Wednesday, 14 May 2014
When most writers choose to write a novel, poem, short story or blog post, they usually go to their internet-enabled PCs and open up Microsoft Word (a program which, according to Wikipedia, “is the most widely used word processing software according to a user tracking system built into the software, which is not built into LibreOffice, AbiWord, KWord, and LyX.” And with many useful features like AutoCorrect and spell checking, it isn’t hard to see how the currently cloud-enabled word processor gets its notability. However, for some writers (like Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin,) old school programs are better than the ones we use today.
In an interview with Conan on his television show Team Coco, Martin tells Conan that he uses MS-DOS (which, in case you didn’t know, came before Windows,) and a currently defunct word processor called WordStar 4.0 (a.k.a the predecessor to Corel’s slowly abandoned WordPerfect suite.) He then explains that he has another, more modern PC which he uses to check e-Mails and browse the web on, while his sidelined and offline DOS PC is strictly used for writing the bestselling novels which he is famous for. When he was asked why he uses such defunct tools, he simply said that he was happy with what he had and that DOS isn’t as vulnerable as Windows or Linux (he also appreciated that the program "does what [he wants] it to do.") In addition to a virus-free environment, George states that AutoCorrect was simply too annoying to bear (and I know exactly how he feels about that.)
In reality, it’s a pretty good idea to have that type of setup, as most PCs today are vulnerable to potent viruses such as CryptoLocker lurking around on the internet today. Plus, there are no annoyances, like a dancing paper clip or automatic random bulleting, meaning that you could be more productive in front of a computer instead of fiddling with settings. What I would like to know, however, is why he doesn’t use a program like Notepad or WordPad, but instead uses WordStar 4.0 on a computer which has no USB ports.
*The photo above is in the public domain, if you want to use it*
In today's era of smartphones, virtual reality glasses and smartwatches, the lightbulb can be considered a primitive device to most. Merely a tungsten filament wrapped around two pieces of carbon rod (not to mention the vacuum sealed glass dome which prevents it from oxidization,) its simplicity makes it an invention which most people overlook. However, did Thomas Edison really invent it?
How Lightbulbs Work
The Carbon Craze
There was, however, one major flaw with its design. The reasoning behind this was that the carbon filament fell apart after a few electric charges were passed through it. Therefore, the bulb was—no pun intended—screwed.
Edison Enlightens the Idea
After hearing about the lightbulb, Edison saw a great fortune which came from its perfection. Therefore, when he was able to do so, Edison recruited a Princeton University student named Francis Moore in order to help with the bulb's design. It was after Edison recruited Moore, however, that lots of bright ideas came to him.
What Francis noticed was that, if a material had low resistance, it would produce less light and crumble in front of somebody's eyes when electricity was passed through it. Then, after experimenting with many various metals and vacuum strengths, Edison finally came up with a viable, cheaper version of the lightbulb which could be mass produced. With a bamboo and carbon inspired filament, he had done it.
If you read about any of the things above, then you should know that the answer to this is one simple, two lettered word-NO. Although he did fine tune the bulb in order to make it a decent source of alternative light, he didn’t really do anything else. However, if you read the story, it’s undoubtedly fascinating to think that, hundreds of years ago, people could have come up with a modern day source of electrical light which is widely used today.