If there’s one thing I love in this world almost as much as I love my wife, it’s software technology. In fact, because of how much I love it, my wife often thinks I should be sleeping with my computer instead of her, but it’s just not as… enjoyable to sleep with as she is. Anyway, I digress…
I wanted to take the opportunity today to talk about what I love about software, and I guess I should probably start by talking about what exactly ‘software technology’ is.
You probably know what hardware technology is, although there’s many different types of hardware technology. A couple of types that’s probably familiar to you is computer and mobile hardware technology, which of course are separate to kitchen hardware, industrial hardware, automotive hardware, etc etc. Every time you use a computer, or a mobile device, you’re using some kind of computer hardware technology.
With that in mind, software technology is essentially what you use to interface with the hardware. You might be using Windows, and you might be reading this blog with Google Chrome or even shudder Internet Explorer. They’re all included in the concept of software technology. They’re the interface that you use to make the hardware do what you want.
Let’s go through a ‘workflow’ of how you use the internet to read this web page, so that you can understand how the hardware and the software interacts to give you the results you don’t even think about. I’m going to try and simplify this as much as I can, so if you’re already technically minded, please forgive me.
You sit down at your computer (hardware) and interact with your web browser (software) to access a web page. The data you’re sending and receiving to view that web page is a result of interaction between your browser and the computer’s networking hardware, which sends and receives information from servers (hardware) connected to each other on the internet. The information is received by your computer (hardware) and your graphics card (hardware) interacts with your web browser (software) to show you images (photos or videos) and text on your monitor (hardware). If there’s sound included in the data received from the internet, that’s also electronically translated by your computer’s sound card (hardware) to be played on your speakers (hardware). Sometimes that sound can also be displayed digitally on your monitor so that you can see a visual representation (software) of what the sound looks like as it’s being played by the hardware.
Your internet experience is a result of hardware and software working together to give you experiences that you take for granted without even thinking about how they work, and how all that information comes to you, and how it’s presented to you.
None of that interests me.
What actually interests me is how I can use software technology to give me enjoyable and/or challenging experiences that help me learn new things.
I enjoy exploring new software to see what it’ll do; to see if it’ll bring me enjoyment in some fashion; to see if it’ll bring me rewarding experiences. If it doesn’t, then I discard it. But if it does, then I keep it, continue using it, playing with it, enjoying whatever it is that it does that brings me enjoyment or challenge – ideally both at the same time.
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of playing around with Linux Mint andHyperboria, but having them integrated via virtual OS into Windows, so I can play around with Linux and Windows software simultaneously.
Even though I love software technology, I also love some of the hardware technology that allows me to use new software. I love the interactions I can have to get more interesting and rewarding experiences. To that end I’m using a Windows 8.1 computer with a 27″ monitor, and I have a 15″ Samsung Series 9 laptop (which I’m currently writing this blog post with). I also have a Google Nexus 7 (7″ tablet) and a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. I also have a 27″ Apple iMac and a 13″ MacBook Pro (both of which my I gave to my wife to use).
But I don’t love hardware for the sake of hardware. I don’t love building computers or pulling them apart. I just love using the software, and will ‘invest’ in new hardware if it’s the only way I can play with new software.
I know that as someone with Aspergers Syndrome, there are things that I enjoy which aren’t necessarily going to make sense to a lot of other people, but as long as it makes sense to me, it’s ok.
A lot of the things I love doing aren’t necessarily things that can be converted into awesome services for other people or businesses. At least, I haven’t worked out how to make that conversion yet, and provide services that other people need, that I’ll love to do.
And that’s what’s important – finding something you love doing, that other people would be happy to pay you for so that you can help them improve something that’s important to them. If you’re doing something you love but it’s not providing a service to someone, then you’re just engaging in a hobby.
So I’m on a quest at the moment, to work out how I can turn my love for playing with new software technology into something that other people will pay me for, so that I can earn money from what I love.
But I know that in order to do that, I have to find out how I can provide a service to others based on what I love doing. And therein lies the challenge.
What about you? Is there anything you love doing that gives you great enjoyment, that you’re actually earning an income from? Because if you’re not, then it’s just a hobby. And there’s nothing wrong with that!
Since I want to turn my hobby into a career, however, then I’m going to continue thinking and exploring how I can do that. If you have any tips for me, please don’t be shy in sharing them. I’d love to get all the tips I can get about how I can do what I love doing AND earn money from them!
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