A little hard copy now and then…

I was reading Karl Hyde’s quite mesmeric daily online diary (http://www.karlhyde.com/) which he has kept with a new image since 2000 and found this – I have so much in my life that’s virtual it’s important that I have a little hard copy now & then.

It was a response to being offered a virtual receipt in a shop, but I feel it is a highly profound statement, especially where books are concerned and for many music. I could not ‘live’ now without my PC, I started using the things in 1989. I have always seen them as a tool and never had a great love for them, but they have organised things for me because I am an awful physical filer, my office used to be a series of piles of papers with empty filing cabinets; my writing is awful so at least notes and letters were now readable; I was awful when doing handwritten accounts and spreadsheets were clear and added up properly.

Now, living for 98% of the time on my own I have people to ‘talk’ to, articles to read, music to listen to, films to watch, things to fully waste my time, and a machine to write on and importantly research on. However, it does feel nice to pick up a book, a CD/DVD and isn’t it odd how hard it is to edit/correct on screen, even though printing out, making the notes then doing the work is twice the work. I wonder why that is? Is it a perceptual thing, should we use a coloured background on screen? When people have difficulty reading they often need a ‘pastel’ paper or background, I’ll have to try it, or is it that we naturally scan the page because of the unnatural distance the computer screen is from our eyes. In 1992 when I really began to work intensely onscreen I found I was getting very bad headaches, screens of course were not as subtle and much smaller. I went to the optician who found that my right eye was compensating by missing the screen altogether, so I had a pair of glasses which moved it leftwards, for a while it was quite painful as the muscle fought against it!

PC’s are a pain but we would find it hard to go back to not having them. For a couple of years I didn’t have one at home and every day walked to the library to use one there. You could only have a period of two hours per day, so writing had to be quite intense and I didn’t wander off onto interesting sites! What was annoying was that 10pm moment when you wanted to get down what you’d been mulling over, I often tried writing it down, not only did I get hand/arm/wrist ache I usually couldn’t read what I’d written when it came to transcribing it the next day!

Karl is releasing his first solo album soon after three decades with Underworld and I have an interview planned for this blog around the time of release.

Today’s photograph taken at 9.10am on a bitterly cold day looking like snow, in the backs near my flat.



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