Saturday, August 13, 2011

Is that all it has been?

I read Albert Collver on his blog The ABC3s of Miscellany about the 30th anniversary of the original PC, August 12, 2011.  I was in shock.  Surely it has been longer than that!  Apparently not.  And I should know better.
In 1981 I was serving a congregation a little north of the IBM complex of research and production, just north of Kingston, NY, where the PC got its birth.  We had an original PC in my congregation -- the gift of IBMers who had already gravitated toward the next incarnation of the PC, the AT.  Ah, I remember it well.  Two 360K floppies (real floppies and not those hard plastic encased ones).  We upgraded the memory to an astounding 640K (yes, K and not M or G).  Later we got a 10 M hard card and we were sailing like nobody's business.  We had WordPerfect 4.2 and a 24 pin NEC dot matrix printer and we sat on top the technology ladder for a little while.

At home we were a bit more creative.  A Commodore Vic 20 gave us better graphics and games (not gaming yet but some games).  This finally gave way to real computing power and an IBM PS1 that served us until 1994 when we got our first 386 machine, then 486, then Pentium, and now we trade computers every couple of years or so.  The closets of our lives are filled with a veritable treasure trove of different forms of ancient and discarded computer chassis.

About 7 years ago, my present parish was given a gift to build a network of new Dells, with server, lasers all around, and LCD monitors.  For the most part they still serve us, running on XP Pro but their days are numbered.  I guess it will soon be time to pray for another donor to move us on up to the big time, again.  Which is the problem with technology -- you are always out of step with the times as soon as you sign for the delivery of the latest and greatest piece of hardware or software.

But who can believe that it was only 30 years ago and an IBM Selectric was the Cadillac of word processors (make that typewriters) and an AB Dick or Gestetner mimeo brought mass media to the Lutheran parish.  Now we have internet, desk top publishing, web pages, PowerPoint, databases, clipart, mp3 audio, web cam video, and, well, you know better than I do....  So computers have been on the scene a little more than half my life, huh.... I thought it was longer... It seems longer... Say it ain't so!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You started off with a system with floppy disks ?!

Man you were advanced. I started off with tape, the audio cassettes the these systems would write data to.

It was a Commodore PET and the parochial school I attended was so proud of it a member who did woodworking was commissioned to build a custom cabinet for it with a door that would swing round and close it up with a little brass padlock so it wasn't damaged or anything when no one was looking. LOL those were the days.....