Wednesday, June 10, 2015

10th June - The Computer

The Advent of a Computer;

I reckon it must have been about 20 odd years ago when it arrived in our household,  my son was about 12 and demanded one, though Mark was hardly the demanding type.  Large and cumbersome it dominated his bedroom, he became fascinated by it, the motherboard was examined minutely, it even burst into flames one day as I watched horrified (don't worry mum).  Another time his friend brought his computer to transfer information, and they joined the two computers with an 'umbilical' tube, that is what I called it anyway.  And as the information began to download, the letters started dropping off the screen, some wretched bug was on the stranger computer, and he panicked then because his computer was 'joined' up to his father's computer (don't tell him mum), and he righted the problem because by then he had become adept as to how these clever 'typewriters' worked.

I start with a history of my use of the computer through my son, his advice whenever I panicked that I had done something terrible and messed it all up, was simple, 'just put your finger on the start button, hold it for 20 seconds, and then it will go away'!  In my early days, the boys played those terrible killing and driving games, there was even a driving wheel hooked on to the computer and a foot pedal that directed the speed.  Tom my grandson about five years old would sit on my lap in front of the computer and 'drive' and I would foot pedal.  This made me incredibly sick, the motion of the fast moving car.  I bought sensible games of building cities and earth (sim earth) all to no avail, it was the thrum of killing and fast cars that could always be heard.  Luckily all this translated into jobs for Mark, as he learnt the arts of computer languages, remember those thick books that came with the early computers.

So where is this going, well in praise of the computer and all its functions.  Yesterday we were informed by our solicitor that LS had not replied to an email demanding several points of information, I suspect the secretary had not sent it because he had not received it... five of the points were easy, all they required was copying through the email, the last one asked for papers from 25 years ago.  This was more difficult, the architect for the building of the studio had retired, so LS went online to the Council Office Planning Dept, and lo and behold, there lurking in Historic Records, the relevant paper was found, they had only been put on the computer in 2010.

One day of course we will conduct our lives through computers, bank accounts, shopping and selling houses, still somewhat surprised to see people buying online through Rightmove without even visiting the house!  But for now I praise the computer, and its vast font of knowledge that regularly takes up my time every day for far too long. ;) And, I even pay Wikipedia a fiver a year when they ask for money, think of all those encyclopedias you don't have to own anymore...


  1. I agree Thelma. I remember my brother in law getting his first 'computer' a small thing - have a feeling it was something to do with Clive Sinclair. He eventually gave it to me but I lost patience with it.
    Now, I don't know what I would do without my laptop - searching for information. registering cattle, entering vat returns, communicating with friends - the list grows longer as I learn to do more things.

  2. You also become chained to the computer as well I think, it is happening with the children and young adults and their phones. There is a quiet revolution going on be interesting to see where it goes.