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I’m a techie. I love technology. Always have, always will.

I’ve worked with “bleeding-edge” technology and literally had serial numbers 01 and 02 of gear over the years. I did a stint doing development in Silicon Valley and spent five years on a 1,600 person NASA prime contract. Having worked at a space flight center and having been around astronauts, when I say, “this is not rocket science…” I am speaking from experience!

From that perspective I have to question the effects – positive and negative, of our relentless drive from analog to digital, brick & mortar to the cloud.

Admittedly our current progression just makes sense. Some rather perplexing technological desires and in some instances problems are finally being solved, and it promises to give us amazing capabilities at great price points. At the same time I have to wonder about how some cultural things will affected.

If you are like me, you love to read: books, magazines, books on tape/CD/MP3…My question is, How do you make your selections?  Recommendations from family and friends plays a big part. For me, with rather diverse interests that do not necessarily trend with the pop culture, I prefer to go on explorations.

When time allows, usually once or twice per month, I’ll visit either my local libraries – both Dallas and Plano, or try to find a bookstore. My process entails an exploration. Based upon my interests at the time I’ll do a hunt and peck through the aisles. I love it. Browsing the books and magazines has opened new horizons for me. It’s sort of like doing a manual web browse, except there is a higher tactile and visual element to it.

Here’s my quandary: Libraries are shrinking and bookstores are becoming nonexistent. Other than a local Barnes and Noble and two Half Price Books there are virtually no more brick and mortar book stores. What a shame!

As we drive to access everything electronically we are losing some of our cultures oldest resources. What we are losing sight of is that these locations are much more than just periodical repositories. Libraries are critical meeting places for students and community organizations. While in the Haggard library, Plano, this past weekend I noticed that upstairs it was packed. The meeting rooms were full, most of the terminals were occupied and most of the tables were in use. When I headed over to the Addison Barnes and Noble I noticed that the coffee shop was packed also. People were playing chess. Another group was having a meeting and bunch of students were working on something and a few individuals bumped into each other and were catching up. It was energizing!

I encourage you take the following polls and jump in with your observations?

Here are 3 questions to you:

1.

2.

3. (I’ll have more to discuss about cloud access and reliability in a future txpeeves posting)

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