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TECHLab SST

March 11, 2010

I visited the Moving Images virtual museum and found it to be good fun.

I’m embarrassed to say that, other than the still camera (which I learned about in photography class), I really knew very little about what makes things tick such as movie cameras, televisions, television cameras, projectors, etc. I think when you grow up in a digital age where we can download music and movies with the click of a mouse; view first run movies on our TV set with a push of a remote; and digitally upload images to Facebook and Ebay that we took only seconds earlier; it’s good to take a step back now and then and realize not only how far we’ve come…but to appreciate the history of the technology we take so much for granted today.

I was reminded, as I learned of how the television works, of our article that called it the dumbest appliance in our home.

My brother works for Samsung and tests all their products prior to their release in the U.S. He’s currently testing their new 3D television set. 3D TELEVISION SETS! And he says they work pretty darn well. It amazes me sometimes.

And as I watched the demo of the movie projector, I thought of how only a few short years ago you’d wait a year or so before the movies we saw in the theater would be released on VHS tape. Now it takes about 4 months before you can view it on DVD or right from your television set with video on demand. Heck, there’s movies that go straight to video now.

I browsed around the museum a bit more and was particularly fond of the presidential election year commercials and speeches that the museum preserved. Other than JFK’s “ask not what your country can do for you…” speech, which we’ve all heard a million times, I don’t think I ever watched him speak to the camera for such an extended period of time and on such a variety of topics. You can certainly see why he was so popular and charismatic. Then I watched Richard Nixon and better understood all the talk I heard over the years about how JFK beat him in the debates. It was our first nationally televised presidential debate and television was definitely made for Kennedy.

I will not be able to visit the museum personally  this semester, but my little online tour definitely interested me in visiting it someday in the future.

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