November 26, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for modern day computers and software. The other day, I was talking to a friend from high school about our class reunion (how many decades is not important). We were discussing how much things had changed over the years.
When we were in high school, the computer course we learned (or tried to learn) was called FORTRAN. We had to create flow chart programs. We had to enter our program into a key punch machine, usually resulting in a thick stack of cards. Then came the moment of truth … were your flow chart commands correct?? To find out, you loaded your key punch cards into the reader to be printed. If the pin feed printer spit out a long banner = success 🙂 … short banner = failure 🙁
We also talked about research papers. I talked about my memories of doing the actual research last week. We talked about typing class … how you wanted to get to class as early as possible so you could get an electric typewriter. Those who arrived later usually got stuck with the manual ones. We reminisced the heart ache of being nearly to the end of a page and then making a mistake … trying to erase (remember those little white eraser wheels with the little brush attached?) the typo without tearing the paper or smudging the second copy by rubbing on the carbon paper too hard. I learned early on in my high school years to not take the papers out of the typewriter to correct … you will never get it properly lined up again 🙁
There are many things that are great about “the good ole days”, but as far as trying to write a paper or blog post, the “ole days” weren’t so good. As a blogger, I must say that I love the ease and convenience of Microsoft Windows and Word 🙂 I love the ergonomic keyboard, spell check, formatting, backspace/delete, copy & paste … and my personal fav, UNDO 🙂