Category: Scitech

Science writing wasn’t really an early focus in my career for two reasons. First, it’s a small, specialised field and I frankly didn’t have the experience or knowledge. Second, I’d considered myself a computer, phone and application guy since first becoming a freelance writer.

I reviewed the latest mobiles and software. I was fully acquainted with the whole Mac versus PC thing at its height. I gave ratings out of five, knew all the products RRPs and my system was littered with product shots from PR agencies working for the IBMs, Lenovos and Samsungs of the world.

Today my interest is where tech fits into our lives. Sometimes it’s AI agents that appear all but human, sometimes it’s an emerging field like the new Internet of Things paradigm of short lived, disposable sensors.

But my knowledge of science evolved and grew and I’ve been thrilled to join the ranks I’d always admired and envied and write about scientific topics from the whimsical, like when Skylab returned to Earth in remote Western Australia, to the socially urgent, like the way the human brain reacts to sexual assault.

Wrapt or Wripped Off

With discipline and imagination, most graphic artists (who don’t work in dedicated packaging studios, at least) can use their favourite page layout software to create a standard box or bottle. Your bureau or printer will usually supply a cutting die to design on top of. … Continue readingWrapt or Wripped Off

Tune In, Turn On, Online

In the recent past, 99% of us didn’t know or care about video formats. We went to the video shop and got a plastic box with two spools of magnetic tape that somehow contained recorded motion picture and sound. Formats were something TV stations and film distributors were concerned with. … Continue readingTune In, Turn On, Online

Inside Out

It’s the oldest media around, and the only one people talk about with misty-eyed romanticism. Between 15th century clergymen painstakingly transcribing manuscripts by hand and today’s lightning fast communications and computer-generated info-edu-tainment, the humble book has hardly changed. … Continue readingInside Out

Lost in Preflight?

How does a computer file become everything from a letter to your Auntie Flo to a six storey advertising billboard? The digitised information has to be sent to an output device — be it your modem, your colour deskjet or a commercial four colour press. … Continue readingLost in Preflight?

Technology for Life

Welcome to the new world of technology marketing. As corporate activist Naomi Klein says in her book No Logo, ‘Brand X is not a product, but a way of life, an attitude, a set of values, a look, an idea.’ Nowhere is this more important than to technology companies themselves. … Continue readingTechnology for Life

Best Addressed

Your ISP will no doubt offer domain registration services as part of their hosting packages. Have a look around their site for pricelists and what’s included. Domain names incur a charge every year or two, depending on the level (ie .com vs .com.au etc). … Continue readingBest Addressed

Studio in a Box

Unless you’re talking film editing or high-end 3D rendering, computer software doesn’t come as RAM hungry as Photoshop. On a brand new G4 or Pentium III it was like lightning, but on the original Pentiums and Power Macs plenty of us are still saddled with, it was fraught with twitchy, irritating delays. … Continue readingStudio in a Box

Trash the Projector

The digital revolution is in full swing, but there’s no need to be left out just because your technology hasn’t kept up with the Jones’ (or the Jobs’). Apple’s much trumpeted digital lifestyle gives you the power to share, archive and display your music, films, home movies and photos. … Continue readingTrash the Projector

Security vs Privacy

Rhetoric about stamping out terrorism has reached every aspect of business and life — including technology. Bill Clinton’s recent comments in Adelaide are prophetic warnings about terrorists moving plans, resources and funds across the world with ease using technologies such as the Internet. … Continue readingSecurity vs Privacy