Tuning The Tables


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 As you pull up to the fifth set of red lights in a distinctly average form of autonomous transport and curtains of rain sweep across a steely grey horizon, you’re probably struggling to stave off the sensation of life slowly slipping by while others busy themselves over something infinitely more worthwhile.

Such an experience could be analogues to that which one endures when attempting to keep pace with cutting edge gadgetry, only in this particular context, the figurative sun sets and rises so rapidly that the sky appears to flicker faster than your Smartphone’s super omni ambient cosmic definition hyper HDR eleventy thousand hertz display. A smartphone that, on its momentous day of purchase, was both an arresting fashion statement and the ultimate palm-sized passport to digital enlightenment.

A smartphone that you probably memorialised with one of many artistic unboxing movies, and a meticulously detailed review documenting every one of its tantalizing specifications, indispensable features and unique selling points, blissfully obvious to the prospect that in a matter of months you’d be compelled to repeat the process with this transient gadget’s successor in order to sustain your rousing rhetoric, be privy to emergent jargon and prevent your scrupulously cultivated channel from swiftly appearing as obsolete as the technology which initiated its fame.

However, should this scenario come to pass, it need not be the end of your hard earned and cherished “social relevance”. Waiting five years before liberally ascribing/tagging key elements of your content with the word “nostalgia” could well attract an audience who would reminisce about technological and musical eras with equal zest, who considered brand and band loyalty to be morally indistinguishable and who eulogized revolutionary hardware as passionately as they might sing their rarest album’s praises, unless of course it was a digital download, in which case their subscription or its provider has probably expired, rendering the audio permanently encrypted due to a draconian piracy prevention scheme.

But what If you’d rather not wait five years and desperately seek an effective means of assimilating the latest trends, stimulating your technophile’s trembling antennae and placing your itchy index finger back upon cyberspace’s mercurial pulse?

You could begin perusing the pages of prolific tech-centric websites and attempting to speed read thesis length articles which expend five thousand words describing how and why a logo has moved 2 milometers to the left or is a very slightly darker shade of grey, before striving to rationalise the applicable product’s revised moniker and express their turgid opinions regarding the company’s design philosophy. Should you make it to page seven, the notorious “deep dive” would drive you round bend by taking as many paragraphs to analyse a camera’s computational intricacies as it would for a crime novelist to kill off an entire cast of characters, including the ones who’s smart watches were supposed to anticipate an imminent cardiac arrest.

Content of this nature is composed by the scientifically motivated to arouse the scientifically minded, and its creators are seldom inspired or inclined to consider the perspectives of average Joes, or above average Jills with below average patience. For Jack and Jackie public, the obvious alternative is YouTube, where garrulous influencers will frequently endeavour to encapsulate the essence of essays within efficient and engaging summaries, with each video prefaced by a thumbnail image of the vlogger pulling a stupid face inscribed with the patronising phrase “What You Need Know about…something or other X version something point Y edition Z.

Condensing verbose keynotes presentation into bite sized bullet points is a rare and sought after skill and that can engender positive results when applied to perfection, unfortunately, all too often those bullet points are spoken with the intonation of the most primitive text-to-speech synthesiser known to humankind and every sentence is 5 minutes long with not a nanosecond of silence forcing the viewer to the drag the progress slider backwards every 30 seconds in order to have the slightest chance to digest what is usually a deluge of fake truths, genuine rumours, unofficial leaks and bogus specifications, all of which are relentlessly disputed in the comment section and change in the very next episode.

Sometimes, the only means of assuaging an audience behind the times, tight on time and with a desperate need for succinct information to justify a pending and extravagant investment, lies within a tried and trusted solution. One whose sole purpose is to provide a legible and accessible amalgam of specs and stats that remains on the screen for longer than it takes you to scream, “can you PLEASE STOP zooming in and out, and get rid of that irritating background music.”

One which offers an practical means of accurately comparing the assets and shortfalls of multitude of contemporary components and makes it easier to determine whether a higher resolution, is preferable to a larger image sensor, or a slimmer physique more important than optimal speed, superior cooling or broad connectivity.  One that empowers the enterprising system builder with the knowledge to establish once and for all whether aesthetic élan, brand kudos and the promise of infallible customer service is really worth the price of a serviceable studio flat.

We speak, dear jargon junkies, of the time honoured table.


Consider this cozy corner of Gigadenza  a flourishing flowerbed of figures and facts dedicated to these discreet conveyors of condensed wisdom.  One which documents the specifics of several contrasting  product synergies, all of a perpetual interest to me, but none of which I possess the finances or inclination to acquire and expound upon in the same fashion as the fanatical gadget guru who’s cynical campaign for a complementary sample amounts to a breathless and sponsor saturated strewn regurgitation of the manufacturer’s specification.

May they prove useful, whether for your own momentous decision making, or by fortifying your mind/blasting your brain with enough relevant data to appear savvy in the presence of your gimmick-addled peers and give valuable advice to others who’ve been left floundering technology’s turbulent wake.

If you’ve happened upon this page a decade or so subsequent to its inevitable obsolescence, consider that it isn’t just wine, that improves with age and try to attribute what might now seem wholly redundant to a fond and vivid memory, a purple patch in your tech-propelled life as, when perhaps your painstakingly appointed setup had reached an inspiring and productive apex.  When the marriage of refined silicon, intuitive designers, and teams of transcendental programmers yielded decisive and sustained customer confidence, whilst delivering performance as stable as it was swift.

A simple and happy age of personal computing when one could acquire games that comprised a subtly crafted and compelling story-line enriched with challenging quests and engaging NPC’s, as opposed to a half-baked vanity project riddled with bugs where customers are afforded the “luxury” of essentially writing the plot themselves to compensate for the manufacturer’s abject lack of creativity, and charged an extortionate subscription fee for the privilege.
A time when labour flowed and leisure thrived, because everything actually did “just work”.  Has your particular “corporate benefactor” spend the last ten years trying to “improve user experience”, whilst in truth, formulating ever more deceptive methods to sell you less for more and slowly erode your “hobbyists” rights.  Is you desktop exactly as you left it last night?  Does every application instantly report for duty at the very first double-click, willing and able to meet its master’s demands?  Or have a hundred “critical” updates caused crucial programs to crash upon launching, corrupted your precious data, or perhaps rendered your entire PC unbootable.  Should this bittersweet reminiscence have you nodding your’re head in rueful resignation, now might be perfect excuse for a “retro build”.


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