up. I hooked it up to the TV and hit
“search for channels” and -- voila -- about ten digital channels appeared! And what a
crystal clear image! The most awe-inspiring part of over-the-air digital channels is the
pristine picture quality you get from the high definition transmissions. The clarity is
truly remarkable; in most cases it’s as good as or better than Blu-ray disc quality. As
I mentioned, I’m a big movie lover so for me there is nothing more sublime than
watching an engrossing movie in high definition on my flat screen TV using my digital
antenna. To be frank, I have to say that I’m grateful on a near-religious level that
digital television is something I was able to experience in my lifetime. I know that
might sound corny as hell but that’s how I feel.

The downside to this, if there is a downside, is that I only get all the digital channels,
most of which are American, on very clear days and primarily in the spring and
summer months. In the winter months I receive only one channel, a Canadian one.
But I’m quite pleased with that. And having the annual fireworks explosion of
American television channels in the spring gives me something to look forward to and
makes the summer months that much more special.
4. SELF-SERVE CHECKOUTS

Something else I’m kind of impressed with
these days is being able to tally up and pay for
things myself at the self-serve checkouts at
grocery stores without having to go through a
manned checkout. I know this certainly isn’t
as sexy as iPhones or flat screen TVs but it’s
an interesting new convenience that’s been
offered to us by some stores.
A dark side some might see in these self-serve checkouts is that they are a not-too-
subtle example of technology being used to replace human employees. Each one of
these checkout machines represents a potential checkout clerk who is now out of a
job or reassigned elsewhere. But if you look a little deeper you might also see that
these machines represent new jobs in the technology and manufacturing sector. It’s
all about how you look at things.
5. VIDEO EDITING SOFTWARE

I don’t get all excited about hot apps like
many folks do. However, I’m something of
a website design hobbyist and in that pursuit
I do use a small basket of software
programs on a regular basis and one that
really impresses me is a video editing
program I discovered a few years ago.
People who’ve grown up in the computer
age, and even those who haven’t, might not think modern video editing software is a
big deal but to me it’s unreal.

When I was a kid I was obsessed with movies and TV and one of the most
wonderful gifts I ever got was a high-quality Bell & Howell Super 8 movie camera my
dad bought me. The most famous filmmaker who started with Super 8 is Steven
Spielberg and he was definitely a hero of mine.

However, there were some drawbacks to Super 8 filmmaking. These drawbacks
included the fact that (a) you had to purchase film and (b) you had to take the film to
a camera store and pay to get it developed. That was a pretty big impediment to my
foray into Super 8 filmmaking because as a teenager I didn’t have the money to
spend on frivolous filmmaking experiments. As a result I spent a lot of time simply
looking at things through the camera viewfinder pretending to be filming, imagining
what I’d LOVE to film, without actually shooting anything.

But now with digital video the cumbersome issue of film and film processing is
bypassed completely. And for those of us who remember the days of film, that’s a
pretty big deal.

Another factor with Super 8 film was editing, which was done by cutting the film into
segments and splicing those segments into the desired sequence with sticky tape. Of
course this is all done on computers now and I’ve got to declare, the video editing
software that’s available today is absolutely fricking AMAZING. And when I say
“editing,” in actuality editing is only ONE component of what’s available in these
programs. The software allows you to include titles, scene transitions and special
effects that are on par with what you’d see in some professional film and television
productions. This to me is utterly incredible. For someone who clearly recalls the
Super 8 home movies era (the tail end of it anyway), this software is like something
out of a fantasy. It’s magic. As well, these programs allow you to mix multiple tracks
of audio and as a former sound guy, this too is very impressive. It just amazes me
where video technology is at today.

One sad aspect of this mind-bending technology though is that having such
spectacular video capabilities available to everyone cheapens the art of film and video
production as a whole. And it IS available to everyone. The program I use costs only
$50 to buy. The realm of the filmmaker is no longer an elite, exclusive guild that
requires technical expertise and money -- anyone can do it! In fact, there are young
auteurs out there shooting movies on SMARTPHONES these days.

But for me, being able to easily shoot video and then edit that video on my laptop
limited only by my imagination is like a dream come true. It’s as though I actually got
to realize a wish from my childhood and it’s not very often a person can say
something like that has happened.
My road trip included going through the
town of Penticton and as I was about to
depart Penticton I decided to stop at a
mall and get some lunch. I walked into the
mall and saw that there was a cell phone
store there. And there it was! They had an
iPhone on display! The phone was
mounted on a pedestal and customers
could actually pick it up and handle it if
they wanted to. Of course, there was a
small crowd of people buzzing around
this ultra-hot item but I had to see it. So I
went into the store and took a look and as
I was standing there the group of people
moved away from the phone. I had it all to
myself! What a delight! I carefully picked
it up and used my finger to move some
icons around on the screen and I smiled
with joy. How cool! Then I turned it
sideways and watched everything on the
screen flip fluidly ninety degrees.
Awesome! It was like looking at alien
technology or something. I was utterly
enchanted. To me, the iPhone represents
one of the last great technological events
of the computer revolution.

2. FLAT SCREEN TVS

I’m a big movie lover so the first thing
that wowed me when I got a flat screen
TV was how perfect movies looked in the
16:9 format that’s standard for them. It’s
almost like watching films in a boutique
movie theater. I’ve been waiting for this
for years: as a reformed home theater
buff, I know that the flat screen TV is a
BIG BREAKTHROUGH. In the old days
in order to get the big screen experience
in your living room you had to buy a rear-
projection television and those things
were not only HUGE but costly too. Plus
the picture quality wasn’t that great
either. Like most tech products these
days though, flat screen TVs are quite
economically priced.
 
There’ve been a number of progressions
in the world of television over the years:
the advancement from vacuum tubes to
solid state; the introduction of portable
mini-TVs. But to me, the flat screen TV is
the greatest revolution in television since
the introduction of color. In fact, I’d say
it’s probably even cooler than when color
came in. If you’ve watched a lot of TV in
your lifetime like I have you’ll recognize
that these new TVs are very special.
Saying goodbye to the old picture tube
TVs after having them around my entire
life was quite something to behold.

3. DIGITAL TVANTENNAS

A few years ago all television stations
stopped transmitting over-the-air signals
in analog and switched over to digital. If
you have cable you might have missed
this but it mattered if you use an antenna
to get your television. What the change
meant was that you now needed both a
digital television receiver and a digital
antenna to pick up the new signals the
stations were transmitting, the old
antennas didn’t work anymore. I use an
antenna to get my TV so I was aware of
the change.
My new flat screen TV had a digital
receiver built into it so I decided to
purchase a digital antenna and see if I
could pick anything up. I hooked it up to
the TV and hit “search for channels” and -
- voila -- about ten digital channels
appeared! And what a crystal clear image!
The most awe-inspiring part of over-the-
air digital channels is the pristine picture
quality you get from the high definition
transmissions. The clarity is truly
remarkable; in most cases it’s as good as
or better than Blu-ray disc quality. As I
mentioned, I’m a big movie lover so for
me there is nothing more sublime than
watching an engrossing movie in high
definition on my flat screen TV using my
digital antenna. To be frank, I have to say
that I’m grateful on a near-religious level
that digital television is something I was
able to experience in my lifetime. I know
that might sound corny as hell but that’s
how I feel.

The downside to this, if there is a
downside, is that I only get all the digital
channels, most of which are American, on
very clear days and primarily in the spring
and summer months. In the winter months
I receive only one channel, a Canadian
one. But I’m quite pleased with that. And
having the annual fireworks explosion of
American television channels in the
spring gives me something to look
forward to and makes the summer months
that much more special.

4. SELF-SERVE CHECKOUTS

Something else I’m kind of impressed
with these days is being able to tally up
and pay for things myself at the self-serve
checkouts at grocery stores without
having to go through a manned checkout. I
know this certainly isn’t as sexy as
iPhones or flat screen TVs but it’s an
interesting new convenience that’s been
offered to us by some stores.
A dark side some might see in these self-
serve checkouts is that they are a not-too-
subtle example of technology being used
to replace human employees. Each one of
these checkout machines represents a
potential checkout clerk who is now out
of a job or reassigned elsewhere. But if
you look a little deeper you might also
see that these machines represent new
jobs in the technology and manufacturing
sector. It’s all about how you look at
things.

5. VIDEO EDITING SOFTWARE

I don’t get all excited about hot apps like
many folks do. However, I’m something
of a website design hobbyist and in that
pursuit I do use a small basket of
software programs on a regular basis and
one that really impresses me is a video
editing program I discovered a few years
ago. People who’ve grown up in the
computer age, and even those who
haven’t, might not think modern video
editing software is a big deal but to me
it’s unreal.
Facebook Page
Twitter Page
YouTube Channel
HOME PAGE
1 / 1
Name:
Comment:
HAVE A COMMENT?
YouTube Channel