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Thank You Brian and Ray

September 18, 2013

Two great men passed away last week. Men whose names I didn’t know, but whose work changed my life for the better in small but significant ways. So, farewell Ray Dolby.  Getting a stereo for the first time made all the difference in the world to my cast album listening pleasure. Adieu, Brian Sollitt. The After Eight Mint must rank as one of the greatest ideas ever – and remains unbeatable as a survival food for when wisdom tooth operations leave you unable to open your mouth more than a few millimetres.

That got me thinking about the other small stuff that’s just great, but everyday. For me, those things include, in no particular order,

1) The Oyster Card. No scrabbling for change on the bus, getting in line for a ticket, battling the ticket-swallowing gate, even remembering to top-up credit – thanks to the linking option.

2) The CD. I’m still a luddite who likes to own my music in “solid state,” and there’s nothing better now they’ve solved the early CD rot problems.

3) The Combi-microwave. Frozen to cooked pizza or perfectly cooked jacket potato in 9 minutes, hot soup in 50 seconds, and no washing up except for the serving plate and cutlery.

4) My PC to TV Box. The most recent of acquisitions, and how handy to see your desktop on any TV, not just ‘Smart’ ones, and to record on a normal DVD recorder anything I see on my PC screen. I know there is software that can save and play video clips that you can burn to DVD, but this works on anything at all – just hit the DVD recorder’s ‘record’ button.  For checking my own website’s routes, creating presentations and sharing family video plus other “copyright free” web content, love it.

5) Being able to search any local library’s stock online.

6) “Select your own seat” theatre booking. Good for work as well as personal visits. The only objection is that ATG and Delfont Mackintosh are fixating on making me “find somebody to go with – or else we’ll make you buy a rubbish seat near the back ‘cos you are not bothering to find a nice girl to bring.”  Why not go the whole hog by automatically referring single seat buyers to “Dateline”? I’m paying, OK, so leave my personal life out of it, thank you.

7) To end where I started, the “next train / bus countdown” signs. Not only a time thing, but I know when I need an opticians appointment each time I can’t read the one at my local station easily.

Yes, it’s the little things in life, and thank goodness for great men (and women) who come up with them.


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