TechnoMoronic

 

Technology

 

Hi! My name is Peg and I’m a TechnoMoron!  That is the way I feel I should introduce myself most of the time. It’s not that I’m completely clueless when it comes to technology.  I actually consider myself somewhat savvy as compared to some people of my generation, but, I probably know just enough to be dangerous.

You have to understand that my generation is the generation where all this stuff was invented.  So that means we didn’t already have any of this crap – ingenious stuff.  When my kids were in high school they were required to take a computer applications class.  In MY day the equivalent would have been a typing class…. On actual typewriters…. Where you actually had to put paper in the typewriter (actually two pieces so you didn’t damage the “rollers” – quit laughing, I know I’m a dinosaur).  

And there wasn’t even such a thing as a “correcting” typewriter back then.  The only “correcting” was that you had one of those typewriter eraser things and you had to actually take the piece of paper OUT of the machine, erase it the best you could and brush it off with the little brush attached to the other side of it (do they even make those things anymore?) and then try to insert the paper back in the machine and line it up so that the correction didn’t stand out even more because the words weren’t lined up. They didn’t even have LiquidPaper or anything like that yet.  I know you youngsters have absolutely no clue what I’m talking about, but trust me… it was an absolute pain in the butt. 

If you made too grievous of an error, let’s just say the words “do-over” took on a whole new meaning.  Let’s just hope you were at the beginning of the paper and not at the bottom because then you had to re-type the whole page.  And cut and paste?  Yeah, that took on a whole new meaning too.  You had to ACTUALLY CUT with scissors and PASTE with glue onto the page.  And being able to do even THAT?  And make a copy of the pasted work on a new sheet of paper on an actual copy machine?  Man, I thought I was the bee’s knees when I first was able to do even THAT. Because before that was all that mimeograph stuff… Don’t even get me started on THAT. 

Kind of makes me wonder what Thomas Jefferson would think were he still alive today.  I didn’t realize (as many times as I’ve been to Monticello growing up in Virginia) until several years ago that he actually invented one of the first “copy machines”.  It was a contraption that linked together two actual pens to write with so that you put a piece of paper beside the piece of paper you were writing on and as you wrote with YOUR pen, the other pen on the contraption wrote on the other piece of paper…. Right hand to God!  I saw it with my own actual eyes!  Can you imagine what he would think NOW? If he were privy to all the technologies we have available to us?  He was so far ahead of his generation with that clumsy contraption and now?  He’s not rolling over in his grave…. He’s probably smacking himself in the forehead going “Why the hell didn’t I think of that?” 

Jefferson's "copy machiine" called a polygraph

 

I’m really going to date myself now, but, I never even really SAW a computer until I was like 20 and then they were VERY antiquated and HUGE.  I was working for a uniform rental service in Fayetteville NC and they used a computer for their billing.  I thought I was SO cool when the office manager showed me how to work the computer. I felt like the Jetson’s! And all they used it for was the billing. Everything else was still done by hand.  The correspondence was still done by typewriter.  But by then, we had those fancy correcting selectrics.  Of course they took up almost an entire desk top but who cared?  You didn’t have to manually move the carriage forward when you got to the end of the line.  

Correcting Selectric

 

And spell correcting and grammar correcting? That’s what secretarial pools were for.  The executives never had to really write or type anything themselves! They would just call in their secretaries and have them do it for them.  Back then for a guy to be in a typing class was considered “sissy”.  Why did they need to know how to type when they had secretaries?  Seriously, we really lived in THAT sexist of a world.  So, yes, we HAVE come a LONG way baby… to get to where we’ve got to today.  Any of you remember THAT commercial?  Back when you COULD advertise cigarettes on television?  Those Virginia Slims commercials that touted being a fierce and independent woman?  WAY before Sasha was Fierce.  That was the epitome of being an independent woman! They actually made us our “own” cigarettes!  The commercial went something like this:  You’ve come a long way, baby. To get where you got to today. You’ve got your own cigarette now, baby. You’ve come a long long way! 

Yes, we were fiercely independent because now we had a cigarette that was made for US.  But, I digress…. I remember the first “car phone” that we had.  We had bought a used Mazda and the man we bought it from had a car phone installed in the car already so all we had to do was activate it.  We thought we were SO cool that we actually had a phone in our car.  Never mind that you couldn’t LEAVE the car in the middle of a phone conversation because you were actually attached to the car with the phone.  It was on a stand that was installed in the car next to the gear shift on the floor.  They did HAVE “portable” phones but they had their own little case to carry the battery and everything that was like the size of overnight bag.  And they didn’t last all that long either. And the reception was terrible, but, you could finish your conversation away from your car! 

early car phone

 

But that was a heck of a long way from the “party lines” we had when we were growing up where you had to actually share your phone lines with your neighbors and you never knew if someone else was on the phone until you picked it up. And neighbors would eavesdrop on your phone conversations.  And you didn’t do anything else while you were on the phone because you were literally attached by the phone cord. We thought we were cool when we got a longer phone cord or a phone that wasn’t a rotary phone.  For you youngsters, that’s a phone where you have to actually insert your finger into the round dial and move it around in a circular motion to make a phone call.  Yes, we actually had to do that.  And you hoped the number you were calling had lots of 1’s and 2’s and 3’s because the higher the number the longer it took for that little dial to fall back around to dial the next number. 

Yes, today’s generation has no clue how convenient they have it or how much longer it took to do everything “back then” as compared to now.  And some days I sit and think back to the prehistoric age I lived in growing up and am amazed at all the marvelous technological advances we have made. I truly do appreciate all the great minds that invented these gizmos and gadgets.  I just wish my moronic mind would absorb it faster and be able to actually figure out how to use them correctly. 

This post was brought to you via The Spin Cycle.  Follow the link and put YOUR spin on it! 

Technology

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About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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35 Responses to TechnoMoronic

  1. Oh Peg, this is good. I took typing in middle school and used an electric typewriter in college and for my first poetry submissions as a writer. And I sang that Virginia Slims cigarette jingle as i read it on your post. Too funny! We are dinosaurs.

  2. jammer5 says:

    Interesting post. My mom, who was the secretary at the grade school I went to, for over thirty years, could type with no mistakes. She said it was too much of a bother to make mistakes. Her latest typewriter, prior to retiring, was one of those ball thingys. And not self-correcting.

    Years later, while I was taking care of her, I had her try to write an email to her grand niece. She asked where the paper was, and that was the end of that. Technophobe 🙂

  3. terrepruitt says:

    Oh my. I worked at a company where we had EVERY color liquid paper there was. When we got computers we had to share them. When we got a fax machine most of the company packed into the room it was in so we could watch it work for the first time. It was so exciting. It was like magic. And EVERYTHING that came over had to be photocopied onto “regular” paper because the “fax paper” faded too fast.

    You felt like you were on the Jetson’s. Funny.

    Nice post. Nice walk down Memory Lane. Thanks.

    “Old School” and “of a different generation” maybe, but not a dinosaur. They didn’t adapt and went extinct. You are adapting. Yay for you. There is no way to keep up with ALL of the technology. You are blogging! Way ahead of a lot of people technology-wise. Good for you. Keeps you young.

    • pegbur7 says:

      It either keeps me young or confused! Maybe both? I didn’t even think about including faxes. Man, it would have been a book by then! LOL

      • terrepruitt says:

        I already wrote a book sized comment and I forgot to comment on the party-lines. We didn’t have them buy my Grandmother did, so it was really weird calling her. She didn’t have a phone for YEARS, but we would make phone dates and she would use a neighbors.

      • pegbur7 says:

        I remember that too. My parents didn’t have a phone for YEARS when they moved where they are now. I’d have to call her at work like once a week on the same day at the same time and she could talk for like 3 minutes and that was it. My how times have changed!

  4. dwight says:

    Great post Peg! You don’t give yourslf enough credit! You will try to learn about new things. You have your dad’s gift of “working with your hands” We are a great team. I am good with a spoon and you are great with a screwdriver. My favorite story about people who are lacking in techo-skills is from my work. Every morning we fax out menus for the morning orders. On this morning a high school hostess was faxing of the menus in my office. After the first one ,she ran off and came back with a new menu! I asked,”What are you doing?” She anwsered,”I faxed the first one,so it is gone!I had to get a menu for the second one.” TRUE STORY love Dwight

  5. suzicate says:

    Great spin! I have always thought you to be very techically savvy…much better than I am. I tell the hubby and kids that’s why I have them! They are usually showing me how to do things. ANd shorthand is really extinct now! I never took that, but I did take typing.

  6. Alaina says:

    That’s hilarious – I love the car phone…I remember my uncle having one of those and thinking “wow, that is SO cool!” And I learned to type on a typewriter, too, but it was one with correction tape. However, I sucked so badly at it and used so much correction tape that I was always docked several points for each assignment. Grea spin!

    • pegbur7 says:

      Thanks! Yes, I remember “graduating” to the correction tape and I think I used three times more of that than the ribbon! I am so thankful now for computers and being able to backspace/retype!

  7. I kinda wish we could go back to those pre-cell phone days. Sometimes, it really pains me to answer that damn phone.
    Great Spin! You’re linked!

    • pegbur7 says:

      Thanks! I UNDERSTAND… I sometimes hate it but haven’t gotten SO dependent on it that I panic if I leave home and forget it or see that the battery is low when I have to go somewhere!

  8. Hadassah says:

    The sad part is that I can remember all this. As a Junior in high school, I took a typing class using typewriters.

    I had one of those glamorous “cell phones”, and I took “Computer Lessons” on an IBM computer with a boot-up disk with one of those small green monitors. It was the one of the only rooms in the school that had air conditioning.

    AHHHH!!!

  9. Ron says:

    YES! YES!…I DO remmeber those correcting typewriters. I think they were Olympus. We had them in my high school and I use to think, “WOW…how high-tech!!”

    HA!

    And the car phone? OMG, that’s a riot because my boss had one in his car one about the size of that one. Isn’t it amazing how small cell phones have become?

    What’s interesting, is that I never considered myself “tech-savy” until I started using the Internet and learning so much about stuff. I can’t even believe I have a computer because I swore I would never get one.

    FAB post, Peg!

    LOVED it!

    Have a super day….X

    • pegbur7 says:

      Thnaks Ron! Our first “computer” was a Commodore 64! I think the only thing we used it for was to store recipes and catalog our albums (yes, the vinyl ones) and movies! We didn’t know HOW to do anything else on it. LOL

  10. Spot says:

    Oh Peg! I remember all those things too. I was in seventh grade when we got two Apple Computers donated to the school. They were so huge and clunky compared to today’s desktops. And they only let those of us in gifted & talented play with them. And you had to learn BASIC to do so. I don’t even think anyone programs in BASIC anymore!!

    Most of the time I feel like a dinosaur as well. I got my fancy new phone 3 weeks before my daughter got the same one. In twenty minutes she had it figured out better than I did in 3 weeks.

    ♥Spot

    • pegbur7 says:

      Glad you enjoyed it and it could bring back our dinosaur memories! My daughter and I got our new tech phones at the same time. I think it took her like 3 seconds and I’m still trying to figure mine out. I’m still calling and texting people I don’t mean to!

  11. Love this post. The only thing I can add is that in the “old days” you bought a telephone and you kept that telephone for a lifetime. Now, we replace out “telephone systems” every 2 years or so because they quit working. It’s funny how those old phones just went on and on and on!

    • pegbur7 says:

      I know…. EVERYTHING is like that now. Hubby calls it a “disposable society” because nothing is made to last. Our TV’s we used to have forever and now they are only made to last a few years! We waste SO money as a society it’s crazy.

  12. I loved this post, Peg! I think you must be exactly my mom’s age, because I’ve listened to stories about typewriters and real letters being sent thousands of miles and waiting breathlessly for each one, and stories of how much it cost to call abroad…. I love them. I’m jealous of them. Of course it’s easier today with computers being in ever home, etc. etc. but still, there’s something so much more satisfying about doing something that required some concentration, like typing on a typewriter.

    You’re NOT a dinosaur at all!!! I’ve got a mother who’s sometimes technologically-challenged as well, but I love her to bits and she’s not prehistoric either. So there! :D.

    • pegbur7 says:

      You are too sweet. I feel like i’m prehistoric I tell you. all you kids pick this stuff up and know automatically how to do it and I’m struggling for weeks to figure out how to do them!

  13. Helen Ellis says:

    Oh Peg, I can relate!
    I’m a 39 year old married woman living in Manhattan and refuse to own a cell phone. I still use my rotary phone and typewriter! For fun, take a look at my how-to demos and visit http://www.diaryofaluddite.com (search “rotary” and “typewriter” or click http://bit.ly/c8RV5y or http://bit.ly/bDiSmf).
    Thanks for sharing!
    Helen Ellis

  14. Angelia Sims says:

    I was a spoiled brat. My dad got me a word processor. Unheard of 1986.

    You crack me up! 🙂

  15. Sara says:

    This makes me wish I had a giant backyard with all sorts of raspberry and blackberry bushes.

    I resent the hell out of the grocery store every time I want to buy them. It’s like $4 for 10 berries, for crap’s sake!

  16. Now that you are dating yourself… did you get yourself flowers, or chocolates???

    I took typing lessons and what I find interesting is that there are a lot of people who never took typing and use hunt and peck or some other method to type. I guess that because we don’t have to worry about being accurate we don’t have to make sure we type as fast (I know why my limit is as slow as it is, but I’ll save that for a separate post).

    Excellent spin,

    • pegbur7 says:

      As a matter of fact, I got myself, flowers, choclates AND wine! Such a slut! oops…. too far? LOL
      Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it. And I know people who hunt and peck and still seem to go faster than me!

  17. Pingback: Please Let Me Repeat Myself « Square Peg in a Round Hole

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