Having suffered a bad back injury this past week, I have been down flat unable to be at my work, my computer or my life. Laying flat staring at either a ceiling or floor does allow your mind to wonder in the many cracks and crevices that you normally do not go to. Me, I enjoy living in the now but find it rather delightful to stroll gently down memory lane. I suppose what I am missing most laying flat and doing nothing, is my computer. I use it to write with, to communicate with, to listen to music with, to earn my living with and it seems like I have a lifetime invested in this square electronic box, and it got me thinking…
What did we do before we did business online? I know that I recently wrote about social networking online, but I am talking about making your living online. I mean really, I skype and type, twitter and facebook, write articles, see clients, run two businesses all online. So what did we do before the computer age?
Of course I tend to think there are pros and cons with the computers. Actually they are quite stupid! If you do not do exactly as they say, they send you mean little error messages and in my case, I get the blue screen of death often because I push mine to its limits and beyond.
Really back in the day, to do business, we actually got dressed and showed up. We wrote letters by hand or typewriter. Now for those of you who are youngsters, the typewriter was a device that when you pressed on the keys much like a keyboard, it put the word characters on paper. You had to pound on it forcefully, well until they came up with the electronic typewriter which became extremely popular by the 70’s because they were more affordable and used a different technology. Still, these snazzy typewriters could not send faxes or emails.
Of course down the road, word processors were developed which basically allowed you to say bye-bye to typewriter white-out and hello to editing your documents within the systems. Still, it was not a computer so to speak that allowed you to use your web-cam to do meetings, or communicate around the world in seconds, though I do believe these word processors where the stepping stones to modern technology.
I am sure back then, the typewriter and word processor machines were all that and more because that is all we had. I know for me, I had a typewriter, and electric typewriter, and several word processors before getting my first DOS computer. I loved my typewriters, I could not save my work on internal files, and could only have hard copies, but there was something special about the clicks and clangs of using the typewriter that got my creative juices flowing.
I recall going from DOS, to Windows 3.0 operating system. It was all that and more to me. Then came Windows 95 and I almost had a gig of space on my computer and bragged how much space I had. Of course Windows 98 made many things easier and there was so much more we could do.
Now I am in Windows XP (I loath Vista) and have over about 3,500 or so gigs of space and a couple of gigs of ram. Sadly, I am never happy enough with how many gigs of space I have left, or how much ram I have, or how much more I can fit on my computer. It seems like I have gone from being grateful I had an electronic typewriter to always looking to improve the modern technology.
I must confess though, I still have my word processor and hold onto it like an old antique waiting to be displayed. There are pros and cons to modern technology and I am glad I can reflect on both the good and the bad.