John Lennon and Matt Harding

12 07 2008

John Lennon and Matt Harding have never met. In fact, John Lennon died years before Matt was born. But it would seem that both of them have something in common, they are both dreamers. Years ago John wrote and sang a song which is now Iconic. The song is called “Imagine” and below are the lyrics to the song.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Can you imagine such a world? No race nor religion, nothing to fight or die for? Well, this is where Matt Harding comes in, Matt recently traveled to 42 countries around the world to make this video. Although his trip was sponsored, he did come up with the idea. So if you cannot imagine such a world that John dreamed about, I hope Matt’s video will allow you to peek into what may be possible, if only we all try.

After listening to songs like Imagine and watching videos like Matt’s, I really wonder what all the fuss some of us kick up about race and religion. Aren’t we all the same? Brothers and Sisters . . . bound to this one planet by gravity. Yet we fight and kill each other for the smallest of reasons. Those of us who for some reason call ourselves modernized have inflicted untold damage to our only home, our planet Earth. Don’t you think it is time we all put a stop to this nightmare and start dreaming, or in Matt’s case, dancing together? You see, even a pretty bad dance step can look pretty good when everybody’s dancing to the same tune and enjoying themselves. And here is Lennon singing his iconic song.


The Sinclair ZX Spectrum

6 07 2008

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum

The year was 1982 and I was 15. That was the year I first encountered a machine slightly more advanced than a calculator. Even then electronic calculators were something of a luxury to own. I first saw this computer sitting on my friend’s table in his room. To my knowledge, he was the only guy who owned a computer in the whole school and the only person I know who owns one. I only owned my first calculator when I went to college 3 years later.  And even then the few computers the college had were only slightly more advanced than the ZX.

Based on the Zilog Z80A CPU which had a processing speed of 3.5 Mhz, the ZX Spectrum had 16 kilobytes of ROM and 48 kilobytes of RAM. My friend used a black and white TV as a screen and a cassette player to store programs! Most of the programs he had then were simple games. Since the only thing we were taught about computers was basic computer architecture, I did not benefit much from having a friend who owned a computer. Besides, it took something like 10 minutes for the cassette player to load a program that allowed us to play Pacman.  Slightly more than 25 years later, computers running hundreds of times faster are now  an indispensable tool of a modern society. But I will forever remember my first encounter with the ZX Spectrum.