Houston, we have a memory

Johnson Space Center Oral History Project. This is cool. “Participants include managers, engineers, technicians, doctors, astronauts, and other employees of NASA and aerospace contractors who served in key roles during the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and Shuttle programs.” In addition toh manned (and womanned) space flight, there’s at least one interview that concerns robotic space flight.

This is cool for me, because I attended a shuttle launch in Florida. Just last Friday, I went to a booksigning by Jim Bell, the scientist in charge of the Mars Rovers cameras (Book: Postcards from Mars).

I poked around the site. If you want to browse to see what’s there, here’s an alphabetical list of participants. There are search pages (which I tried first), but I wouldn’t recommend it, as you have to know what you’re looking for in order to look for it. (I searched “Aldrin”—as in Buzz Aldrin—and came up empty)

Cool! In the Herstory section, there’s a link to the transcript of Donna Shirley [pdf], who managed the Mars Pathfinder program. When I attended the Spirit Lands on Mars ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 16, 2007 in • Online Oral History Collections
(0) CommentsPermalink

CES and Macworld are nigh

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Macworld are this next week. Various news websites are all a-twitter about what news and annoucements will be coming out of each show. Who’s going to introduce what? I’ll be following along, on the lookout for whatever news comes out of each show, especially as it affects tools for recording and preserving family memories.

On the Macworld front, there’ll be software and hardware announcements and new releases. Same thing with CES, only it’ll be more hardware than software.

I wish I were there to speak face to face to the vendors to ask how the new new new stuff they’ve been working on is supposed to last for decades, yea, even for generations. This is a whole part of industry that thrives on innovation, leaving behind yesterday’s woo-woo cool thing in order to focus on the next new hot thing. I mean, really.. they just have to make their quarterly numbers.

I’m not attending either show, but feel a bit nostalgic about both: My first trade show ever was working at Comdex in Las Vegas (alas no more; it ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 06, 2007 in • AudioAudio: HardwareDigitalityLongevityVideoVideo: Hardware
(0) CommentsPermalink

The Memories of Others

are the memories of ourselves. A wise, reflective post by Merge Divide. He touches on the importance of hearing stories from your forbears.

I’ll give you a little taste of the post. Really, just go there and read the whole thing.

My dining companions and I discussed the lives of our forebears. Even though I know both of them extremely well, I discovered that there are formative experiences from their lives that I am largely oblivious of. Much of their own personal stories have been influenced by interactions with people who are long gone.

Have you ever sat down and talked about the people from which you descend? Genealogical research seems to have become immensely popular over the last generation, due to the radical improvements in information technology. [...] But while a genealogy can be intriguing with its ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 04, 2007 in • GenealogyPersonal History
(1) CommentsPermalink

Carnival of Genealogy, Episode 15

A Blogger’s Dozen lists of plans for 2007 or reflections on 2006. My overly optimistic list is included among the group. Hey, I’ll be happy if I get some of that stuff done. I consider it an ongoing To-Do list, publicly stated confessed.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 03, 2007 in • GenealogyLinks
(0) CommentsPermalink

The Joy of Obsolescence

Sally Jacobs writes The Practical Archivist, a new blog find (well, I found it through Moultrie Creek’s Family Matters site).

About the site: “Archiving tips and geeky tidbits for genealogists, history buffs, and keepers of the family photo album. Written by an archivist who never met an antique photograph she didn’t like.”

Sally Jacobs is seriously into obsolescence. (!!) No, really. I’m trying to figure out which of her posts to highlight, and I’m drawn like a magpie to her shiny jewels about fading things. Here are the topics of three of her recent posts:

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on in • DigitalityLinksLongevity
(0) CommentsPermalink

Happy New Year

Happy 2007! I live in the greater Pasadena area, and that city throws a big annual floral New Year’s party for a large number of visitors and an even larger television audience. We were wakened by the non-stealthy roar of the Stealth bomber (& 2 fighter escort jets) at 7:30 this morning– the jets fly in wide circles near the mountains before they start the parade just after 8 by strafing the 5+ mile route. We went outside to look, and discovered that the best way to spot the jets is to stand outside and shiver for a bit waiting for the next pass; by the time the sound reached us, the jets receded from sight.

My first in-person viewing of the parade was 1983, and believe it or not, the memory of that day is relevant to this site’s theme of digital tools for preserving memories.

On New Year’s Day in 1983, I worked the parade. I walked up and down two aisles of bleachers right near where the parade turns the corner, smack dab in the prime TV-camera viewing region. I sold Kodak film to loyal alums and boosters of the two college football teams. I did it to raise money for an overseas trip I took in the spring of that year; my school had exclusive rights to sell Kodak film along the parade route.

Today, while watching the TV coverage of the parade—-what? You think I braved the crowds to go down to the parade route? If you don’t live within walking distance or snag an invite to a parade-viewing party, the best way to watch it is in HiDef TV a few miles away. ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 01, 2007 in • DigitalityLongevityPersonal HistoryPhotographs
(1) CommentsPermalink