Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Technology!

I am editing my latest novel on my Kindle, which is still something I remember (ie. see daily when I watch the reruns) being featured regularly on Star Trek:The Next Generation.

It's amazing. I'm actually living in the future!


Silver reed 2600CR 01Especially considering that I began writing on my mum's electric typewriter. I particularly hated this piece of equipment because I'm a terrible typist and made so many errors. Even now, the backspace key is the most used on my keyboard.

The makers of Tipp-Ex were probably devastated when I move to a word processor and no longer needed to buy in bulk.






Microform-reader


The height of technology in the library I worked in was the microfiche. (For those too young to remember them, this is what Google looked like in the 1980s.)

They were cumbersome and always made me dizzy when I used it - the articles scrolled ridiculously fast unless you had a very steady hand.

And yet, now, if I have a query, I just type it into Google (other search engines are available!) and the answer is there, in my own home, without the need to changed out of my PJs or anything.

I admit, I really don't belong in this century - I'm constantly in awe at the minds that have come up with all of this stuff.





What great pieces of technology from the past do you miss?
Or, indeed, which pieces are you glad you don't have to use any more?



28 comments:

  1. Good luck with your editing. I actually took typing in high school and was really bad at it as well. Have a great week. The weekend is almost here.

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    1. My mum tried to teach me to type, but I kept reverting to my two fingered attempts!

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  2. I don't miss those big, 5" floppy discs!

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    1. No - they were easy to bend and break, if I remember correctly.

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  3. I'm REALLY ready for smart phones to become passe. Hate how they've turned everyone into zombies in public

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    1. I used to walk around with my nose in a book. It's not much different. I still would if I didn't have animals to trip over :-)

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  4. I started off on an electronic typewriter, too. White-Out was my best friend back then.

    Recently, while cleaning out my house I found a box of old floppy discs. I wish I had a way to look at what's on them because I bet there's some funny stuff to be found.

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    1. I think I've still got a box of old disks too - and I bet there are quite a few time capsules buried with disks in too.

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  5. I miss my princess phone. It was pink and pretty and so much easier to cradle on my shoulder.

    My first typewriter was the kind you see in a 1940's movie- the big black kind? I bought it at a flea market when I was about twelve. I still have it. I wrote my first "novel" on it. It was an eight chapter, two page love story.

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    1. That's a cool thing to buy, Elizabeth. And even cooler that you still have it.

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  6. Hi Annalisa ... it's been interesting growing up through all the changes ... I miss the fax machine - I used to work with Eastern European firms and could only connect easily with the fax ... and I was very happy to copy out the letter/contract/information etc .. and watch the little holes punch along .. and then wait to get a telephone line to send the fax through ... I had some piece and quiet from the phones and could just be quietly ... funny the things that amuse people (me!!) ...

    I skipped steps along the way .. I never used a word processor, nor did I often use microfiche - but they did make you feel sick ...

    I think I should have shares in Tippex ... but those wax sheets too .. when we could roll out copies - thankfully that was at the end of my early days ..

    Cheers and good luck with that Kindle editing .. Hilary

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    1. Faxes were another big leap in business technology.

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  7. I've always liked writing on typewriters but haven't in a long time. I had one for a while but something broke and I could no longer erase what I typed. Computers just make it easier to fix mistakes. I'd love to get a really old fashioned typewriter at some point, though.

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    1. I love my computer, and being able to delete/move/change everything in seconds, if I need to. It suits how I write perfectly - completely ad hoc and confused!!

      Those old fashioned typewriters are beautiful - I loved the original opening credits for Murder, She Wrote, for that reason.

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  8. very grateful to not have to type using carbon paper. Never could keep it in straight. I agree that microfiche made me dizzy. I have a problem when my husband scrolls too fast on the computer to show me something. Must. Step. Away. Good luck with your editing and have fun with it

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    1. Oh, yes, I can't watch other people scrolling on the computer either. I have to look away until they've found the right place. (I sometimes even make myself dizzy too.)

      I'd completely forgotten about carbon paper - that's the stuff that used to get all over your hands and face too... or was that just my incompetence?

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  9. I remember microfiche....though, I'd just as soon forget it. grin.

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    1. I didn't use it very much. I was trained, but our library had 8 computers when I joined it (for a college population of 8,000), and I made myself an expert in online searching!

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  10. I owned an electric typewriter too. I miss the sound it makes. I don't miss the big floppy discs, but I kind of miss card catalogs in libraries. It was time consuming, but maybe it's the texture or scent of paper I miss.

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    1. It was the sound of the keys that gave away how bad a typist I really was! I did work experience in a library with card tickets/catalogues - I felt very proud when I mastered those, even though the work experience was only for a week.

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  11. Now we have GIS, but I sort of completely miss stereo photos and the stereo photo viewers. It was like the magic eye trick all the time. It was one of the few things I was really good at, but now everyone gets them on their computer. Aww well.

    And while we're on the subject, I do sort of miss my first typewriter, but I LOVED the ancient keyboard. When you hit a button, you KNEW the button had been struck. I hate how wishy washy these new fangle keyboards are.

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    1. I have to physically try out the keyboards when I'm buying a new computer/laptop. Forget all the technical bits inside, it's the keys that make the real decision for me :-)

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  12. It IS amazing, isn't it?
    I recently went through a bag full of stories I wrote in college -- typed on onion skin typewriter paper, with hand corrections. At least they are still readable. I also have a collection of stories on "floppy disks" and "hard disks" -- neither one of which are readable on any computer I currently own!

    Even if there is equipment that can read those disks and translate the information into something a modern computer can interpret, it still begs the question of how much information would be lost if our digital information was unreadable. I would lose almost everything I've ever written ... back to the typewriter!

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    1. You're right, Dianne - as technology develops and moves on, we are in danger of losing a lot. Hard copies have a lot going for them - just think of photos, for example!

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  13. It's amazing when you think how fast technology moves on. It's not long since dial-up internet which took about 15 mins to connect and you couldn't use the phone at the same time. Now we're basically connected all the time - probably too much!

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  14. Mmm, as a millennial (is 26 that generation?) can't say I really miss things. Oh~! Floppy disks, cuz USBs are so much more efficient.

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  15. I worked at my college library in the 80s and have terrible memories of the microfiche and film! Those machines were a nightmare.
    I am also a big user of the backspace key LOL. :D

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