Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Olivetti Lettera 22 at seventy: The typewriter lives on

22
The typewriter has played a huge role in the story of my life. Before the computer, before the computer and before instant communication, the mechanical typewriter was paramount...

Leica joins with Capture One for SL2 and S3 tethered shooting

2
Leica announces cooperation with Capture One to enable tethered shooting for SL2 and S3 cameras.

Apple’s M1 chips and all that: This MacBook Pro simply rocks

25
This Apple MacBook Pro rocks. Unfortunately, it rocks on its bulging battery. Time for a change to the remarkable new M1 processor...

Late Spring Cleaning: Network storage and getting ready for a fresh start

19
When hell freezes over, we'll still have shredding machines. Mike has a big clear up and wins the battle with his new Synology NAS disk station.

Getting your mind around the Sony A7 menus

9
It's fashionable in every review of Sony cameras to complain about the complexity of the menus. My current exposure is to the RX100 VI...

Macfilos: 5,000 posts already and here’s one from 2010

6

Review: Heroes of the Telegraph by John Munro (1891), iBookstore, free

Had blogs existed 120 years ago John Munro would have been up there with the best of 'em. His book, which traces electronic communications from the 50-year-old and "perfected" telegraph through to the latest modern developments, the telephone and the phonograph, is a Gutenberg gem. At the time of writing in 1891 both the telephone and phonograph had been around for little more than 10 years and Munro exhibits the sort of enthusiasm now associated with the latest technical news on Engadget or TechCrunch.

Edison and phonographThe story of the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison is fascinating enough, but it is Munro's conjectures on the future opened up by recordings that are much more interesting. Here is a review of possible future developments, some uncannily accurate, some wide of the mark, that make for gripping reading. 

He suggests that phonograph records could be used for correspondence, for dictation and for communication "on unsteady vehicles such as trains" where writing is difficult. He also foresees audio books and reports that Edison can fit the whole of Nicholas Nickleby on four eight-inch wax cylinders of five-inch diameter. "Perhaps," he says, "we could have circulating libraries which issue phonograms, and there is already some talk of a phonographic newspaper which will prattle politics and scandal at the breakfast-table. Addresses, sermons, and political speeches may be delivered by the phonograph; languages taught, and dialects preserved; while the study of words cannot fail to benefit by its performance."

Strangely, in 1891, the concept of recording music was not mainstream: "Musicians will now be able to record their improvisations by a phonograph placed near the instrument they are playing."

This book is a delight and is a must-read for all technophiles.  It has probably been out of print for decades, yet through the Gutenberg project and Apple's iBookstore we can read it again. Much of the book is concerned with the development of the electric telegraph and, of particular interest, the trials and tribulations of undersea cable laying.

After the break is a fuller excerpt from the chapter on Edison's invention of the phonograph.

Lightroom Creative Cloud meets Capture One’s free trial

31
After decades with Adobe's Lightroom, John takes a free ride with Capture One. Is he ready to give up the familiar turf and move over to the Danish model?

iPad Magic Keyboard: Why not settle for the best?

17
Apple's new iPad Magic Keyboard combined with touch and mouse support in iPadOS 13.4 at last bridges the gap between tablet and computer.

USB-C Port Woes: Wobbling all the way to the Genius Bar

26
Does your cable wobble? All four USB-C ports on Mike's 2018 MacBook Pro wobble and lead to unstable data connections. Apple don't want to know, but a simple fix seems to be working.

Grammarly: For the writers who think they don’t need it

17
Are you an immaculate writer, never putting a comma wrong? If so, perhaps you don't need Grammarly. But, for the rest of us, it has it's uses (sorry, its).