Cameras: Then, Now and Beyond
By Samantha Coville, Grade 9

Cameras have become a big part of our lives. Whenever something exciting, interesting, or life-changing happens, the camera is always on the scene ready to capture the event forever in a simple picture. But the ‘simple picture’ isn’t quite so simple. It took hundreds of years and scores of men to develop our modern-day cameras. It all began in France of 1817.

Nicephore Niepce, a simple French man, created the first photograph in 1817. The camera was of his own design and worked quite well, but the picture print-out itself was not permanent and it soon faded away.

Ten years later, in 1827, Charles and Vincent Chevalier created a new camera that was simply a wooden box with the needed mechanics inside. Nicephore used this camera and the picture was permanent. The difference? The print-out itself in the box camera was made with pewter and bitumen. When exposed to light, the bitumen hardened and the picture was lasting.

For the next 61 years, people created and designed new cameras and refined old ones. But George Eastman created a camera that would go on the record charts, in the history books, and in the hands of the consumers. In 1888, Mr. Eastman created Kodak, which was a box camera with a focus lens and quick shutter speed. What really made the Kodak superb was the low price. It became a hit the second it touched the shelves.

When everyone thought that they had the best camera possible, Polaroid came out with the Model 95 in 1948. The camera was nicknamed the Land Camera due to its maker, Edwin Land. The Model 95 could create negatives in under a minute, and the photos were good quality. Despite the high price, the camera caught on, and Polaroid started making dozens of new cameras for the market. The Model 20 Swinger, made in 1965, is known as the best selling camera of all time.

The biggest break-through ever in the world of cameras came in 1988 in the form of a Fuji DS-1P. This camera was the first true digital camera and came with 16 MB of memory. The only problem, though, is that it never made it to America. So Kodak came out with a camera in 1991 that would put to rest the Fuji camera overseas. It was the Kodak DSC-100. The problem with this one was that it cost $13,000.  

Today, you can purchase the top camera for a few hundred dollars. We have come a long way since metal plates that had to dry in the sun! But we are not finished. New cameras on their way, including a camera that can change and edit the photo after it is taken. What will cameras be like in a hundred years? Will there even be a camera, or will there be something new that will appeal to us? The future holds new technology, and we can’t wait to see it.


Internet Explorer Alternatives: From an Average User’s Perspective
By Anna House, Grade 8

Are you stuck using buggy Internet Explorer? All the time, you have those same old problems. When something goes wrong, there's nothing you can do.

Something thousands of people have discovered, particularly those who have switched from Windows to Mac, is that there are many different browsers to surf the net. The most widely known are Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. Of course, you probably don’t want all of them, so I’ll give you a little overview so you can find which is best for you.

Safari is, of course, the Mac (by Apple) alternative. Safari does not have anything that transfers passwords or bookmarks that you have on your primary browser. It’s not customizable, so you’re stuck with a classic Apple sleek look. It’s gray, and the default is a small tab bar with a fair amount of buttons. It's free to get on your Mac or PC.

Google Chrome is the option provided by Google, who boasts that it is the fastest browser available. Simplistic and easy, Chrome sports a customizable and user-friendly interface. The toolbar is very simple, however, showing only the tabs, and navigation panel. Despite this, if you click the settings button, you can access nearly all the same settings as internet Explorer, and more. The most frustrating thing I've found is that when you use full-screen, there is no way to get to the tabs other then un-full-screening. It's free to get on your Linux, Mac, or PC.

Now we come to Mozilla Firefox. Firefox is a good balance between customization and minimalism. It has a large tab bar at the top that you can customize with themes, featuring a large menu and navigation bar. When you use full-screen, you can see a stripped down version of this bar if you hover at the top of the screen and switch tabs. Sometimes having Firefox on a slower computer can cause problems (there are some bugs on my Netbook). It’s free to get on your Linux, Mac, or PC.

Opera is incredibly customizable. Everything you do can be changed. It has a tab bar and a sidebar. When you close it, it automatically saves your tabs. It might be confusing at first, but for a lot of people, the excess of buttons and insane amount of customization is just how they like it. Opera’s free to get on your Linux, Mac, or PC.

Photograph by Lexi Applegate, Grade 12

John Hurley
8/17/2011 01:49:16 am

safari is the fastest but chrome (or the open sourced version, chromium) is the best. I would like to request an article on popular linux distro's (distributoins) ex. ubuntu, linux mint, since flvs students use their computers every day they might like to know about some free alternatives to windows and osx. I am a computer nut and endorse Ubuntu as the worlds best os and my own linux distro, Komodo OS in a close second.


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