From typewriters to the stars

A father found his old typewriter in the garage. He had some insurance forms that had to be filled out on originals in triplicate. His seven year old son was amazed by the typewriter. “What is it?”

The father tried various ways of explaining it and finally said. “It’s a printer.”

I type on these keys. The flat panel monitor takes up little space. The laser printer is light and sits nearby. At my elbow sits my scanner that can resolve to 12,000 dots per inch, dpi. Just beyond that sits the HP ink jet that runs the few color jobs I have. As an ex-HP person, I know that the cartridges cost under a dollar out the door. The mark-up is staggering, but that’s how Vancouver Division justifies selling the printers for a song.

Bill Hewlett and David Packard would have gone nuts over that business model as it was against “The HP Way”; The HP Way, a blog I am working on for a future posting.

I am connected through a firewall router that goes into a cable modem – my system – modem, router and computer, all connect through a battery-back-up surge protector. Power could go down and so long as the net is up, I can finish a download.

Ah. My hard drive is chugging. Norton is sending down a live virus protection update.

I wonder, if I went back to when I was seven, what would I think of all this? I wanted to publish a magazine when I was in middle school. My printer sits right there. Not only that, I have my own record studio.

Wanna watch a full length motion picture in Dolby (what’s that?) stereo? It’s on this flat disk, smaller than an LP record. Where did the reels of film go?

Want to enlarge a negative or copy it down to the grain? I can do that too. Or I can send photographs and talk for free over the internet. I can access data, take college courses over the cable.

You know that most of this has happened since 1997, and actually since about 2001. Four years.

At work I hear our planners talking about terabytes, TB, storage instead of gigabytes, GB, and the tea leaves say TB’s will be on every home computer hard drive sooner than later.

In the blogs below there was a discussion about disclosure and information. I suggest that the disclosure is not all that different from when I was seven and before all this technology. People used to gossip about the neighbors and what odd things were going on two doors down and across the street.

People used to write letters to the editor and some even got published. Now we skip all that and write blogs.

Amy Gahran suggested the day of the press release was over and I agree with her. So is the day of the “sound truck,” remember those – there was one in “Back to the Future.” in the 1955 reality. The day of leaflets is also in its twilight. Coupons? Get them online. Pay bills? Online. Balance my check book? Online. Write a check! What’s that? I have a debit card.

Back to the father of the seven year old – the typewriter is printer – that was 1994. That son is 18, now. When that son is a father and has a seven year old son, some time out there in 2021, what will the world look like?

What antique stores will house today’s technological treasures?

I wonder what life will be like.

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