Thursday, 7 March 2013

In the year 2013...

If you are under 30, this will make no sense to you...but it's still pretty cool. I was born in 1970, which makes me 42 years of age. In terms of technological advances, here's what I have witnessed in my lifetime.

Cel phones - my dad had one of the first cel phones in the 80's. It weighed about 3 lbs., was the size of a Fiat, had a battery life of about five minutes and you couldn't save "contacts" (your phonebook was an actual phonebook.) In thirty years we now have cel phones that can do everything and have more memory than my first home computer.

Home computers - My first home computer was an Atari 800 with a cassette tape drive. I could program in basic and spent many hours writing code I could save to my tape drive. It would take about the same amount to program my computer as it did to save my program...and all I made was a square. It had 16KB of RAM (not MB, GB or TB) and a 1.7 MHz processor. Right now I'm on a two year old iMac with 4 GB of RAM and a 3.06 GHz processor capable of running the 12 programs I currently have open. My iPhone 5 looks like Big Blue in comparison of my first computer.

The Internet - I remember when the internet was first was called a fax machine!!! In the land before the internet and the Google search, a bar argument was not solved instantaneously. Sometimes it would take days, even weeks, to confirm if Sigourney Weaver ever made a movie with Pauly Shore. You can now stream movies online...instead of asking your mom to make a special trip to the video store in the hopes of being lucky enough to get the one Beta copy of The Dark Crystal. The reason I can quote every line from the original Arthur with Dudley Moore is because I was never lucky enough. ("You must have hated that moose.")

For those of you wondering "What the hell is Grampa is on about?!?", here it comes.

APN has gone digital. This year for the first time in its history, APN is sending the jury of the Alberta Playwriting Competition the entries on e-readers. Thanks to a generous donation last year by an anonymous donor, we were able to purchase Kobo e-readers for the jury and the staff at APN. What does that really mean? See below.

This is what we used to send to the 3 member jury.

That is over 6000 sheets of paper. Multiply that by three jurors and that's...I'll wait for you to open the Calculator app on your phone...that's right...18,000 sheets of paper that get read once and recycled.

This is what we are sending to the 3 member jury this year.

Tracy, Michelle and myself all have Kobo e-readers as well and as of January of this year, we are reading all of our script submissions on our e-readers. The only time we print/photocopy scripts anymore is for actors to read in workshops. Maybe it's the Chinook winds, but I like to think that the trees are bowing at us in recognition of our green initiative.

When I first proposed this initiative I thought it was going to be fairly simple. I pitch this great green idea and a sponsor would immediately step up. Not the case. I thought there must be grants for green initiatives and this would get selected outright. Not the case. There are a number of organizations out there that will certify your green initiative, but in my research there aren't any organizations out there interested in funding a green initiative.

It took three years until I finally found a private donor supportive of the idea and I thank her for her generosity and belief in the organization. She was a great supporter of the work we do here.

Now I am going to start working on getting APN a company car. I expect this initiative to take a while as well, but at least when we do get a company car it will be one of those flying cars we were promised in the 1970's.

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