Tag Archives: digital

Real photo prints – still a great gift

Sick of being stuck with photos stored on some hard drive gathering digital dust?

Over all the years that our kids have been at school, all the Birthday parties, all the school functions, all the school excursions and concerts – we have taken a large number of digital photos.   

But what’s the point of keeping them all to ourselves?

Over the Christmas break, we decided to take a trip to Harvey Norman and get them all printed out.    The quality of their 6×4’s was not bad – not as good as the professional prints from Fitzgerald Photos, but better quality than prints from Office Works.

Little Miss 9 and Little Miss 11 then spent a fun afternoon sorting them out into different piles for each child.   Now to hand them out!


Apple iPad – the digital sheet music king?

OK, everyone seems to want to put in their 2 cents about what the iPad is going to kill 🙂

Could it be a Kindle killer?  Maybe?  It would be nice reading books on the iPad.

Maybe it would be a digital comic book killer – not that there is any specific device in that market at the moment.  There are various digital comic book reader software on computers and iPhone devices though.

In today’s SMH, there’s an article saying that the iPad may be the ultimate mobile video gaming device.  Not sure what ultimate means, but I’m sure the kids would love to play on one on long road trips.  They’re already loving their iPod Touch and Nintendo DSi devices.

One market that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere is the digital sheet music killer.  Yep – I want to put in my own prediction now and say that the Apple iPad will kill all other digital music reader devices.   Not that the market is very big at the moment – a quick Google shows specific hardware like the FreeHand Systems MusicPad Pro and a range of software for PCs like MusicReader.

But just imagine, you have your iPad with you.  It’s loaded up with backing tracks in iTunes.  You flip open the sheet music application, find the sheet music you want and play along.  Gosh, if it was integrated enough, the iPad could listen to what you’re playing and turn the page at the right time for you, or I guess you could just use the touch display to flip music pages over.

For gigs, you could rock up and have all your music with you in a thin device.   Music would never be lost, it wouldn’t fall down off a music stand out of order or flutter in the wind in an outdoor concert.

Then, in rehearsals, you could write markings and notes on the music with your finger. 

With the iTunes store, if they expanded the digital library section to include sheet music (maybe in conjunction with some online sheet music stores), you could buy sheet music through iTunes straight onto the iPad.  The whole delivery and billing mechanism infrastructure is already there!  If it was competitively priced, because of the ease of buying things through the iTunes store, I’m sure sheet music sales would sky rocket.

And with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in, you could even link up your iPad with other musicians next to you if you’re playing in an ensemble!   Or even better, bowings from the principals of each section could automatically be transmitted to all other desks.  What a time saver!

Apple – this is it!  Imagine the musical revolution around the world to take sheet music to the next level!   Do it!

Voice recorder

Old technology - a tape voice recorder

There’s something romantic and hands on about old analog technology.

My parents pulled out an old voice recorder or dictaphone to let the kids play with one day.  It definitely amused our 8yo daughter for a few days! 

At first she was recording some snippets of her talking, of herself singing or playing the piano.  She would then rewind it, and hit play.  I love the tape hiss, the uneven speed and small frequency range it has.   At least it made her experience that you can’t jump instantaneously to the beginning, and that the farther you want to rewind, the more you had to wait.   (Anyone remember high speed dubbing tape decks from the 80s?)

After a while, she discovered more clandestine uses for it – subtly recording my Wifey’s and my conversations. Sneaky!

The cutest thing was one night when she recorded ourselves reading a bedtime story.  She then shooshed me out her room.  I peeked in later and saw that she was replaying the story for herself and her cuddly night time toys!

Suggestion for the day – don’t let your kids grow up in the digital age without experiencing some older analog technology.   Other suggestions besides voice recorders – tapes, LPs, typewriters, old cash registers, etc…