Category Archives: Media

Next Meeting: March 22, Video and Discussion

Saturday, March 22, 2014, 1-3PM
Rutland Free Library, Fox Room (upstairs)
10 Court Street, Rutland, VT

We will show a video presentation by author Douglas Rushkoff, followed by a discussion.  The presentation is based on Rushkoff’s book “Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age“.

I just finished reading this interesting book.  You don’t need to read his book beforehand (unless you want to).   Just come and enjoy the video.  But if you are interested, the book’s ISBN# is 978-1593764265 (152 pages).

Many of us use smartphones, tablet computers and laptops.  There is more to “computer literacy” than knowing which buttons to press, where to click, or an app’s features.  Mr. Rushkoff is not advocating that we all become computer programmers.  We certainly don’t need to be mechanics to drive a car.  Instead, Mr. Rushkoff makes the distinction between “driving the car” versus merely being a “passenger”.  That analogy can be applied to our use of technology.

Mr. Rushkoff also compares our advancements in technology to past inventions like the written word and the printing press.  He points out how the larger population seems to be one “version” behind in how we use and adapt these advancements.  In other words, we don’t always use them to their full potential.

Rushkoff’s final command and chapter title is “Program or Be Programmed”.  The word “command” (instead of Commandment), is a play on the word used by computer programmers, as in submitting commands to run our computers (as some of you did in the recent “Hour of Code” event).

All ages welcome.  Hope to see you on March 22nd.


PBS Frontline: Generation Like, with Douglas Rushkoff

Tonight on many PBS stations, the FRONTLINE documentary series will present, “Generation Like“, by Frontline correspondent and author David Rushkoff.

I am “almost” finished reading Rushkoff’s book “Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age” (one more chapter to go).  Douglas Rushkoff is an interesting writer and thinker.  He often explores how we use technology, and how we can sometimes be “used” by technology.

I am of a similar age of Mr. Rushkoff and learned BASIC programming around the time he started to learn programming.  Having traveled a similar journey, from the “command line” to the GUI (Graphical User Interface), I can often relate to Mr. Rushkoff’s insights.  I am looking forward to viewing this FRONTLINE documentary, and hope you are able to view it on cable TV or via streaming video.

Feel free to comment here if you have viewed the documentary.

Kenn Hayes @ WSYB: Thanks for Morning Chat!

On Monday, January 20th, Steve and I joined Kenn Hayes for a “Morning Chat”, which is also the name of his morning radio show on WSYB (1380 AM), from 9-10AM M-F.

It was my first time appearing on the radio, and Kenn made us feel welcome, and it was a fun experience.  Ken started by asking us a few questions about computer terminology and acronyms that we commonly hear and see these days, in the news or on our computer screens.  We even got a couple calls from radio listeners.

Kenn asked us about the word “cache”, as in browser cache.  Steve answered the question, and about clearing out the browser cache (here is a good article which explains for various browsers).

Kenn’s question about the word “cache” brought back an experience I had in one of my college computer courses.  The professor started using the word “cache” in his lectures (but he did not spell it out).  I knew what “cash” was, since I saw my tuition bill.  This college course did not include a textbook, just the professor’s handouts.  I didn’t understand what he was talking about whenever he said “cache”.  But finally, about two weeks later, I realized that “cache” was basically computer memory or disk storage for holding onto information for use later on.

So how about this acronym” TINSTAADQ: There Is No Such Thing As A Dumb Question.  I learned my lesson in that college class many years ago.  I should have asked what “cache” was, right away.  I might have gotten a better grade in that particular class, if I had only asked.

So please don’t be afraid to ask questions.  I’m hoping that the Rutland Tech Club can help folks to continue learning as computer technology and terminology keeps marching on.

We really appreciate that Kenn Hayes invited us to his radio program, and gave us the opportunity to talk about the new Rutland Tech Club we are trying to get started.

Thank You Kenn!  Best of luck with your Morning Chat show.  You certainly have interesting guests who are doing good things around Rutland County.