September 12, 2011 2 Comments
It was 1984 when Ed brought home some electronics and set them up for me to use with the comment, “This is my career now so you might as well know something about it.” I was interested because our oldest two were toddlers and I was 300 miles from family and friends.
I played with a monochrome monitor and noisy CPU, using keyboard commands and a dot matrix printer. A few feet away, our girls played with the Strawberry Shortcake kitchen, Lego’s and a variety of puzzles, blocks, games and more. Through the years, the girls and I always had access to the latest computer gadgets and tools, they learned to play the piano by computer. I was writing novels on Ed’s old laptops long before desktops populated offices or anyone used the word Apple for anything beside the fruit.
In 2003, I wrote a novel using a PDA with a trifold keyboard while I traveled with Ed after his car accident. The logistics of hauling two laptops that year wasn’t something we considered. He was a technical trainer and software specialist, I was an unemployed tech writer.
With the recent explosion of social networking, Iphones, Ereaders, mini’s, pads, and apps, I chose to return to the basics. The CPU has half a dozen USB ports and two high speed ones. The monitor has exceptional graphics and screen resolution. The printer and mouse are both laser. I am not virtually mobile on any level. I’ve been physically traveling again but am unplugged from the electronic noise. I haven’t decided on a mobile device even though Ed will discuss with friends the potential for creating a private cloud.
I “unplugged” earlier this year and I will go for days without access to the internet or local TV stations. This explains my sporadic blog posts and comments this summer while the weather has been good for kayaking. I know this will change because the seasons do and I’m too fascinated at some of the new technology toys. I’m getting bored at being off the grid. But that novel I wrote in 2003 is vastly improved, after years of sitting on a shelf.
When George Orwell wrote his novel “1984”, it was considered a horror-doomsday story. I’ve never read that book but I expect the 2012 doom machine will also be an interesting story in thirty years.