Cisco Systems recently announced the demise of its Flip video. A pocket video camera, it is small, has good picture quality and is a handy little item to keep in a purse or a pocket. I

received a Flip a couple of Christmases ago and I have really enjoyed using it.

One of the reasons the Flip failed is smartphones that have video capability. Seems it is better to have just one little device in your purse or your pocket that does everything.

For example, our son Jim, who is doing a medical residency in Michigan, sends us videos from his iPhone quite regularly. They are a delight since we don't see his kids often.

Philo T. Farnsworth, who invented the television, would be amazed at the progress.

The camcorders that in the '80s finally put together both picture and sound and were portable were huge in comparison to what we have now.

Before that families kept track of their good times filming home movies. We never did buy into them so we saved our grandchildren the agony of poor quality, shaky silent-film watching.

When our son, Steve, came to prominence we were lucky we had some friends to rely on for footage to satisfy the recruiters and later the television people who wanted human-interest stories.

Actually, I jest when I say we saved our grandchildren agony because they would gladly watch old home movies if we had them. They pore through the scrapbooks I have and love to see the old pictures of the family.

We have a treasured bit of film of Grit's mother and father at a party where his dad is acting the clown and laughing heartily. It would mean nothing to someone other than family, but to us it is priceless.

Seems any way we can keep track of our friends and family is always a good seller. The more convenient it becomes, the better it sells.

Last week Grit went golfing with our son, Mike. When they were pulling the clubs out of the trunk Mike said, "Dad, what is this?" Then he picked up an ancient Ericsson cellphone larger than and as heavy as a brick. He doubled over with laughter when he recognized what it was.

Grit worked for Ericsson in the '80s so that must be the vintage. The cord plugs into the cigarette lighter and the car should be running while using it or it would drain a battery really fast. But it does look like it could blow up the car.

He also has a Craig calculator as big as a book. Before that he used a slide rule (which he still has) to do the same things. In comparison, he now has a credit card calculator that has all the same functions.

Technology-wise, we've come a long way baby. And what does it lead to?

The mother of Rebecca Black, a recent YouTube video sensation, paid $4,000 to have a video made. As fame for her daughter was her goal she succeeded, as "Friday" has been viewed 109 million times and has given Rebecca some recognition in the music industry.

Oh dear, I probably piqued your interest and upped the numbers for watching a 13-year-old girl singing an inane song about driving around with friends and partying.

Years ago you had to be on the Ed Sullivan Show to get a nationwide audience. Now, all you need is $4,000 or a Flip video and YouTube.

If you see one on eBay, grab it up. It just could be the segue into your 15 minutes of fame.