05 March 2013

Technology and I Have Parted Company

Technology and I have recently parted company. It was beginning to tire me watching as things kept going by faster and faster. We signed on together when a crystal, cat’s whisker and head phones were required to listen to a radio station; when airplanes were guided from one beacon light to the next; when phonograph players needed to be wound by hand and the Bakelite records were one-sided. Placing a telephone call required interfacing with an operator; when pen and ink wells were on our school desks; letters (remember those?) were either hand-written or typed on a manual typewriter. You begin to get the picture?

As we proceeded, vacuum tubes then transistors and integrated circuits enabled radios to grow smaller, televisions to grow bigger and thousands of songs to be carried around in the palm of my hand. Telephones moved from the wall to everyone’s pocket or purse and even took photographs. Then came fountain pens, ball point pens and even pens that could write under water; I never felt the need for one of those as every millisecond of being under water caused too much panic for me to want to capture my thoughts for posterity.

Airplanes are now flown by computer (I always say a prayer for the programmers that they’ve got the correct code in the proper order) based on information from space satellites. Computers grew from using our fingers to abaci to adding machines and now the hand-held devices that do everything but drive the car. And whatever happened to slide-rules?

So I got off the train with my HDTV, DVR, HP computer with Windows 7, cell phone that doesn’t do text messaging or e-mail but can take photos if I could ever remember which buttons to push and, oh yeah, a DVD player and VCR player that aren’t plugged in because the instructions are written in some sort of code. But I do know how to use the word processing capability of my computer which is how I’m able to let you know that technology and I have recently parted company.