Category Archives: Technology

The technical section where I might bemuse older tech that I discovered in boxes or new things that are worth blogging about.

Presenting My Metal Media Office

A couple of years ago I was involved in a Focus Group that was asking about my own personal technology setup and they wanted photos of the gear you were using and how it was being used during your activities. Recently I discovered those images while re-organizing some folders and putting things in proper places and thought it would be fun content for the personal blog so here we go with an overview of my creative workspace and its relatively neat order on the day I shot it.

computer gear, metal office
The Metal Office by Ken Pierce (2013)

The monitor is a 21″ flatscreen and its the Dell brand since it came included with the system. I have another spare smaller screen in my possession but the room is just not there on the desk for me to connect it to the desktop. Maybe if I move the All-In-One device. As you can see I approach the media office with maturity and have a couple of Spider-Man action figures sitting there protecting the sanctity of the writing world for me. Since my mouse is on the right hand side I use the left side space for the things I am examining and you can see a few CD’s and stickers here that I just didn’t move when I snapped the photo. On top of the screen is a small Microsoft Camera for those times when I need to do any sort of video chat. They are great for the band interview but I mostly use this to keep up with the folks who have moved a few states away since I first snapped it.

computer gear, metal office
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Techno-Journalism or How I Did This For Awhile

There is a good chance that you are looking at this photo and wondering just what the heck it is and depending on when you grew in the technology side that is understandable. This my friends is the Palm Tungsten PDA and no, the PDA does not stand for “public display of affection” but instead means “personal digital assistant”. Of course when I was using this device I will admit to loving it very, very much.

Even though its not pictured, my first PDA was the Palm Pilot Professional or the Palm IIIx. I got it as a gift from one of the Partners in a firm that I was once associated with. This had to be around 1999 and of course I was not a writer or aspiring photographer yet in the fashion that you all have come to know. I remember that when my job “ended” that my turd of a manager tried to get it from me citing it belonged to the company. That tool just wanted it for one of his flunkies but that was not happening. Moving along, when this device had served its purpose I stepped up to the Palm V which had more memory and a clearer screen than its predecessor. Mind you this was all in a light green with black typeface and not a color device. I had just started doing my writer thing and was using a new application called Documents To Go which allowed me to edit documents and sync them back to my home computer when I needed to. That was pretty cool.

When my needs grew as a writer I decided to make the jump and buy the latest and greatest Palm device of them all. This was the one in the photo above and called The Tungsten. It had a stainless steel case and took a knocking around in ones briefcase and not only was the screen larger but it was in color. At this point in time there were also PDA phones but I didn’t go that route as I already had a cell phone and I was not interested in mixing the two together. I was using the latest Documents To Go and would stockpile all of the works in progress that I had for the websites I was helping out on and would keep on using this until about 2008 when I moved to a Smartphone. I really liked this device and found it was much easier to jot down my notes right as the events happened when it came to concerts or updating the product review pieces on long train rides and work breaks.

The Palm devices needed you to use a stylus which is the pen like item you see in the photo above also. They were easy to lose but I somehow managed to keep the one that this came with. It also allowed for the adding of an additional memory card, and when I needed more memory I added a whopping 512MB to it. That amount of space is kind of a joke now isn’t it. I never used the device on my network as the WiFi card that you could purchase was a bit pricey for my tastes and I was a slightly disgruntled customer after having ordered this unit at a premium price with no benefits only to find it being sold with a free WiFi card, case, and additional stylus only a month later. Grrr.

I haven’t used my Palm Tungsten in over three years and maybe its even longer, but when I chanced upon it this afternoon while digging around for a memory card in a desk drawer I thought it would be the perfect thing to speak about in my Retro Techno series of PiercingKen blogs. I called it “Techno-Journalism” based on my counting on the abilities of this device as opposed to relying on the conventional pen and paper for the media tasks at hand. Thanks for listening.

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The Norelco 985RX Has Left The Building :(

It’s been a few days already and I am finally coming to terms with the fact that my very long used rotary razor, the Norelco 985RX “shaving system” has died after about seventeen years of use. Simply put I loved this thing because I tend to have a rough beard when it grows a little bit and this device dispatched it with ease and left me smooth and sleek. I actually first got this back when I worked at an advertising firm and they were a client of the company. We were able to order from the company for the same prices that their own people did which was a nice bonus. In 1995 this was a pretty pricy little tool and about $150 bucks if memory serves me correctly.

norelco, norelco shavers, norelco 985rx
The Norelco 985RX Shaver

It’s one of the oldest pieces of technological advancement that I have had and while you might say “so then just repair it”, it was just not really a cost-effective decision at this point. It was repaired once a number of years ago when it fell into the sink that had some water in it, but don’t worry it was not plugged in at the time. It was also the last time that I left water in the sink before shaving LOL. I was fast to act but still not fast enough to prevent damage. The photo I’ve loaded into this summary was taken just before it was sent to tech Valhalla. Yeah I know it looks almost new, but I tried to keep it spiffy.

Goodbye old friend. Thank you for your dedicated service and your assistance in keeping me somewhat presentable. Fortunately I do still have his younger brother and he appears to have a little life in him that should carry me awhile . Part of me actually cannot wait to dig into a brand new device just the same since they seem so much more powerful and functional. Norelco stuff comes out via Phillips nowadays and it does seem that a good model will still run you about $100 bucks.

UPDATE: Ever since writing this posting I was using the as referred to younger brother to this shaver, which was the 965RX but on 7/24/12 that one also died. At this point I am just going to grab myself a new one and smile at the notion on how long each of these devices lasted me.

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Zipping It Up with my Iomega Drive

I recently updated my computer and when I was in the middle of the process I felt that it was also time to look through all of the drawers and see what other technological devices I might have lying around unused for whatever reason.  The initial reason for the dig was based on my being able to return a number of old tech things to Dell for proper recycling as opposed to garbage.  Here was one of the things I found, my almost two decade old Iomega Zip Drive.  Though it came out in 1994, I didn’t have access to one of them until around 1996 when one of the firms I worked for used them for training demos.  After using it to do some tutorials I knew I had to have one for my home and all the massive amounts of files I could now easily save.

iomega zip 100 drive
Front View of the Zip Drive

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