I recently completed a backlog of archiving my work and I realize I've been shooting digital images now for over 10 years. The transition from film to digital was a challenge, but keeping up with the technology can be overwhelming at times. Adobe Creative Cloud now includes 28 programs, which include 11 which I use regularly. That doesn't include a half dozen non-Adobe photo-related programs as well as all the various plug-ins as well as software for running the business side. When it was too busy I would remember how it used to be, dropping my film off at a lab while I would go to a nearby bar and have a beer with my peers while our work was being processed - the good old days. Although I remember needing to buy cardboard so I could package sheets of slides to send to magazines, and having a tabletop filled with chaotic stacks of slides or prints, and typing invoices on a typewriter, using a calculator for the addition and on and on.
But speaking of overwhelming technology, I came across this gem - the Posographe. Its a mechanical exposure calculator run with levers and sliders invented in the early 1920's by R. Kaufmann in Paris.
It computes the exposure time for taking photographs indoors or out using six sliders. The large slider is set to the time of day. Other options include physical surroundings like “Snowy scene”, “Greenery with expanse of water”, or “Very narrow old street”; the sky conditions -- “Cloudy and somber”, “Blue with white clouds”, or “Purest blue”. For indoor photographs you could choose the color of the walls, the distance from subject to window, etc. Completely poetic, yet precise - exactly how photographs should be.
For collectors and people who simply appreciate old objects there is a great article on the Posographe on Nathan Zeldes History of Computing site: http://www.nzeldes.com/HOC/Posographe.htm It also includes a link to the manual in the original french: http://www.brocantina.com/posogr.pdf