Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Technology and Me

Dear Reader

When I first started working in the entertainment industry some twenty-five years ago, the world was analogue. In the last ten years, at least from the photography world, I have seen film slowly disappear and digital become the norm. Most commercials, music video, TV and features are shot and edited in the digital format.

My job as a transportation vender has changed too; I had to learn to embrace technology to ascertain the needs of my clients. WiFi is a necessity, wireless printing and remote faxing is expected. In the “old days” the late 1990’s, Motorola had an analogue phone that was connected to an inverter at the handset an RJ 11 connected the phone to a fax machine. The system worked, the phone line was not stable, and one had to resend a fax several times, especially if the signal was weak. Today we use Tulare, a digital to analogue inverter. It is the only unit I am aware of that allows analogue signal converted from a digital signal. When I approached the cellular companies regarding such a device, “they” referred me to “Kinko’s”, they did not understand the needs of the entertainment industry, the “industry” shoots in remote locations. Faxing original documents is essential in some cases, especially when one needs a signature. PDF and jFax are changing that need, however, there are times when an original document is important, and that document needs to be sent or received. Matt from Hot Spots (818 340 5481) handles my technology needs, specifically wireless. In the mid 2000’s we used an archaic device known as the junction box, it was green, with two LAN ports (networking ports) with a Verizon PCI card installed, the card used the older 2G network protocol, the best speed I was able to achieve was 500 kilobits per second. The average speed was more like 200 kilobits per second, considerably faster than a 56K modem, but if you had three or more computers on the same network, the network would come to a crawl.

Today there are a number of routers on the market, my personal favorite is the Cradlepoint; Cradelpoint makes several different devices, from the PHS300 Personal WiFi Hotspot to the more robust MRB1000 Mobile broadband ‘N’ Router, which I have. To be able to access the web almost anywhere is essential, I still feel there is a way to go in terms of getting true broadband speeds. I am hoping Verizon, AT & T, Sprint roll out their 4G networks soon, with nation wide coverage, even in remote locations. I might be dreaming, but the cellular carriers brag about the speed of their networks, but when I can access the internet from a third world country at T 3 speed, something is wrong, at best on location I can barely achieve 1 megabits.

I regress, technology has allowed productions to connect with their offices, download their files in almost real time, video conferencing, and access the web from a smart phone or a computer. My job description has changed too, not only am I a motor home driver/owner, but I am IT consultant in a loose sense. I need to understand my network and assists my clients get online, and stay updated on emerging technology, like the Apple iPad and other products. Fortunately, I know a lot of smart people who keep me apprise of the new technology. I do not consider, nor am I a trained IT engineer, but I understand how my wireless and non-wired networks work. I learned something as simple as inadequate amount of RAM installed on a computer, can prevent someone from wireless printing.

In today’s world it is what you know that separates you from the competition.