click this

ScuzzBlog: Diaries January 2018

Entry 29th January 2018: Post: 2

Life without a computer

I have spent a lifetime recording and storing data. Not always in
an electronic digital format but data all the same. From the first
day I was able to hold a pencil I understood the power of the mind
to transfer information to paper to be able to record and store
information, external from my body. I have never underestimated the
power of the image or character to portray a thought, idea, concept
or record of something seen or sensed.

Later I was able to use any facility made available to me to store
images, text, documents and real life moments. The process has
always been fascinating to me. Not only the recording but the way
I stored information and methods used to retrieve what I had.

All this was so important to me as I progressed through my life.
Fortunately I was minded to keep and hold onto most of what I
accumulated in my time. I still treasure every last drop of stored
data, in what ever the format.

Life is but a journey from nothing to nothing. Only the bit in the
middle is the tangible something that is your existence. If that is
not worth recording then there must have been nothing worth

So here is data storage as it was and still is without the computer.

The magical world that is the blank piece
of paper. As a designer all your ideas and
concepts emanate from the moment a thought
is transmitted to paper. By doing this you
can then evaluate and modify. Eventually
ideas can become actual full size three
dimensional buildings occupied by others

As a way of storing data and information
paper for me is still king. I cannot begin
to imagine how many sheets of paper I have
used in my lifetime

When I was at school I broke my arm and was
forced to spend a good while at home. In that
time I not only learnt how to be ambidextrous
but also how to commit my thoughts to tape.

My dad bought me a Philips mini tape recorder
which I still have kicking around somewhere
I discovered that by placing a piece of paper
over the erase head I could record my voice
multiple times. From this I began to create my
very own stories with me doing all the voices.
I created my own comedy shows and radio shows

All the data is still saved to these tapes.

My next giant leap into the world of data storage
was the SONY reel to reel which had tracks so I
could record several one on top of the other
Again I still have all the tapes of data stored

Photography has always been a very useful
way to store information. Sadly in my early
years I could not afford a good camera so
most images are of these poorer quality
snaps using cheap cameras.

Later when I could afford a camera I ventured
into the dark room and discovered a whole new
way of transferring data to hard copy. Not only
was able to manipulate images but also use the
pictures to generate artwork and 3D graphics
using a epidiascope.

As ever I retained my vast collection of images
which sadly tend to relate to Architecture

For many of us memories of those that have
departed from this world may only be saved
on fragmented and few in number rare images
Times prior to the computer and modern gadgets
like phones meant a limited number of pictures
for your money and these then rarely got
replicated and so eventually found their way
into a handful of close family collections. I
know that no other of my family have these
photographs. Pictures were scarce and rarely
taken in the multitude and volume they are
today. One photograph alone could represent
the only saved moment of an important event.

Rare data indeed.. Very rare

Odd that whilst abroad serving in the forces
my dad would send home drawings he had done
reflecting images of what he missed most
about being away from England. I have a
book filled with his artwork. And again
important and valuable information of which
there is no copy. So important to me

You cannot believe the extremes to which
I have gone to file and index all that I
have. I have had at times drawers and
drawers full of index cards.

Believe me when I tell you that I have
used computer data retrieval systems
in a test against my own systems and my
card index tends to win hands down
every time. I just can access items much
quicker in a simple alphabetical card

The trick is in the way you index. If you
have an effective way of indexing you can
find all your data in no time at all. From a
standing start I can open a drawer, flick to
a card faster than opening a program and
entering the search requirements.

The Journal or Daybook. Invaluable
in my professional capacity as an architect
I once won an argument with a Contractor
regarding a dispute by simply waving my
Daybook at him. He knew that all my calls
and all my visits and all my decisions were
recorded in the book. There are literal
mountains of Daybooks and Journals.

These shown here represent the early period
of the nineties when I was contemplating moving
out of architecture into fashion. The image
is of top model Linda Evangelista and the
work of Gianni Versace, the greatest fashion
designer of all time. Me and Linda share a
birthday... That's about all.

Again all the stored data is retained in my
journals and diaries which I maintain

The dreaded Filofax, what a rip-off that
was. Just a way of getting you to spend
loads of cash on inserts. I gave up with
mine and even sold the leather case

Telephone books, addresses, contact numbers
A transient thing as your contacts are always
changing. So the little books got wasted and
new ones added on a frequent basis

More data, more information and even passwords
I still maintain a small book with all my
passwords and important contacts. I cannot rely
on electricity round here but the phone works

Let me give a special mention to the
photocopy machine. I actually owned a
photocopy machine here for a while. Was
a wonderful tool but costly to maintain
At work anything that was of importance
was copied. Even adverts... Wish lists

I guess my first commercial data that
I stored was the 45. I couldn't afford
albums to start with and these little
fragments of treasured memories still
hold a valuable place in my heart. Not
sure how you download a 45 including
the record sleeve.

45 relates to the speed of the record
revolving. The centres of 45's were designed
to be pushed out so they could be played
on jukeboxes. If you have a 45 with a plastic
insert then its been used on a jukebox

Albums not only stored more data but
often provided more information and
artwork and lyrics.

My dad collected these data storage
records that played at 78 rpm

And also at 33 and a turd... I have his
full collection which stands a good
three feet in a single tower. Heavy

Revolving discs have lost their meaning

The cassette gave us mobility with our
stored data for the first time as I could
play whilst on holiday, out walking and in
the car. The tape also seemed to permit
legal or otherwise copying of music which
had no mechanism to stop piracy. Odd that.

I would buy a tape or better vinyl, then
copy and never use the original again.
Amazingly record libraries would let you
have all the latest for very little on loan
and folk would copy them. And use the office
photocopier to make their own album sleeves

Then came the biggy. Video. This was serious
stuff to a world that had never ever had the
facility to record TV programs before. And
the race was on between Betamax, VHS and Philips
We bought into the Philips system which allowed
both sides of the tapes to be used.

Again I still have all my Philips tapes. Just
need a player to view them.

I guess I have close on a 1000 VHS
tapes and better leave it at that

Data for films and music retained on
VHS tape. Certainly not of the same
quality of digital but still a valuable
resource for older material

The CD and DVD probably are one of
my largest areas of storage of data
This also covers computer stuff so
data storage that started with 'The The'
probably has exceeded everything else
by a good mile. And it still grows

The only data storage that in truth
transcended the era of the computer
There was extensive usage of video with
the Amiga and such, but not integrated
into the heart of the mechanics of the
machine, so not really the same

So how did I fair for data recording
at live events. Well I simply have the
event programme and any bits and pieces
I could retrieve from the event. Kinda
limiting in the bull rush and frantic
affairs that were massive gigs like the
Madonna one at old Wembley.
I still have all my collectables from
concerts and such.

Moving on to one of the heavy weights
now and one very close to my heart and
that is the printed word.

Other than computers there has not been
a subject that I have subscribed into, so
when in Smiths I wasn't about to buy
a gardening or railway mag. For me a
men's style mag such as Arena, FHM, Maxim
would always be of interest. Mostly for
images of Ana Claudia Michaels [ I wish ]
but also for all the latest on gadgets
footy, music and fashion

No other type of magazine gave such insight
into what was going on in the world

And I have literally hundreds, thousands

Watch Big Bang and you will know what
a comic is. I have been collecting
for a long time now and probably one
of the more entertaining forms of
visual data storage there is. I do like
pictures. And pictures that tell a story
kinda relaxes the mind from having to
conjure up the pictures to the words.
Bit like watching a film on paper

And so to books. The wonderful book. Just
where would we be without books. Love em
or hate them , books have played such an
important part of storing data over the
years. What I enjoy most again are the
snapshots of history that any book portrays
You can pick up a book and in an instant
sense its age and therefore its relevance

Take this book of a little known
American Playmate turned film actress

I find the image of Clark Gable as
then a fading star gazing over the
young actress quite telling of the
period. The fact is that the world
of junk media that is today has destroyed
the significance of the journalistic
photographer in capturing moments in time

And so the book is so important to me
and surprise surprise I have a lot

I have written books. On a typewriter.
No fonts, no deleting, no spellchecker
no formatting as such. But the joy of a
typewriter is the rhythm of the keys.
You type like playing an instrument and
the joy of watching the words appear to
thumping of the keys is just magical

That is data the hard way and unless you
have a carbon... probably the only copy

Same with drawings, sketches and presentation
works executed by hand and brush. My
favoured technique was sketches and
watercolour. Always gave the most
fluid interpretation of spaces when
demonstrating designs to clients

For the greater part of my career working
drawings of buildings were hand crafted
using pen and ink. Sometimes pencil. No
fonts, or spellchecker, or typing aids
You couldn't move the drawing around
once you had started. So everything would
be drawn faint to start with and then the
lines lined in thicker.

To edit you used a razor blade to scratch
the lines and text off the negative paper
Drawings were then taken to a printer to
be reproduced. Given the significance of
cost of the building and single drawing could
be worth thousands of pounds to the practice

Data storage basically meant putting in a drawer

And for all the differing methods of
storing information there is still the
gift of paper. It may be destructive in
its creation, but it has served me very
well over the years. I have gradually been
deleting this from my diet, but all else
fails I will always have my paper.

There are no nasty batteries, rubber bands
capacitors likely to make impossible the
retrieval of information from a piece of paper

Evidently information carved in stone
is still the most effective way of
storing data for the longest period

That's just bonkers. Playboy in stone... Nah
Marilyn Monroe by the way first Playmate 1953
I read it on the cover of a magazine.

scuzz site

If you can only see this CONTENT window
then click the image above for the full site

Last updated 29/01/2018

Chandraise Kingdom

Keep the Faith
scuzzscink 2018