Manifest Technology
        Making Sense of Digital Media Technology
        By Douglas Dixon
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  About This Manifest Technology Site

    Plain Talk about Technology 
    for Home and Business

What's a consumer to do? There's too much technology coming along too fast, not only with personal computers, but with all of consumer electronics. Do you want to get a new VCR to watch movies, or is it time to step up to the new DVD players? Or how about a new 35mm camera to take photos of your trip, or does a digital camera make more sense for your needs? Or maybe you're interested in getting a new 8mm camcorder to record the baby's first steps, or is it time to buy in to the new DV digital formats?

Meanwhile, computers are supposed to make our lives easier, and promise so many wonderful benefits. It's supposed to be easy to play audio and video over the Web, but it ends up being slow and jittery. It's supposed to be reasonable to capture and edit your own video, and share it by uploading it to your Web site or burning your own CDs or DVDs, but there are so many confusing alternatives for hardware and software tools and even video and audio formats.

On the one hand, some of this technology is actually useful and even fun. But too often it's clumsy and unreliable. However, you don't want to be late moving to the new thing, like from records to audio CD's, or you'll be buying more old vinyl format to add to your album collection, only to finally switch to CD's and end up replacing them. On the other hand, you don't want to be too quick to jump on a new thing, or you'll be left holding a dead-end Beta format VCR and a lot of tapes you can't share with anyone, and you'll eventually end up replacing them too.

We are living through a "digital revolution," but it's more like survival of the fittest in the computer and consumer electronics markets. And it's our consumer dollars that decide the winners. But we're the victims too; it's our money and our time that is spent trying to figure out what's going on and what makes sense for us.

Trying to choose a winner is tricky. It may be the logical choice, based on the best technology, or the most well-built solution, or instead it may be the best marketed, with the best strategic partnerships. It may be a young nimble start-up first to market, or instead a big established company which then takes over.

This Manifest Technology web site helps to make sense of computer and consumer electronics technology. It's for people who are interested in actually using some of this cool new stuff, but would like help figuring it out. You need to be informed about current technology in order to understand what's possible, and also be aware of trends so that you can try to make reasonable trade-offs for the future.

Instead of providing product reviews or exhaustive feature comparisons of specific versions, the focus here is on providing the overall context and information you need to help make sense of what's available, and whether it might be of use to you. Read the articles, check out the links, and enjoy!

"Manifest Technology" -- Making sense of computer and consumer electronics technology

Your comments and suggestions for topics are welcome.