The worst-hidden nerd secret since ‘you can fix glasses using sellotape’ is about to be revealed. Apple will announce an exciting iTablet/iSlate/iPad in just a couple of days, which we’re lead to believe will shake up the home computing world, shaping the way we read e-books, music and video in the future. An excellent piece in The Guardian here speculates why, amongst other things, Apple’s keyboard-less wonder will be more significant than their nearest competitor’s attempts. Some are wary, pointing out Apple’s not-unblemished track record. The Apple Cube, and to a lesser extent the Apple TV were not the huge successes that they were intended. But even the now ubiquitous iPod and iPhones had their critics on release.
Don’t worry, this isn’t another article triumphing The Wire. You don’t need another person pouring praise on the sprawling ‘dickensian’ crime drama and its dozens of intriguing characters ‘sharing a dark corner of the American experiment’. And no, this isn’t an opinion piece pointing out that the majority of folk enjoying this mostly-black gangster crime show are white middle class media workers. Well, it is, as that is true, but only just a bit. If you’ve not yet watched ‘The best thing on television since the invention of radio’ I’d recommend you read my friend Sameer’s 100% spoiler-free piece instead. What interests me is the method by which it became popularised in this country, and what it means for future groundbreaking programming.
Obviously Spotify is fantastic. It’s the future of music, right? In five years time we’ll find the idea of a well maintained iTunes collection archaic, surely. Transferring ‘files’ so that we can all fill huge hard drives stacked full of exactly the same music. Plus you have to double up, so that you can carry a copy of some of that collection to listen to on a bus. That sounds just like a super-capacity Minidisc player, Grandad. Why bother? If you can access anything, from anywhere, why own anything? Well, maybe there’s more to well categorised music collections than just the listening. As vain as we are these days, are we ready to give up the ownership of the media we consume?
I recently saw ‘Moon’, the debut film by Duncan ‘Zowie Bowie’ Jones; an impressive claustrophobic space drama even if it did remind me of a lot of other space films from the past thirty years. This might be an unfair judgment though as it got me thinking; there’s only so much stuff that can happen to people in space, and it’s these limitations that makes us more nerdy people love films like this.
Videogames were rubbish when I was little. It didn’t matter though as I was a stupid child and blocky 2D was exciting enough. My dad had a BBC Micro, and me and my sisters would argue over who got to play it every day. Growing up in a village of limited social means I had new friends. Manic Miner. Repton. Chuckie Egg. Not that Jet Set Willy though, he was a dick.