Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sharing a Slice of Life, Communications

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Over at Sharing a Slice of Life, this week's challenge is "Communications".  Specifically, the challenge reads:

"Write about how communications have changed during your life span, or an important phone call you've received (or made), letters of correspondence, your first brick... I mean cell phone, making the change to email & blogging, etc."

My first thought was, that old phone switching system, but, I chatted about that back in June, as a Treasure Chest Thursday post.

Next, my mind wandered over to my current cell phone, a smart phone, said phone being smarter than I, so far.  I wrote about it as well, in a frazzled rant, back in October.

The two phone (systems), one rather old, the other new, and both could, did and do, frustrate me now and then.

I suppose my other most favorite (??) form of communication IS my computer.  I call it my best enemy and my worst friend.  My first, about 1981, was a VIC 20.  Yes, way back then.  Up until I started family research in late 1991 I used my computers for letters to family, including our Christmas letters (mmmm, yea, THOSE!  LOL).  I loved that I could type one letter and print out multiple copies, what a time saver that was for a mom with 3 sons.

Once I started family research my computer usage increased every day, month and year.  Letters requesting vital records could be printed in duplicate, one to mail, one for my records and reference. 

And, there was that data base, Brother's Keeper was the program I used in the beginning.  No fan charts or paper pedigrees for Carol.  No siree, she had a computer program to keep it all straight and print out family group sheets any one could read.  Nice and neat.

Carol and her computer on a good day!
These days I still use my computer, my Baby HP tablet computer, to record my family history. I also use the computer to store the thousands of photos Man and I have taken over the years (scanning the older ones, even slides).

I can scan or photograph documents I have collected in my almost 20 years of researching, and have them available, just a click away. I can review what these documents say and never have to cart the paper along with me.

I use my computer while we are traveling to plan the day's route, thanks to mapping programs.  It can play music and show me movies.  I can produce books with it.  Store my addresses and phone numbers, and some other stuff I won't give away (shhhhh, secret passwords and MORE!)  I write many emails, I blog, I do some of my research on the internet. 

Yes, man, this gal loves her computer, but, only when it behaves.  (And, believe me, you do NOT want to be a witness to my reactions when the computer is NOT behaving! Tis an ugly, ugly happening.)

From the VIC 20 with cassette tape storage to the Baby HP Tablet with 250 Gig of hard drive storage, and from toggle switching systems to a really, really Smart phone, all in a matter of about 25 some years (yea, I was still using that switch box in 1986), you know how the the saying goes,

"You have come a long way baby!"

Now, if I could just figure out this new Smart phone - - - then maybe I could call the granddaughters  - - - (just kidding, I CAN make a call, it is just all that other stuff it does that I have to figure out!)

*Graphic found somewhere on the internet several years ago, source data long lost.



IrishEyesJG said...

Thanks for making my day, as usual! I laughed all the way through this, and I absolutely love the graphic. It totally fits!!!!! Thanks Carol. Cheers! Jennifer

Southwest Arkie said...

I love that toon of you ranting over the computer when it messes up- cause I feel your pain!

Nolichucky Roots said...

How did I miss that switchbox the first time round? Fantastic!

It is mindboggling how fast things have changed. I knew I was old in 1990 when a kindergartner came into the school office to call home and just stared at the rotary phone. Poor thing had no idea how to operate the rotary dial. A long way indeed! Well done.

Michelle Goodrum said...

Great post! It brought back some memories for me (although the phone switching system was slightly before my time).

The cartoon is perrrrfect!!!

hummer said...

Great post. I was an operator for SW Bell and we answered the switchboards and routed the calls. Interesting time.

Barbara said...

Got some chuckles from your post, so I thank you. Reading about your memories and struggles brought back some memories to me. My first computer, at work, was a Wang, abt. 1980. Oh those days people were so scared of computers. Really enjoyed this post.

Texasblu said...

Oh my goodness... that cartoon. That's a scream - I ♥ it!!!

You had a computer in 1980? I'm so jealous. It took my dad until about 1987-88 to get us a Commodore 64. Then he went all nuts over Apple and BASIC. And no one even knows what BASIC is anymore, but they used to teach it in High School.

Christmas letters... haha!