At times it can be pretty amazing where we have gotten with technology. I remember growing up playing Moon Patrol on my Commodore 64. This was once state of the art and all super geeky tech. It was a cartridge that I plugged into the back of the keyboard (yes the keyboard of a computer used to actually be more than what it is now). Back then to do anything on a computer you actually had to write the program, none of this fancy schmancy windows like we have now (I feel old). Cut back to today…
The number of software bundles that are now thrown together to do all the computations involved in a brewing program is pretty staggering. Granted for the PC there are a few that stand out in a big way. Those who use them get pretty attached to certain ones; I am partial to Promash (the interface makes me happy). Of course there are others out there and I have checked them out as I find them, they just don’t work for me like they might for others.
And then technology grows just a bit better. It would seem that everywhere you look there is someone with a smartphone of some type. Enter the world of the apps. We have now found a way to fit quite a bit more information than my old Moon Patrol game into a space that is barely a quarter the size of the old 64. The craziness, there is an app for pretty much anything. This includes brewing apps.
I am not a fan of the various smart phones. To me they are big and bulky and generally annoying. But I am finding more and more that the idea of a tablet is very appealing. Sure the tablet comes in sizes slightly larger than a smart phone, but for me that is part of the appeal. As far as phones go I occasionally use a small flip phone but it is rare for me to need to call most people to get a hold of them. Instead the ability to communicate electronically works to my favor most of the time. Add in that a decent sized tablet is roughly 9 or 10 inches (about half the size of the screen of the tv I used to play moon patrol on) and just as crisp and clear as the tv in our living room. That’s a pretty good deal.
Recently I have been exploring an app called Brewing Assistant from Brewology 101. A couple key features for me are the mash and brew timers. I can’t seem to keep a timer alive for long so the thought of having some built into the brew software is pretty cool. The interface though easy to use does not offer everything I normally use during my brew day and following fermentation. But there is benefit in ease of use and easy access. And of course having the software with you when you go to the brew shop is another added bonus.
Ghost Chili Software designed an app called the Home Brew Calculators. This isn’t a flashy app but the different computations that it provides is great to have right at your fingertips. If you are like me, your computer is in a completely different room than where you brew and where you age. A tablet with the ability to travel and do alot of the extra mental work, frees you up to do the important stuff (drink of course).
The last bit I will mention today involves the use of Kindle. For me I would not bother with a reader; I need more versatility. Amazon took a great idea and made it even better. They turned the kindle into an app (yes they still have the reader and the fire and all that). This allows you to get ebooks through kindle on other tablets and even a pc. When you tend to gather a large number of brewing books, it comes in handy to be able to store them in a place that takes up less room in your life. I have at least 7 or 8 brewing and beer books stored on my pc now.
Technology is definately getting better all the time. I am waiting for the day that my personal data assistant will sit on my wrist. When I need it a virtual interface will pop out in front of me and I will be able to do everything I do now and more with the various items scattered around my house.
Time for a pint…