Technology advances?

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl – Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.


“Technology has advanced and other lies” could be the title of a popular book if someone who writes popular books were to use it. They cannot, however, without my permission as publishing this copyrights the form.

In 1964 I got a Royal typewriter with a cloth ribbon. I banged on it through college and law school though I did final draft on an electric that used a carbon ribbon and an erase ribbon. In 1982 my son used the manual to practice on for typing. The last time I saw it, it was in my mother’s house and I did not want to bother finding ribbons.

In 78 or 79 the state began using computers and standalone word processors for clerical tasks. Shortly after that my wife obtained a KayPro with monitor and printer for a couple thou for her business and she used WordStar. Do not knock it—we were using the same program at work by 1984. In 1985 I borrowed her computer for the weekend to rewrite a pile of job descriptions and we decided I should get my own. Those computers, along with standalone processors have gone the way of 45 rpm records.

And from 1990 when I transferred to an outlying agency, I went through four or five software systems and four computers until I retired at the end of 1998. They had numbers like 286, 386 and 486. I traded a couple used rifles for my own 486 with Windows 311 at home which put me ahead of where I was and that died in 2002. I bought the AMD 6 and upgraded to Office 98II. The processor died in 2005 and I obtained the the laptop I am using now with whatever Windows system they had at the time and a 256mb and 540mb ram sticks. In 2010 we upgraded to 1gb and 540mb ram and Ubuntu—I am now running 12.04. Of late it has been getting cranky and last week it stopped loading videos. So yesterday they shipped a refurbished Lenovo with 4gig and XP(which I will have to replace).

The demise of the standalone word processors tells it all. They could not import data and their data was not compatible with PCs. Now, if I were to visit a library in Milan and could get the librarian to allow me to, I could read an eighth century Latin Vulgate Bible because I managed to learn Latin. If said Bible were on a 7½ disk, I could not recover it and would have to find someone who had a reader and could print out the copy—I much prefer the idea of going to Milan and haggling.

The used rifles I traded were WWI surplus. They still function and will as long as they are maintained.

On 1 July 2012 my Studmuffin EnergyStar washing machine died. It was a house brand, built by Chinese people for another brand name who sold units sold by the company that just closed a bunch of stores. Evidently, as my repair person of a quarter century or more said, the front loading washers require a special soap or they seize up. I am doing research now.

The other thing I noticed pursuant to this adventure is that the commercial gas dryers in the laundromat I used were there when I was in law school.  I graduated in 1972.  But they are not EnergyStar.


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