Do not read this post

Do not read this post

Summary: I spent several hours coming up with a title for this blog, before rejecting all the witty and/or scatological Jack jokes in favour of what we’d now call the Ronseal option: “It does exactly what it says on the tin”.I know I’m just moving with the times.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

I spent several hours coming up with a title for this blog, before rejecting all the witty and/or scatological Jack jokes in favour of what we’d now call the Ronseal option: “It does exactly what it says on the tin”.

I know I’m just moving with the times. Or, if you prefer, the Guardian. Journalists at my previous employer loved their punning headlines, and for a while there was a monthly competition for the best efforts. Not any more. In the past three or four years, the whole publishing industry has become much more concerned with SEO or search engine optimisation. Rather than racking their brains over catchphrases and obscure movie titles, today’s headline writers are more likely to be thinking about how many keywords they can pack in. In some cases, it’s less about what grabs the reader’s attention than what scores well on Google.

Perhaps this is not an entirely new phenomenon. You could argue, for example, that calling a company Aaaardvark Adventures is an example of YPO or Yellow Pages Optimisation. However, I think most people would agree that the analogue world is now trying much harder to fit in with the digital computer-based world than it was a decade ago. We’re a long way into the conversion from analogue to digital media -- from tapes and discs to MP3 files, from film and light-sensitive paper to CCDs and JPEG files, and so on. The conversion of “dead tree” media into PC or ebook-compatible files can hardly be considered a surprise.

Of course, it’s the speed and scope of the world’s adoption of digital media that makes IT such an exciting field, and one that will have a lasting impact. However, bear in mind that all the hardware and most of the software isn’t particularly important. As anyone who visited the Vintage Computer Festival at Bletchley Park this weekend will surely appreciate, today’s hot products will be amusingly limited antiques in 10 or 20 years: today’s Apple iPad is tomorrow’s ZX Spectrum. It’s only the data that needs to last forever.

If you’ve made it this far into my test post, in defiance of the instructions in the headline, I hope you’ll bookmark Jack’s Blog and come back tomorrow, when I’ll have started posting proper stories.

Topic: Tech Industry

Jack Schofield

About Jack Schofield

Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first website and, in 2001, its first real blog. When the printed section was dropped after 25 years and a couple of reincarnations, he felt it was a time for a change....

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  • Come on Jack, share the punchy titles that you had thought about using.

    Was it Jack-Hammers IT Home and that sort of thing?

    I'm sure you'll be responsible for a new widespread uptake of pipe smoking among the blogging community as a whole.

    Adrian Bridgwater-3dc6b
  • My first thought was You Don't Know Jack, which I have on a baseball cap thanks to the US company that launched the game. A Twitter search might find some ruder suggestions ;-)
    Jack Schofield
  • I was expecting at least some earthy comments about Apple. And Atari... :)
    Manek Dubash
  • Baby steps! I'm planning to annoy anyone still using an Exidy Sorcerer, then I'll work my way up.... ;-)
    Jack Schofield
  • I remember 'You don't know Jack'; I was surprised they were able to get it out without someone pointing and sniggering... (fnar)
    Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe
  • And there I was thinking you could have gone with a homage to that US fast food joint, "Jack In The Box"...

    Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe
  • Possibly "Jack Out Of The Box" ;-)
    Jack Schofield
  • Didn't a popular beat combo record 'Jack your body'? which you could twist into a reference to uploading and digital health

    Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe
  • Well, the capacitors in my 3 Exidy Sorcerers' power supplies packed it in some years ago. And there are no RAMPacs from the Montfort Brothers of Utrecht. But 8 K was room enough for a full word processor without bloat.
    What a dull everyday name for a blog.
    And are you going to reveal the soap solution you use in your pipe to blow bubbles?
  • It worked...I couldn't resist reading this blog. Great to see you on ZDNet UK, blog bookmarked!
  • Crikey - a trip down memory lane...who now remembers the ill fated Enterprise (a wooden mock up for the computer show!) the early signs of RSI from playing Space Invaders on the the VIC20, balancing a pint tetrapack of milk on a Sinclair ZX80? Ah was fun while it lasted..and I am still amazed at things like screensavers making perfect circles!
    keep em coming jack!
  • > I hope you’ll bookmark Jack’s Blog

    Would prefer to add the feed to my feed reader ... but your blog on zdnet doesn't seem to advertise its own feed!
  • The Enterprise Flan? Played with #00013 of the production Elans and crashed a fifth of the launch apps...

    @alaninbelfast we're told this feature will come soon (it was a temporary casualty of the redesign)

    Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe
  • Is your blog going to get added to the list of RSS feeds at some point, Jack?