The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reflections of the old and in the way

During the past two-and-a-half years I have whittled down the tools of my trade to one semi-serious and several less-serious cameras, a good radio under a roof and on wheels, two laptops (one is a backup on road trips), a desk computer, a semi-serious photo printer and a $50 workhorse Brother laser printer.

The tools of my trade at one time consisted of a couple of dozen saddle horses, a couple of dozen vehicles ranging from dirt bikes to four-wheel-drive eight-bottom-plow pullers, along with semi-serious hand tools, most of which are scattered in northeast Wyoming at sites at which I or family members or our employees worked on something and failed to pick them up. (There is also a hunting knife at every site where I gutted a pronghorn or a deer.)

There came a time, though, when capturing images and reproducing them became my principle income-producing mojo. Tonight, I have had to photograph several screen-shots to aid an internet troubleshooter diagnose my situation.

In 1985, I could have done that, too. If I used, today, the same technology I had at that time for the process of capturing an image and transmitting it to someone else, I could have...
  1. Photographed the screen (which, of course, was not a consumer item in 1985),
  2. Developed the film, assuming black/white was sufficient (1.5 hours),
  3. Chosen and printed three frames (2 hours minimum) on 5x7 paper,
  4. Pack and mail prints to recipient (.5-2 hours),
  5. Waited for recipient to get it (3-7 days),
  6. Talked to recipient on phone after he has seen the prints.
  7. Repeated until I began seriously thinking of running a hose from the tailpipe into the passenger cab.
Now, I have several ways to capture and transmit an image within 15 minutes, in color. The principle improvement, today at least, is that I haven't had to wait as long between steps 1 and 7.


Michael Sanborn said...


SHIFT/COMMAND/4 will turn your cursor into a crosshair. Hold your mouse down and select the cropped image you desire. Release the mouse and "Picture 1" ( a png file) will appear on your desktop. Takes about 2 seconds.

Bob Newland said...

So you are hoping to reduce even further the time lapse between steps 1 and 7?