The Duke - June 17, 2015

Gadgets feature at Thames Primary School, Blackpool. Billy Atkinson (left) and Zachery Alan (both aged eight). TRY TO IDENTIFY AN OLD TYPEWRITER
Gadgets feature at Thames Primary School, Blackpool. Billy Atkinson (left) and Zachery Alan (both aged eight). TRY TO IDENTIFY AN OLD TYPEWRITER
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Allow me to let you into a little secret.

One of the main reasons I chose to leave the daily grind of full time journalism a year or so earlier than originally planned was the realisation that, technologically speaking, it had left me behind.

To put it bluntly “new technology” had made this “old journalist” feel somewhat redundant. What I tried to learn on a Monday had changed again by Friday leading to Get Drunk Saturday followed by Hangover Sunday before it started all over again with holidays to provide temporary relief. Not good.

I bluffed along with it for a while, making diligent but essentially indecipherable notes at each new “training course.”

But it was all moving faster than I was capable of keeping up with and there’s a limit to how much help younger colleagues could provide when it clearly wasn’t even going in one ear, let alone coming out of the other.

I would wake up in cold sweats having had nightmares about getting everything wrong – only to find that I hadn’t actually been sleeping at all but I had got everything wrong.

I’m not after sympathy but let’s just get things in context.

When I started in journalism everything was typed in triplicate onto paper the size of about a third of an A4 sheet one paragraph at a time.

By the time it had been sub edited and sent down a magic tube to be proof read elsewhere in the building it was time to worry about the price of livestock (what is a “bobby” when it’s not a policeman?) and grain. I could handle that.

Anyway I digress. Things have to progress and I was considered quite revolutionary for possessing a portable type writer rather than the suitcase sized bell ringing sort whose carriages when over enthusiastically returned would frequently send your coffee cup into the middle of your neighbour’s lap.

My first electric one had a memory shorter than a footballer’s Tweet but it seemed like technology gone mad at the time.

But this isn’t meant to be a history lesson, more an explanation of why, now that I write this column on a laptop in my front room (see, I’m not a complete dinosaur!), press the send button and leave to it to someone else, somewhere else to sort it out, my blood ran cold when I received this e-mail from the powers that be:

“We are looking at a new piece of software which would enable trusted people to be able to log on to Google One View from home and write straight on the page and wondered if you wanted to be one of the pioneers.”

Clearly my answer would have to be on the lines of “yes certainly, I’ve been waiting for a breakthrough like this since I first put pen to paper – it’s clearly the future and I’m happy to be ‘trusted’ to take part in it” rather than my initial instinct to scream “dear Lord this is just why I took redundancy in the first place – get me a one way ticket out of here.”

After all until then I thought Google One View was a sort of virtual reality tribute to One Direction.

I have to admit though I approved of the ego-pandering use of the phrase “one of the pioneers” although I presume the hidden text read something like “try it out on Duke – if he can handle it then we can roll it out for any monkey to use.”

Anyway D (for Dinosaur) Day is early next month so if this column goes AWOL for a couple of weeks you have been warned.

What is the best way to watch your television series?

How do you like your television series? One episode at a time or as a mind boggling binge?

I suppose I do a bit of both but it can get confusing. As a lifelong graphic novel (ok, comic book) fan I was recently spinning metaphorical tv plates of Arrow, The Flash and Gotham – frequently forgetting who was in which – made more confusing when sometimes characters would actually flit from one to the other.

As a late comer to Breaking Bad (we haven’t got Netflix) I’ve been a bit bingey.

Well it’s on five nights a week like some Coronation Street doppelganger.

The trouble is my memory isn’t what it was. I used to be able to remember perfectly well the first episode of something like The Sopranos when the series’ final credits rolled 13 or 26 weeks later.

Then I noticed I was having problems following six parters.

These days if something runs for more than an hour I find myself replaying bits to remind me what happened before the first commercial break.

So should I binge and keep winding back or should I - as Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner prefers - and let each episode “marinade” for a week before watching the next one?

Or just keep watching the same one over and over again?