HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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more data storage, faster movement of information and more compact structures.


We would be in a much different world, one absent Bill Gates and Microsoft, one absent Steve Jobs and Apple, had IBM not launched this machine 60 years ago.

The year is 1956. The quest for a better and more capacious means of data storage has been the focus of many companies of the time. The realization that memory could actually be stored magnetically was somewhat of a new idea. The recording method was not unknown in the sense that celluloid and Bakelite had been able to capture images and sounds for a long time in a “play back exactly what you recorded” fashion. When magnetic strips were added to film in the late 1920’s, sound mixed with image was born. When The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson first appeared in 1927, people were shocked and exhilarated that such a device could exist.


The difference with International Business Machine’s (IBM) first model, the 305 RAMAC (Random Access Memory Accounting), was that it used a binary system of 1s and 0s for storing large amounts of pure data.


This method was later shortened to Random Access Memory (RAM), which is what most of us are familiar with today.


The big value of IBM’s September 1956 achievement was that companies could store lots of data and eliminate the need for paper and the storage space to contain it. The other beneficial aspect was the immediate retrieval of information. This used to take days or weeks and cost a company a lot of money; it even led to bankruptcy in many cases.

1956: CREATION OF THE FIRST HARD DISK

The information would be given to the person requesting it on either printed or punched cards. A film IBM produced at the time discusses the difficulty the company had getting the magnetic substance to stick and lay evenly so it could encode properly. Finally, one of the engineers came up with the idea of pouring the substance onto the disk while it was spinning like a record horizontally. You can view the short film at here


IBM went through many other models during the remainder of the 1950’s while other companies tried desperately to jump on the bandwagon and be competitive. The models were finally discontinued in 1969 after they had gone through a great deal of streamlining. The actual 350 body was huge, not something you would want in your living room. Like radios, televisions and other electronics, things kept getting smaller and easier for the public to use. When production of the 350 RAMAC ended in 1961, the world was already on its way to the smaller, more portable computers we have today. These computers all are rooted in the 305. It was one of the last vacuum-tube machines IBM built. As tubes went out of style and transistors came on board in the 1960’s, many engineers and electricians had to make the jump into this new world, which allowed for many more possibilities:

CHARLES SEBASTIAN

Charles Sebastian is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

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