Last Saturday I visited several antique shops and had a wonderful trip down memory lane. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but as I looked and revisited the past I wondered if you can teach a new dog old tricks. Let’s go back fifty or sixty years.
I used to work in an office with engineers. The only computer was Hal, a monstrous computer in the developing stage, which took up a whole room. I remember visiting Hal and was instructed to type in my name. After much noise of gears groaning, Hal begins to play tic tac toe with me, of course he always won. This was exciting to see a machine able to communicate, however limited. It was many years later that computers and technology came back into my life.
I will be the first to admit my computer skills are lacking. I know computers can do way more than I am able to navigate. But, in my day I could type 80 words per minute using all my fingers and thumbs. I used to take dictation using Gregg shorthand, with an ink pen, at 120 words per minute. If I had to type a letter or memo and needed to make four copies carbon paper was used between original paper and onion skin paper copies. There was no auto correct or spell check, so it had to be accurate, with little or no erasures. Copiers were ditto machines and mimeograph, which took some skill to prep and run.
Between the typewriter ribbons, carbons paper and ink from copiers, I always had blue ink on my hands and if I was lucky not on my clothes.
When I had a job in retail while in high school I had to add items, add sales tax, count out change, and balance my cash register without the aid of calculator or computerized register doing it for me.
It was fun remembering the old days with the array of office mahines and household goods that were considered modern in my day. I can’t help but wonder what the next fifty or so years will bring.