I just installed an app with a Java GUI. At least I think it’s a Java GUI. It’s running straight from the command line, but without an app wrapper. I’m using terms but probably not correctly because I refuse to learn too much about computers. Even when I’m using the computer and it’s for something I really want to know about. I believe I’ve referenced earlier how it’s taken me years just to start using Regular Expression searching even though I took a class where it was a component—or could have easily been one with the resources available—and it’s only now because there are online simplified cheat sheets. It wasn’t worth it before. Now it’s worth it. If I were smarter, I’d bookmark the page but my bookmarks are a disaster and there’s not an app so I’m basically just trusting my browser history.

Maybe I should check for an app.

Anyway. The thing about computer programs—and I learned this lesson in my teens—is what you figure out how to do with a computer defines how you use it. It’s the tool you need, so long as you can figure out how to use the tool. I can’t remember if the person who said it was famous or if he was just famous to me, but someone once pointed out if they hadn’t put region codes on DVDs, no one would’ve gotten looking and figured out how to pirate them. You could pirate VHS tapes. But what you can do with digital is completely different. And, apparently (at least in this anecdote), it all started because people really wanted to be able to watch DVDs from other countries.

I know I did. Australian DVDs were dirt cheap for the longest time—you could get like six movies for about thirty bucks shipped and quality stuff without a U.S. release yet. You know, stuff like King Kong Lives. But also Warner DVDs in 16:9, because no one’s ever come up with a way to easily matte an open matte transfer on the fly. At least not on a TV.

But you figure out how to make stuff work and it dictates your technology interests, your technology needs.

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