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.

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