Tag Archives: Cathode ray tube

Two Steps Back

Cathode ray tube

Cathode ray tube (Photo credit: Micah Sittig)

Hello and thank you for joining me for part 2 of “Do You Really Want Your Plane to be That Plain?” There was just too much good stuff to fit in a single post. So let’s get down to it, shall we? If you haven’t read my last post please start there.

I’m going to start by telling on myself. I mentioned in my last post that my idiosyncrasies were another story. And since this is another story, here goes.

I am a musician. I have played guitar for years and have always loved good, hard rock. Now with the amplifiers of today, you can get nearly any sound you can imagine. However, I refuse to play on anything but a tube amp. Tube amps were replaced by transistors, and when this happened, the warm sound of the tube was lost.

I had my small amp rebuilt several years ago, and since tubes are not easy to come by, it was a bit of a chore to obtain the necessary implements. In fact, I think the only manufacturer of the old-style  tube is located in Russia. I was able to find mine through some friends who owned thirty-year-old stock. And viola! An old amp with and old sound.

Some folks, including myself, are not particularly fond of the microwave oven. I do own one, but only use it occasionally to heat up certain foods. If you’ve ever tried to cook a fresh piece of meat in a microwave, you’ll find that it cooks quickly, turns gray, and depending on the cut and species, tastes somewhere between a clump of smooth mud and salt-treated saw dust. All in all, a great idea for communication towers, but as far as food? Start a fire instead.

Now, I come to the crème de la crème. A small portion of the population lives without computers, cell phones, microwaves, and probably still uses a dial telephone. I’ve coined a term for these individuals. They shall henceforth be known as “The Elitist Hold-Outs.” They work in their gardens each summer, they shy away from anything more technologically advanced than a ballpoint pen, they cook three great meals each day and go to church on Sunday.

I affectionately call mine “grandma.”

So there you have it. The lack of technology in a technological world. It can be done. And sometimes, maybe it should. Oh, and just one more personal idiosyncrasy. In a world inundated with new movies almost weekly, my family tells me that I am slightly behind the times, insofar as I rarely watch a film that doesn’t include a shark, tornado, or some combination thereof.

So I put in my VHS copy of Jaws, unplug the microwave, and keep an eye out the window. I hear tell there may be a twister looming on the horizon.

Follow the yellow brick road…

1 Comment

Filed under On writing

Boob Put the “b” in Tube

English: TV receiver

English: TV receiver (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I were to ask you what you were doing right now, what would you say?  I can only imagine that many of you would say, “None of your business.”  By the same token quite a few of you would reply, “I’m watching TV.”

I can remember when I was a young child, our first black and white Zenith TV.  We even had a repair man who would make house calls to repair this valuable appliance.  At that time nine out of ten households had a TV compared to today’s multiple monitor homes, some even in the bathroom.

If we look back to the lowly beginning of the TV set, we see the basic component, the cathode tube, was created in 1897.  The first television sold for home use was the GE Octagon in 1928.  The 3” screen is a far cry from the giant HD screens of today.

Even though the days of the dog-ears are over (for all you youngsters, dog ears were adjustable antenna that sat on top of the TV), televisions, no matter the era, still need a means to receive a signal.

Just for argument’s sake, if you were to open a mid-90s, 27-inch (TV screens are always measured on the diagonal), you would find a huge picture tube, circuit boards, and just a lot of stuff, all living in a plastic housing that weighed the better part of a ton.

In contrast, one of today’s 37-inch, HD, flat-screen monitors can be easily lifted with one hand. I haven’t opened one up, but whatever is inside can’t be much.

If you span the decades from the octagon to today’s high-tech renditions, the technology has progressed by leaps and bounds. The one thing that has remained the same is that a picture originating in a television studio must be jostled, exploded, and sent in minute, invisible pieces through the airwaves to the receiver in your home, no matter which brand you choose to view.

By the same token, when the first written word appeared, it was recorded by hand. Now, those words can be produced at lightning speed. Are you taking advantage of the technology that is available to you to make your writing as efficient and accurate as possible? If not, give it some thought. Changes can be hard to make, but the advantage of change can be priceless.

Now excuse me while I wrap a piece of aluminum foil around my rabbit ears and do a little readjusting. These three-inch screens are murder on the eyes.


Filed under On writing