Friday, June 18, 2010

A Prairie Chick's Recent Technological Experience

Today, I was able to hear my grandchildren's voices, but couldn't see their faces. It was fun to try though and we will get it figured out. The evolution of technology since I worked on my first PC back in 1981 constantly amazes me.

Back in 1981 when I turned on the IBM 8080 (which cost my boss over $2000) it took forever to load. It had 64K of RAM, 5.25" floppies and a 10MB hard drive.

On Monday morning I would unlock the front door and go immediately to my office. Once at my desk (which did not have a keyboard slide), I turned on the computer and left.

I opened the mail that had come in the mail slot on Saturday, sorted it and made coffee. When that was done, I went back to my office and the computer was booted up.

Today in 2010 I wonder how many people remember typing DOS commands at the command prompt. I have done it since the Icon menus came out, first on Apples then on PCs but only when I had to repair system crashes on PCs.

It was such fun typing in those DOS commands. I remember cursing at the dang computer when it wouldn't load the program I told it to. The first acronym I learned was GIGO (garbage in garbage out. Typing in profanity just to see the Program Not Found or Unrecognized Command response was a great stress releaser.

Just the other day I thought I had to do it again. I am the least technologically challenged employee at the museum I work at. Anytime the computers have issues, I am called on to fix them.

I tried everything I could to get the computer's common folder accessible by the other computers. This last time, Windows System Restore and reinstalling the Network Connection in the Control Panel saved me. I don't know where it went, but I think it had something to do with Microsoft Updates.

Backing up the shared files on the common computer to a few DVDs is going to be my top priority on Monday.

Back to my video adventure today. As I live on a very fixed income and tether to the internet through my cell phone, I don't pay for broadband or dial up at my house. My daughter was using her wireless connection and so we had a bit of a technology challenge today.

We could both get audio, but no video. My daughter's solution was to create a video of my grandchildren and email it to me. Until we can make Yahoo Messenger or Skype work for us, that is what we will have to do.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Picking up Pennies

Find a penny, pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck. This is one of those life lessons I learned when I was small, and have passed it onto my grandchildren. I know that even though they are 1900 miles away, they still look for pennies. My grandson is always finding little treasures and putting them in his pockets.

During my daily and weekly visits to various blogs and news sites, I am constantly finding little treasures. One of my favorite sites,Get Rich Slowly had a guest post for a woman, only a couple years older than myself who went back to school, and wrote an article for MSN Money that reminded me of my own personal struggles entitled Surviving (and thriving) on $12,000 a year. The fun thing was that after I found this little treasure, I found yet another.

Her daughter, Abigail has a site, I-Pick-Up-Pennies where I was able to enter a drawing to win a free pair of Cushe shoes. I don't know if I will win, but it was fun to enter.