Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Empowering! (The essence of a general purpose computer):

I remember when I got my first Palm PDA. I looked at this thing that was ready to record my written memos, remember my appointments and keep a contact list. I asked myself: What am I going to do with this thing?

I needn’t have worried. A general purpose computer can be gradually adapted to the personality of its owner. It acts a little like a great defensive player in volleyball, covering any part of the court that might be open to the opponent’s best shot. Soon I had many categories of memos, I’d downloaded useful programs, and my PDA has been a constant companion every since. And of course I had a similar experience when we bought our first PC. Now all of what I've just said is background for today's topic.

I just received a gift: an Olympus DS2 Digital Voice Recorder. I had a specific use in mind when I put this item on my Wishlist, and I knew it was a highly recommended gadget, but I had no idea what I was getting. The DS2 has a remarkable collection of features, practically anything major you might think of adding to a “recording system.” I’m expecting it to gently affect my life in ways unknown as the PDA did, just less dramatically.

My first use will be something I never considered before. There are Podcasts I lack the patience to listen to because they “happen too slowly.” Either the talk-tempo is literally too slow, or the subject matter is occasionally exciting but mostly boring. But now that I have a device that supports “speed listening,” I’ll give some of those Podcasts another try.
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