Yet more fun with technology

I’m not sure why I’m so curious about technology gadgets lately, but this morning I got it into my head that what I really needed was a little camcorder. Yes, no doubt it will be used to record an asana or two as I work them out. I’ll admit to being curious about how the beginning of kapotasana looks before I start heading (often a bit more rapidly than I wish) toward the floor.

Anyhow, here I am, voice-recording this entry. (0v0) asked about how I can use the voice recognition software to create entries, how I can write an entry without seeing it, without working it with my hands. The way I’m doing it right now, with a head mic, means I’m able to see it as the computer prints out my words, so that’s simple enough. A little bit of performance anxiety, I’ll admit. But I can see what I’ve said, and kind of aim towards where I’m going. I just have to stop every now and again to correct a mistake that the voice recognition has made, which actually is very cool because I get to teach it that way.

Just speaking into the recorder, unable to see any printout as I go, is a whole ‘nother story: I usually need to think a bit about the entry I intend to make and kind of focus on three or four bullet points. That way I can keep the larger points in mind. It actually isn’t terribly unlike how I work day in and day out. I design instructional materials, so from the very beginning of the design, when you determine what the objectives of the training are going to be, until the very end, when you design the points of individual screens and pages, it’s all about identifying and prioritizing the larger points, and then organizing the material under each point. Poetic, associative thinking it most decidedly is NOT. I remember first getting into information design and having the worst headaches! I really think it was my right-brained self agonizing in response to the left-brain training.

Anyhow, this morning I looked into digital camcorders on cnet. I wanted something very small, very simple. Just need to grab video clips that will work on the Web, so nothing fancy or high-resolution. Sure enough, I found a little camcorder about the size of a deck of cards, and cheap. Circuit City has this great service where you order a product online and then just go pick it up. So within a couple of hours, I had in hand. Very cool technology: the USB connector retracts into the camcorder. When you extend the connector and plug it into the computer, the setup software that is embedded in the product launches and automatically downloads. It also includes a little editing application and a link to a site where you can store your clips. I’ve already sent a video greeting to my friend in California who’s been after me to send pictures of my post-surgery eyes.

One thing I’m definitely thinking about is the ability to take some video clips at the shala. They may be useful on Volleyball Guy’s website. And I think the Mysorians may be curious to see some moving images of their individual practices.

So all of a sudden I have an audio files folder on my desktop and a video files folder. I never saw this coming. And I have no idea how it’s all going to add up. When I was an undergrad sculpture major at Mass College of Art, we had a department called SIM, the Studio for Interrelated Media. They were always the wierdos (which is saying something in a school full of arty types), the people who mixed up technologies and made art out of them. (The people who took the most acid, too, as I recall.) It feels weird to be using voice recognition and making audio files, and it feels very weird to be making video files. I have no idea what can be done with them, but I feel like they need to be around as possibilities somehow. Kind of like how it used to feel to need to have sketch pads around the house and pencils and charcoal, and then in the writing years, lined notebooks and pens.

We’ll see.


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