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Dvorak on Our Modern World 420

DigitalDame2 writes "If people from the 1920s suddenly landed in the here and now, they'd probably find modern technology a bit weird. Take digital cameras for instance. Nobody would have predicted that most people would now take pictures by holding the camera out in front of them and look at the preview screen to frame a shot. Then there's the iPod phenomenon. Is anyone's music collection that interesting? How many people are being deafened by these things, and what kind of a public health disaster is this? Take a stroll through our modern world with John C. Dvorak's hilarious take."
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Dvorak on Our Modern World

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  • Mislinked? (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:26PM (#15480659) Homepage Journal

    Take a stroll through our modern world with John C. Dvorak's hilarious take.

    Darn, the summary is mislinked to typical Dvorak filler. Where's the 'hilarious take'?

    • by HTTP Error 403 403.9 ( 628865 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:37PM (#15480755)
      "I'm old and I'm not happy. Everything today is improved and I don't like it. I hate it! In my day we didn't have hair dryers. If you wanted to blow dry your hair you stood outside during a hurricane. Your hair was dry but you had a sharp piece of wood driven clear through your skull and that's the way it was and you liked it! You loved it."
      • by I_Love_Pocky! ( 751171 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:16PM (#15482200)
        You've summed up not just this article, but the majority of what Dvorak says.

        I don't even know where he is coming from on this. Do people really take pictures using the preview LCD? You can barely even see those things in the sunlight (not to mention you are limited by the terrible resolution). I still use the viewfinder, and it seems like most of the people I see taking pictures do too. Unless of course they have one of those awful cameras that doesn't have one.

        Don't get me wrong though, I like Dvorak. Everything he says is so forcefully opinionated I can't help but laugh. It doesn't matter that I rarely agree with him. He is entertaining none-the-less.
    • by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:38PM (#15480765)
      Yeah, someone from the 1920's would be amazed at the people walking around while talking on their cell phones ... and by seeing people of color eating side by side with white folk.

      Women in the workforce? Dressed like chippies? With skirts above the knee?

      Kids with metal stuck through their skin?

      Dude! A magic talking box would be the LEAST of the shocks that person would have.
      • by StreetStealth ( 980200 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:34PM (#15481272) Journal
        Perhaps the weirdest societal change has to do with digital cameras...
        So we've had a smorgasbord of social moviements ranging from racial equality to mainstream postmodernism, built a comprehensive and ubiquitous freakin' global telecommunications network and the "weirdest societal change" Dvorak can come up with is HOW WE HOLD OUR CAMERAS? HOW WE HOLD OUR CAMERAS? One more time, with the understanding that he's talking about a society that's been through the hardscrabble years of WWII, the booming years of the 1950s, the anguish of Vietnam, the excess of the 80s, the boom and bust of the late 90s, 9/11, the war in Iraq and the weirdest societal change of all these is HOW WE HOLD OUR CAMERAS? The mismatch of scale here is so staggering I still fail to comprehend it myself.
      • I think they would be most shocked to find out that the X-ray machine used at shoe stores to measure your feed and fit the shoes was actually bad for your health.
      • Also... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geobeck ( 924637 )

        "$2.50 a gallon?! I'd have to work a week to fill my tank! What? You make how much?"

        I think the value of the dollar would be one of the most shocking things someone from the '20s would notice. Back then, $25,000 a year was a nice executive salary, not what a retail clerk would make.

        And if anything, they would be shocked at the lack of expected technological advances. "Where's your flying car? You were supposed to have them in 1999! And where are the moon colonies? Eighty years and all you've com

    • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:40PM (#15480790) Homepage Journal
      This is obviously sone new definition of "hilarious" that we weren't previously made aware of.
      • This is obviously sone new definition of "hilarious" that we weren't previously made aware of.

        He's obviously using the subdermal geriatrical form of "hilarious," which is Latin for "things that only old farts find funny." Here's another example of the subdermal geriatrical "hilarious:"

        I was waiting for the bus, and some young buck stepped in front of me! I said, "Sonny, in my day we let the old farts go first!" and he said, "Sorry, mister." Then I said, "Don't use that tone of voice with me!" and I done sma
    • Re:Mislinked? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by JHromadka ( 88188 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:56PM (#15480933) Homepage
      The submitter links themself to I'm sure they're one of Dvorak's lackies.
    • by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:08PM (#15481043)
      It's so hilarious, I stabbed my eyes out to make sure no lesser joke would sully my eyes by being not as hilarious as Dvorak's take on modern technology!
      • by grammar fascist ( 239789 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:37PM (#15481854) Homepage
        It's so hilarious, I stabbed my eyes out to make sure no lesser joke would sully my eyes by being not as hilarious as Dvorak's take on modern technology!

        Great! If you're really done with them, you could donate them to a new fund I'm setting up: the Trust For People Who Clawed Their Eyes Out Reading John C. Dvorak.
  • by Emrikol ( 21551 ) * <emrikol.decarbonated@org> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:27PM (#15480669) Homepage
    Let's not forget
  • by nizo ( 81281 ) * on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:28PM (#15480672) Homepage Journal
    Reader input is appreciated.

    I am so tempted to mention in his forum that he left out "asking a bunch of random monkeys to type in comments on stories through the internet" but I decided to be a Slashmonkey today instead.

    • Maybe you could leave a comment linking to a blog that plagiarizes a "news" item about Dvorak's own article. Then submit that circular reference to Digg, where it will be picked up by someone else who submits it to Slashdot. It'll appear on Slashdot three days later, and you can respond in that thread.

      Then write an "ebook" about the whole experience and sell it with a MLM scheme using a mass-mailer.
  • Go Home (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ritalin16 ( 867772 ) * on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:29PM (#15480680)
    If this guy thinks the 21st century is so weird, maybe he should build a time machine and go home :O
  • Ancient (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:29PM (#15480682)
    No doubt Dvorak was around during the 20s, so he should know.
  • by ZaMoose ( 24734 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:29PM (#15480683)
    I mean, twenty years ago or so, who would've thought that we'd still be reading John C. Dvorak columns filled with intellectual self-puffery?
    • I honestly don't think technology has changed all that significantly in the past years. Change has been basically incremental in our modern society. Take someone from the 1920's and he would point out that a car is a horseless carriage.
      • But that same someone from the 20s would probably be surprised that his horseless carriage can now run off from corn oil. And doesn't have a carburator. And can tell you where you are going. And tell you when it's time for a tuneup.

        Not to even mention al the medical technical innovations that have come along. Another person's heart in someone else?!? Impossible, he would say. Twenty years ago that was a VERY (as opposed to today's very) risky operation. Yet it's a common operation now. If I were f

        • Rudolf Diesel designed his engine to use peanut oil in the 1890s, so using vegetable oil is not new.

          The biggest change might be widespread cheap refrigeration. In the 20s people didn't have much fresh foods year round. They'd be staggered by the variety of foods in any supermarket in the winter, and grateful that food was plentiful and cheap.

        • >> Not to even mention al the medical technical innovations

          Pharmaceuticals, lithotripsy, CAT scans, MRI, plastic IV lines, angioplasty

          These are nothing short of magic. The technological advancements in medical care have far outpaced other areas. You can have major work done with only a few stiches. Removing kidney stones would typically require a cut 1/4 the way around your torso, today you can get some stents placed in your body (no cuts) and get the stones blasted out as you sit in a tub of water
      • Re:No not really. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:33PM (#15481259)
        Change has been basically incremental in our modern society. Take someone from the 1920's and he would point out that a car is a horseless carriage.

        Sounds like you need to go take some history classes. Cars were fairly common in the 1920s, especially models like the famous Model T. People from the 20s wouldn't be surprised at all by modern cars, except maybe that some of them are so ugly, that the brands they know from the 20s (Ford, Chevy, etc.) are all teetering on bankruptcy, and that all the good ones are made overseas.

        Someone from the 20s would probably be more surprised that we're still using gasoline-powered engines and cars which really aren't that different from those 85 years ago, instead of cars that fly.
    • No joke, this guy is one of the most worthless internet contributors with a solid distribution channel. Why the hell does he rate /.ing for an article any articulate 8th grader could have put together?

    • by eln ( 21727 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:40PM (#15480786)
      Slashdot has been suffering from a severe lack of pseudo-intellectual self-puffery since the departure of Jon Katz. It's a relief to finally see a return to useless columns by self-important blowhards on Slashdot. In fact, have Katz and Dvorak ever been seen in the same room together? Hmmm...

    • He did, and that's all that matters.
  • by rueger ( 210566 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:31PM (#15480698) Homepage
    Nobody would have predicted that most people would now take pictures by holding the camera out in front of them and look at the preview screen to frame a shot.

    Except that lots of cameras have had little glass screens [] that you looked at while focusing the cameras. Dating from oh, the late 1800s.
    • by harrkev ( 623093 ) <> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:36PM (#15480747) Homepage
      Yeah, but nobody looks at their digital camera with a black cloth covering their heads.

      Oh, wait. With the readability of some of those LCDs in bright sunlight, that is not a bad idea. Coming soon to a Best Buy near you...
    • I don't remember the model, but with our first camera you framed the shot by holding it at chest level and looking straight down into the viewfinder. Not that much different from today's method.

    • Yeah, whatever. Most people didn't take pictures by holding cameras out in front of them like the trend is to do with digital cameras, whatever may have been available or theoretically possible.

      (Then again, I find it baffling that people compose pictures at arms lengths so much even with preview screens -- its useful sometimes, but mostly it seems easier to take good pictures using the viewfinder on most digital cameras, and it saves battery life.)

    • by rdmiller3 ( 29465 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @04:42PM (#15482839) Journal
      Did Dvorak's grandma not have a junk closet?

      My first camera had a viewfinder like a door on the top of the box that you looked down into. My grandma let me have it when I found it in her junk closet. Film was impossible to find in that size any more but I was just using it as a toy anyway. My next one had the little hole you look through. Then I got the digital with the screen on the back. All that in just 40 years. Big deal.

      I'm it total agreement that this guy missed all the really major things that would shock someone from the 1920s.

      1. Another world war (Duh!)
      2. Communism
      3. Television
      4. Nuclear weapons/energy
      5. Space flight
      6. Computers and the Internet

      Or socially...

      1. Modern feminine swimwear. Woohoo! :-)
      2. Everyone drives half an hour to work and hardly knows their neighbors.
      3. Everyone has telephones everywhere.

      More telling, I think, would be the developments that people in the 1920s thought were "just around the corner"... but weren't.

      1. Farms in even the most developed nations still use manual labor instead of being fully automated.
      2. The "war to end all wars", didn't.
      3. ...and despite practically-cost-free global communication, businesses and governments still waste tons of money making bad translations into multiple languages instead of using an obvious solution like Esperanto [].
  • quick quiz (Score:3, Funny)

    by bunions ( 970377 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:31PM (#15480699)
    What do iPods, video games, copyright law and Steve Ballmer all have in common?

    • They all center around computers
    • They have all been the center of some legal controversy
    • They have all been the subject of an exasperatingly pointless essay by John Dvorak
  • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:32PM (#15480707) Homepage Journal
    In the 1920s cigarettes were much more of a luxury item than the "staple" they've since become. It took a serious marketing effort to get them into everyday life -- actors and studios were paid to show smoking on movie screens, ad campaigns were designed to convince women that smoking wasn't a "men's only" pleasure, and the like. Besides, smokers wouldn't have interrupted their 1920s workday for a cigarette break -- their bosses would most likely have forbidden it.

    Go back another few decades, and you'd probably find smoking a cigarette inside a building would have been weirder. Or only bring the time travellers in from the 1960s -- they'd be the ones weirded out.

  • Of course, nothing could be weirder than the emergence of Web addresses on business cards and their ubiquitous use. Nowadays a company without a Web site is in loser territory--out of touch. This all happened around 1998, and we now take it for granted.

    Web addresses are everywhere and on anything. You do have to wonder about any company/organization that doesn't have website and/or email addresses. Of course you have to wonder even more about a company where everyone's email address ends in "" o

    • Why would you not want your email address on your business card? It means you can be contacted via email. I'd much rather be contacted via email than called on the phone, and I suspect that's true of many others as well.

      I have to say this is a strange article. Most of that conduct seems pretty reasonable and normal. Of course people are going to want to share their pictures with others as they are made. Natural human desire, for sure.

      Now, maybe blowing out your ears with an iPod isn't so reasonable. B
  • by fantomas ( 94850 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:34PM (#15480730)

    "I've often thought about the new commonplace practices in society that someone from 1920 might find odd"

    Umm, get more basic, complacent geek! How about:

    - women having equal rights, being paid the same as men.
    - ethnic groups treated equally in many countries (people were still being burnt alive in the USA in the 20s for being the wrong colour, right?)
    - people living for much longer

    oh... too many to mention, even before you talk about the minutae of technological habits...

    quiet day at the office Mr Dvorak?
  • by xymog ( 59935 )
    Oh hell, there went another two minutes of my life spent on mindless drivel that I'll never get back.
  • What a moron... (Score:4, Informative)

    by tgd ( 2822 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:36PM (#15480751)
    Give someone a pro DSLR and they'll still hold it at arms length? Apparently this braniac has never used an SLR or realized you CAN'T get an image on the screen before the shutter opens.

    I stopped reading after that. I assume it kept getting worse?
    • I was going to post the same thing. However, there is at least one digital SLR that has a real-time LCD viewfinder, that is the Olympus E330 E-volt []. Now why you would buy a digital SLR only to use it like a cheapie point-and-shoot is a question to ponder.
      • If you have thousands of dollars of disposable income and you need your penis enlarged, this is much safer than surgery.

        In somewhat more seriousness, what happens is that people assume that a better camera will let them take better pictures. THey don't realize that the bottleneck is not the technology, but their creative power. They think that spending all that money will make them take better pictures.
        • You do actually need a half-decent SLR before that creative power can be unleashed. If you can't alter the shutter speed or the aperture, you lose a lot of expressive possibility. Which is why I'm still shooting with a film SLR (Eos 5), because I can't afford a digital SLR with the same level of control.
  • Nobody (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:37PM (#15480754)
    Nobody would have predicted that most people would now take pictures by holding the camera out in front of them and look at the preview screen to frame a shot.

    If Dvorak was born in 1920-s I bet he would've predicted it.

    By the way, we found it crazy that people talk "to themselves" on the street (actually to their cell phones) on the street and we though this makes you look insane. This wasn't 1920, it was 1995. So, things change.

    One thing Dvorak is wrong about though:

    Whatever the case, it appears as if we are now stuck with these new archetypes.

    We're all but stuck with anything. In just 20 years we'll discuss how having rotating mini satelite dish on your head would've looked strange to someone from 2006.

    But things change so fast, you just become accustomed to seeing odd stuff at home and on the streets. We no longer see strange as strange.

  • My wifes grandfather (Score:5, Interesting)

    by way2trivial ( 601132 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:37PM (#15480756) Homepage Journal
    86 years old, lives in eastern europe-- grew up in a world without automobiles, spent two nights in jail in his life for slaughtering a pig without sharing the meat with the state-- was recently upstairs in the family mansion-- (a big deal for him to get there) he was watching, and listening, two his two great grandchildren via a panasonic IP camera, which allows for walkie-talkie sound (model# KX-HCM110A) if you are interested.. although they (my wife & the family in the old country) usually talk while the family watches the kids & listen to them play and what they can do lately...

    I could tell from his voice when he was talking, to the kids- something was getting to him.. I asked my wife later.. he was simply flabbergasted.. he couldn't believe he could watch on 'tv' (he knows it's not tv- but he refers to it as such) his great grandchildren from 6,000 miles away..... he was talking about what an amazing world it was.

    I find more spooky though, trying to imagine the world I'll be failing to comprehend, when I make 86 (if I do)
    • So there's cheap charge coupled device cameras, video codecs, a routing infrastructure, undersea fiber. Does it change humanity?

      When you turn 86, even if the technology is faster-than-light telepathic holograms, you'll be using it to see and talk to your grandchildren.
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:38PM (#15480764) Homepage
    What would someone from the 1920s find weird about about "the practice of framing shots in the preview window by holding the camera out in front of yourself?"

    How is it weirder than the practice of looking down toward your waist to frame the shot in a twin-lens reflex... like the Rolleiflex [], available since 1928, wildly popular from the 1920s well into the 1970s? Cheap consumer versions of this camera style were popular, too. In the 1950s my mom took pictures with a "Brownie Reflex," Kodak's cheap twin-lens reflex which used 127 film, was fixed focus, had a fixed aperture, and exactly two shutter settings ("Instantaneous" and "Bulb"). I remember seeing someone with a Bolex 35 mm twin-lens reflex...

    How is it weirder from the practice, from the turn of the century at least through the 1990s, if not today, of framing shots by tossing a black cloth over your head and starting at the ground glass in the back of your 4x5 view camera? (Or larger, in the case of Eduard Weston or Ansel Adams?)

    • What is sad about this is that the twin-lens reflex or 4x5 view camera takes VASTLY superior photos compared the junk coming out of a cell phone camera. A 4x5 camera has HUGE negatives with resolution equivalent to 100's of millions of pixels. Equip such a thing with a classic Rhodenstock lens and there is no modern camera that can beat it. There are reasons that quality photo magazines like Arizona Highways don't take digital images. Not only does the resolution of digital cameras not stack up to large fo
  • by GungaDan ( 195739 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:41PM (#15480792) Homepage
    from a fine composer to some douche with a head too big for his intellect.

  • Ready for this? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by greenguy ( 162630 ) <estebandido&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:42PM (#15480808) Homepage Journal
    <breaking news>Technology changes</breaking news>

    C'mon. It's not hard to figure out that the technology of the '20s would have looked strange and magical to people of eighty years previous to that: airplanes, automobiles, tractors, radios, light bulbs, motion pictures, telegraphs, trains, steam engines, and the list goes on.
  • by klynch ( 980181 )
    None of these technologies that he points out are actually revolutionary. They are simply logical progressions of old tech. The most revolutionary of these is the concept of the telephone. The telephone was the first device to allow people miles apart to communicate in real time. Cell phones are simply the same thing minus the wire. Same thing with iPods. They're a different medium and portable, but it's the same thing as a phonograph. Chat rooms, email, and the Internet in general, are also somewhat of a
  • Nobody would have predicted that most people would now take pictures by holding the camera out in front of them and look at the preview screen to frame a shot because these people look foolish...
  • This is basically... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jpellino ( 202698 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:46PM (#15480843)
    the "Nacirema" updated for the gadget age.

    Wake me when this vaunted pundit has an original thought.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If I came from the past I'd be more upset that I couldn't find my hover car or jet pack.

  • 1920? Try 1970. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by boristdog ( 133725 )
    I don't think you'd have to go back to 1920 to find people weirded out by these things. Most were only figments of the imagination in 1970, when I was just a lad.

    I remember thinking about "the future" (i.e. AD 2000) back then. Mostly it involved flying cars and jet packs. I couldn't comprehend the astounding amounts of data that would fit in the palm of your hand, and judging by the science fiction I used to read, most of the authors of the day couldn't either.

    And smokers were everywhere even back in the
  • Telephones got smaller and wireless, the gramaphon turned into an iPod, instead of static stereoscopy images we now have the VirtualBoy, instead of a block of paper we have PDAs, instead of outlawing alchohol we are outlawing cigaretts, all pretty much the same if you ask me, just a bit smaller and wireless. The Internet is probally the most significant change, but even that isn't much more then a telegraph connection to your library. Dropping a person from the USA today into a different country on the othe
  • by nonlnear ( 893672 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:48PM (#15480863)

    Would anyone even 20 years ago have predicted that on every business card you will now find a standardized e-mail address?

    And the obvious answer: yes.

    I yearn for the day when Dvorak's dribble is no longer posted to /.

  • Misquote... (Score:5, Funny)

    by somethinghollow ( 530478 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:49PM (#15480878) Homepage Journal
    Take a stroll through our modern world with John C. Dvorak's hilarious take.

    Don't you mean "Take a troll through our modern world with John C. Dvorak..." ?

  • by cheezit ( 133765 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @12:51PM (#15480890) Homepage
    Every real-world entity seems to require an internet analog. However, we have heretofore been missing out on an internet analog to Andy Rooney. You know, from "60 Minutes," with the bushy eyebrows and whiny kvetching about "why is it that..." and "didja ever wonder why..."

    Dvorak is not wrong that the modern world would look alien to someone from a long time ago---it's just a truism, so trite as to be banal. This kind of comparison, when done well, can put much-needed perspective on current developments. When done poorly it just sounds like an old man at the park.
    • The only problem I see with Dvorak being the 'Internet analog of Andy Rooney' is that Andy Rooney actually seemed intelligent and, on occasion, his rants even rose to the level of 'pithy.' In my opinion, Dvorak isn't even in the same league, let alone the same ballpark. I think he's more like a 'non-legal Jack Thompson' than an 'Internet Andy Rooney.'

      YMMV. Just my $0.02US.

      Only filtered sigs for me, please!

  • Kinda like Seinfeld, but not interesting, funny, or clever. Oh well.
  • If I had to guess, I'd say the device that most people from the '20s would be astounded by would be the microwave oven. No apparent heat source, yet you put food in and a couple minutes later it comes out piping hot (I'd add "and delicious," but most food that comes out of a microwave doesn't qualify). That affects daily life, and while it's something of an extension of existing technology, it's quite an evolutionary step from the range and oven.
  • What pundit so consistently manages to make slashdotters roll their eyes and write their litany of snide remarks? Even Jon Katz wasn't this productive. Dvorak never fails. Like a loudmouthed old man at a hardware store, he will let you know what he thinks about any and everything.

    After he's dead, there will be a thick compendium of his writings, and the pundit industry will hail him as a brilliant prognosticator, acerbic writer, and deep thinker. Luddites and the tecnologically incompetent throughout the

  • by rbanzai ( 596355 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:04PM (#15480998)
    The only reason crap like this gets posted on /. is because it will generate flames. Idiots like Zonk know full well there is pretty much no useful content in a Dvorak column.

    Posting articles simply to generate annoyance is bullshit.
  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:27PM (#15481205) Homepage Journal

    I like to think of this comic as a sort of sequel to Calvin & Hobbes.

    Last week, there was this strip: 0060603.html []

    For the benefit of those reading past the 30-day limit:

    • fifth-grader to fourth-grader: "Well, I'm so old I can remember when people took pictures like this..." [gestures with hands against face]
    • "...instead of like this." [gestures with hands at arm's length]
    • 60-something teacher to janitor: "Leave it to fifth graders to put typewriters and cars without seatbelts into perspective."
    • 20-something janitor (Frazz): "They made cars with no seatbelts?"
  • by jridley ( 9305 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:38PM (#15481310)
    Nobody would have predicted that most people would now take pictures by holding the camera out in front of them and look at the preview screen to frame a shot.

    Typical Dvorak; talks a lot, knows a lot less. I think maybe he should look at how cameras were built more than 20 years ago.

    The very earliest cameras, from the 1800s, were mounted on a tripod, and in place of film you put a ground glass, and you looked at that "preview screen" to frame and focus the shot. Then you replaced the glass with film and took the shot.

    Later on came the development of thet Twin Lens Reflex camera []. In the early development of them, say, around 1920, you held it in front of you and looked at the "preview" screen to frame and focus, and then took the shot through the 2nd lens. Later on with the addition of a mirror they were generally held at the chest.

    Pro cameras still use an optical viewfinder, and for good reason.

    If you really want to scare someone from 1920, put him in a car and hit the expressway. They'd faint dead away.
    • If you really want to scare someone from 1920, put him in a car and hit the expressway. They'd faint dead away.

      Yeah, I was just thinking about a comment my father (born in 1921) once made, that when he was kid it was a commonplace to believe that high speeds alone could have deadly effect. He knew people who literally believed that when someone fell from a height they were dead before they hit the ground, killed by the speed of their fall.

      Despite the fact that trains had exceeded 100 MPH in the late 1800's
  • by buzzcutbuddha ( 113929 ) <maurice-slashdot.mauricereeves@com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:38PM (#15481312) Homepage
    If you were to take someone from 2005 and show them the world of 2020 they'd find many things weird, including the fact that John Dvorak is still getting published, someone still finds it relevant, and people still submit his half-assed half-baked phoned-in nonesensical crap to Slashdot.
  • by geekwithsoul ( 860466 ) <> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:54PM (#15481473)
    Do we really need a new story posted to /. everytime Dvorak (or Cringely, et al) write yet another piece that has no new information, is filled with their personal opinions, and has only a loose relationship with reality?

    Yeah, I know, why should they be treated differently than everyone else, but still didn't the comments of these profesional blow-holes become irrelevant years ago?
  • by dilvish_the_damned ( 167205 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:56PM (#15481484) Journal
    Secretly Dvorak feels like that every day, all the time. He hides it so well.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes