Thursday, January 19, 2017

High-tech all the way!

I'm writing this post while attempting to print out the first few chapters of one of my works in progress (WIPs as we cool authorial types like to shorten it). In other words, I might be emailing it to my local copy shop and paying through the nose.

See, our printer is about 10 or 12 years old. It is also out of colored toner. It also randomly makes horrible grinding noises.

It's not helped at all by helper cat:
I'm unjustly maligning him. This was about a year and half ago, when he was only a few months old. He still comes running when the printer is turned on and starts warming up, but we have better luck at keeping him from grabbing the pages as they are fed in. Which is good, because he caused a few paper jams when our backs were turned.

(Oh my goodness! Happy day! It's printing! Slowly, but it's not just spitting out blank pages like it did yesterday when I was trying to print my resume)

So yeah. Old. There's also a permission slip for my daughter's after school activity that I can't seem to find anywhere but in a document that automatically downloaded to my phone when I signed her up. And no, this ancient printer is not a wireless printer.

(Let's see if I can print out a second copy without the whole thing overheating and jamming paper)

So for a little old technology, I was reading up on pocket watches. Now, I don't really understand all the discussion of fusees and pillars and spiral-spring balances and stuff, but this is a fascinating article from the Metropolitan Museum about seventeenth century European watches and watchmakers. It talks about how. It talks about who. It has pretty pictures (hover over or click on the numbers in parentheses).

It even mentions that Geneva and England both let in Protestant refugees and their watchmaking industries (and many other industries) soared while France was impoverished. The main motivation for Marcel's family in Henri et Marcel is to get out of France because Louis XIV and the Catholics were cracking down. So, yeah, it comes back to my books. Sorry.

So my original question of "did watches have minute hands?" was answered in 1675 by a Dutch guy named Huygens.

In other words, I would be incapable of making watches four hundred years ago. No wonder I can barely work my outdated printer.

But look at the pretty:

Forget minute hands. This one has a SECOND HAND (that little dial) and you can stop and start it to be a stopwatch.

In 1682-83. Go look at that picture on the Met's site. 


My document is printed. I need to come out of the watchmaking rabbit hole and get back to work on other things.

And I can't let you go without trying to get you to buy a book or four: HERE

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