Did you know the term ‘debug,’ as in to correct the mistakes in computer code, comes from back when the simplest computer filled an entire room? The machines got hot when they were running, which necessitated leaving windows open, and moths and other insects would occasionally flutter in and get stuck in the small moving parts of the computer, impeding its calculations. A technician would have to stop what he or she was doing, go into the computer room, and literally debug the system. By contrast, these days, the computers we all carry in our pockets, our smartphones, are more powerful than even the largest of those old-fashioned room-fillers and their descendents. For example, an iPhone 6 has more computing power than all of NASA had during the Apollo moon-landing days.
We don’t expect our readers to oversee any space missions; we merely want to illustrate the advantage of miniaturization, especially in one area that relates to the concerns of pet lovers and their fam-animals: pet microchipping. These glass beads, the size of a grain of rice, contain a radio transmitter, an antenna, and a computer chip whose code, as you know, allows a veterinarian to discover the contact information of the owner of a chipped pet who shows up at their shelter door. When the resulting phone call is made, a happy ending for two or more distraught mammals ensues.
If you belong to the majority of non-microchipped pet owners who are curious about taking this precaution and who don’t suspect that Skynet is pulling the strings, head down to the Black Friday Microchip Sale at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland (217 Landing Rd, Westbrook) on Friday, November 24 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. for a $25 chip for your pet, lifetime registration included. Even better, if you adopt a pet from the ARLGP that day, your microchip will be discounted to $15.
It’s one small step for man, one giant leap toward peace of mind.