Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankful for This Lidded Box I Sit in Front of Everyday

Once upon a time, where I worked in the late 60's - there was a whole gigantic temperature controlled (cold) room dedicated to the "computer system".
 The 'computer' had large spinning disks on the side of their walls, and knobs and buttons of all kinds.  It reminded me of a much bigger version of the robot on "Lost in Space". The data was on large index cards in large trays/boxes.  I remember being interested in what went on in that room, however, only special 'computer operators' were allowed near these behemoths.  This was my first exposure to computers.

Fast forward about 10 more years, and I had my first computer a "Commodore 64" - talk about a box!   (We are talking 64K - not 65 MB)  Ha - about all you could do is a little word processing,  play Tetris or Pong (Pong addiction came from our Atari game player) or get on the very slow connection internet with a dial-up connection (only if anyone wasn't expecting a call or needed to use the phone) and dare I say 'surf'?  And the 'floppy' drive often made chirping sounds, like it was eating your disk alive - "disk error' - was a familiar screen display.

Whoosh!  It makes my head spin.  Look where we are now?  I love technology (and it's GB of memory and processing) and although I don't have all the toys that many have, I have enough 'go' power to stay in touch with friends and family - far and near - be entertained, manage and catalog my hundred and thousands of favorite photos and music, but most of all it allows me INFORMATION and KNOWLEDGE - it allows me to find out anything I need to or want.  And that is powerful.  That keeps me going.  That is information as quickly as you need it, right NOW - in most cases.  I sit at my laptop many, many mornings while I drink too many cups of coffee.  I use my iPad for art almost exclusively - it is a great tool - trying out new apps and applying them to what I do has become something I would certainly be lost without it.

So today, I don't think anyone can give just ONE person credit for inventing the computer, but my thanks goes out to all those pioneers - 
who saw a vision and went forward with it. 
(And thanks to President Obama for ensuring that all 'rural areas' had 
'broadband service' at their fingertips.)  
I know technology advances will continue to whizz by us at
 breakneck speed.   Bring it on!   


Jess said...

I remember playing Pole Position on the Commodore. I also remember you bringing home the Apples that we borrowed from the school before we had our own. It was so new and cool at the time! Now it's a tool we just can't live without. I need a new one so badly.

Pattie Wall said...

Oh - I completely forgot how - as staff - we were able to bring an Apple II E home for the summer months...that WAS fun! I wish the computer fairy would bring you a new one.