pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

That Was Then

Recently, someone told me doing a certain operation on my G 4 Macintosh computer would take "some time" because it was such an OLD machine. The remark got me thinking.

LOL! All comparisons are strictly situational! SLOW... No, the Mac G4 is FAST. *SLOW* is the 5215 Performa in the back room that runs the dpi 400 letter quality printer and the scanner. THAT's so slow that the thing times out before my lj entries boot up half the time... Of course, when I am at school on the fiber optics cable, this home phone line connection IS terribly slow.

I dread the day that old clunker in the back room quits... I'll need a new scanner and printer all at once. Of course, it was a used $500 replacement for a black and white SE 30 I was ELATED with when it was new (and paid $3500 for.) Ah, compared to my original lowly Apple IIe that it replaced, the Mac was revolutionary. The SE 30 lasted 10 years, and I'd always said I didn't care if it went out of style within three months as long as it could do my job.

"Eat my words" time came. Somewhere along in there, the INTERNET happened, and I got a modem, so I had access, but people's web pages DID NOT WORK WELL in black and white. Half of the time, colored lettering blended into the backgrounds, rendering them totally unreadable.

People too young to have experienced the thrill of programing their very own Apple II's to display their names on a green and yellow CRT monitor just DON'T appreciate where this revolution has gone in what seems to be the blink of an eye, historically...

One day our superintendent called a staff meeting, and the people from the local Area Education Agency came over to show us all the ins and outs of these marvelous new machines, computers. Nobody, I mean absolutely NOBODY, on staff had the least idea what one did with one of them. I picked up a WP, which I'd never heard of, because one of the AEA people told me "English people will love it," and was totally enchanted to see that you could TYPE in it, and it made your document come out on the screen, then send it to a printer. I was hooked.

Later, when I had the kids doing the yearbook pages on it, and kids getting the stories to go into the local paper on it, the superintendent came up to me and said, with disappointment heavy in his voice, "I just don't understand what you ENGLISH people are doing hogging all the computers. I thought the science and math people would take charge of them."

I took him over to the editor's board, which had fan fold printouts hanging all over it, some marked Ready, some PROOFREAD, and some EDIT. I showed him the "raw" stories before submitting. He was right; he really DIDN'T get it. Kids were NOT anywhere near as resistant to editing when it didn't mean retyping the whole document afterward (and making a whole host of new errors, most likely...)

It was a heady time.

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