Analog vs digital
- An analog signal is any variable signal continuous in both time and amplitude.
- It differs from a digital signal in that small fluctuations in the signal are meaningful. Analog is usually thought of in an electrical context, however mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic, and other systems may also convey analog signals.
- An analog signal uses some property of the medium to convey the signal's information.
- Any information may be conveyed by an analog signal, often such a signal is a measured response to changes in physical phenomena, such as sound, light, temperature, position, or pressure, and is achieved using a transducer.
- For example, in an analog sound recording, the variation in pressure of a sound striking a microphone creates a corresponding variation in the voltage amplitude of a current passing through it. An increase in the volume of the sound causes the fluctuation of the current's voltage amplitude to increase while keeping the same rhythm.
- A digital system is one that uses discrete numbers, especially binary numbers, or non-numeric symbols such as letters or icons, for input, processing, transmission, storage, or display, rather than a continuous spectrum of values (an analog system).
- The distinction of "digital" versus "analog" can refer to method of input, data storage and transfer, the internal working of an instrument, and the kind of display. The word comes from the same source as the word digit and digitus: the Latin word for finger (counting on the fingers) as these are used for discrete counting.
- The word digital is most commonly used in computing and electronics, especially where real-world information is converted to binary numeric form as in digital audio and digital photography. Such data-carrying signals carry either one of two electronic or optical pulses, logic 1 (pulse present) or 0 (pulse absent). The term is often meant by the prefix "e-", as in e-mail and ebook, even though not all electronics systems are digital.
- Digital media is usually defined as electronic media that work on digital codes. Today, computing is primarily based on the binary numeral system. (In this case digital refers to the discrete states of "0" and "1" for representing arbitrary data.)
- Computers are machines that (usually) interpret binary digital data as information and thus represent the predominating class of digital information processing machines.
- Digital media like digital audio, digital video and other digital "content" can be created, referred to and distributed via digital information processing machines.
Examples of digital media
- Compact disc
- Digital video
- Digital television
- Video game
- World Wide Web
- Internet forums
- Computer games
- Online games
- Video games
- Interactive television
- Mobile telephony
- Short Message Service
- electronic literature
- Pervasive computing
What does "media" mean?
Media (the plural of medium) refer to technologies used to communicate messages and include:
- mass media (newspapers, TV, radio),
- popular media (film, books) and
- digital media (computer games, the World Wide Web, virtual reality) and others.
'New' in this context means:
- the relative novelty of digital computing;
- the unprecedented speed of evolution and mutation of devices and technologies;undeveloped, imperfect and experimental environments;
- subjective novelty, most of the artists and theoreticians currently studying digital culture have migrated from different disciplines.
New media are also the common denominator of such disciplines as (new) media art, (new) media activism, (new) media studies and journalistic media criticism;
New Media is not one media form, but a series of convergences - a series of temporary and provisional combinations of technologies and forms. Windows and Mirrors, Jay David Bolter & Diane Gromala, 2003.
An overview of the current stage
Illustrations of the digital media concept:
- Toshio Iwai - Tenori On Wikipedia article video on YouTube
- The 6th sense - wearable technology from MIT
- Sacha Chuan's presentation About Me
- Twitter Twitter in plain English, and a few twitterers: Obama, Stephen Fry, Rick O'Shea
- The Shannon Portal - an IDC project
- The Machine is Us/ing Us
Readings for Thursday:
- John Cage - some rules for students and teachers
- Douglas Adams- How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet (This piece first appeared in the News Review section of The Sunday Times on August 29th 1999.)