Technical Learning

I am learning technical skills even while I am interfacing with documentary films on DVD.

I learned how to rip a DVD to my iPod using Handbrake.  Learning how to use Handbrake was pretty easy although I think I only got one of the movies on the DVD. But I thought of all the learning I’ve already done to make using Handbrake easy: I can access a webpage, find the download link, pick the correct format, etc. I know how to install programs on my computer and am pretty adept at navigating software. For instance, I opened Handbrake and tried to access the DVD but it didn’t seem to work. It occured to me that I had to quit the DVD player that opens automatically. When I did that, Handbrake worked fine. I’ve learned most of these skills so well that they are automatic; I don’t have to think about them anymore. But I didn’t learn them all at once and I learned them in two primary ways: reading help files and talking to people. I continue to learn from people; I downloaded Handbrake because of a colleague’s recommendation when I told him I knew I could rip DVD to my iPod but didn’t know how.

I wanted to watch The Weather Underground, a documentary I’ve had floating around for awhile now. I started watching it on my laptop and then realized I coudln’t work on my computer while I watched. Luckily, the Fed Ex truck pulled up and my new 20 inch monitor got unloaded. (The computer itself won’t be coming until the first week in October–blech.) I unloaded it and got it hooked up and working in about five minutes so now the movie is playing on the monitor and I am blogging on my laptop monitor. I didn’t really “learn” how to hook up the monitor since I’ve done it before, but I did read the manual just to make sure I was doing it correctly. Also, I was already familiar with the concept of dual monitors and mirroring so I knew I could drag the DVD window to the new monitor.

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