Saturday, October 8, 2011

Last Rites

I'm going through a loss in the family. A death if you want to call it that. Or maybe a partial death.

My trusty computer began to exhibit some strange quirks a few weeks ago and it proceeded to get worse.
To begin with, it began to feel a bit warm to the left of the touch pad. Then it would sign itself off of its own accord right in the middle of some procedure. Finally, the screen would come on and then go blank and eventually (finally finally) the screen wouldn't come on at all. My favorite computer guru pronounced that the computer had an incurable malady and there fore it was time for last rites on that one and off to the computer store for a new one with all the upgraded goodies. Not only am I trying to get used to the new programs and operating system, I have been struggling to transfer what I can of material from the old computer to the new one. I'm not done in that department and I expect to hav it all done by 2014. if the wind is in my favor. And to top all of that, the new confuser has a different keyboard which is an interesting experience for someone who types with two or three fingers and two thumbs.

I got to thinking about my experience with computers. I started with a Radio Shack TRS-something or other
back in 1983. I can't remember whether its capacity was in kb's or mb's but I'm sure in was kilo's - not much memory but enough that I could learn programming in Basic. Plus, it used a small cassette recorder.
A year or so later I was transferred and that church had early Apple computers - not Macintosh but enough that I could write stuff with it.(I looked at Macs, but they were too much for my wallet)

When we moved to Winter Park, Florida, the Chairman of the Trustees (through the church) gave me an early PC computer with twenty megs of memory. He claimed that it would simplify my writing and I found that it shortened to time to edit stuff I wrote and I went through a true computer conversion experience. As the years passed I climbed the computer ladder - my first Windows unit, to Windows 95 and 98, eventually to Windows XP an now Windows seven. With each upgrade the computer memory capacity made quantum leaps and so in thirty years my memory capacity has gone from 30 or so KB through a couple hundred of so Megabytes on up to 150 gigabytes and now its almost 500 gigabytes (whatever gigabytes are) Too bad my brain memory system has been downgraded every time the computer memory went up - it isn't fun to get old.

They say that one can always learn something new - and I'm working at that. Meanwhile, you can notice in the picture that my touch pad was well-worn. But there are enough good parts (I think) in the oldtimer to keep Joyce's identical computer going for a while. At least I hope so.

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