In the late 1970's, my Dad advised me to get into computers.
"Computers will take over the world", he said.
My father had amazing foresight in the ways of the world and technology's future directions, and he still does.
The problem was, as a teenager back then, our little old town had no computers. No such thing.
Never hold anger in your heart...
* RIP DAD - OUR HERO.
06/02/2020. Aged 81.
Love You Miss You.
Your immense wisdom and worldly knowledge that we could not possibly absorb is now resting with you.
Forever in our hearts.
There were whispers of some big new monstrosity within the office walls of our high school, but it was off limits to students, especially the juniors of the high school and that would include me.
It was a computer they said. The only one in our town. I had to see this thing they called a computer. I managed a peek through an open door of the office one day, and I saw contained within a second room of the office, an enormous big box like piece of metal alien equipment adorned with flashing lights and stacks of computer paper, taking up substantial space in the 'off limits' room. That was as close as I would ever get to that computer.
Computers, an upgrade from the old typewriter. Back in the 1970 - 1980's, typewriters were big, heavy, non electric, manual old dinosaurs, an upgrade from pen and paper. It was a big deal to learn how to touch type on those bricks. The keys were hard to push, there was a constant issue with the ink ribbon running out. It was equally a big deal if we made an error because that was a task to erase. To erase a type error we had to carefully back track with the roller, place the erase white out ribbon roller where we thought we needed to fix the error and retype with white out supplied on the ribbon. Then we had to retype over the correction ink after waiting for the whiteout to dry, otherwise it would make a mess. If we had no whiteout on the ribbon, Twink white out in a bottle that you paint on was the next best thing for correcting typing errors. It was easy to read braille with those old typewriters as they made quite an imprint into the paper.
We did not have mobile phones back in the 1970's & 1980's but I do remember often wishing such a thing did exist, whenever we needed to call home or if there was a break down, which always happened out in the middle of nowhere on a road trip. Ironically, it is still out in the middle of nowhere when we lose mobile phone reception these days, even with our mod cons & technology. The old fashioned telephone exchange was under worked in the 1970's - 1980's and only the elite owned a home telephone aka landline, they were quite expensive to run and operate, especially if we needed to make long distance std calls, boom the bill would sky rocket.
During the 1990's, mobile phones and the Internet were unleashed onto the world. The Internet made the humble computer much more exciting and desirable for all, opening up a whole new world, linking the world. This was much more fun and informative than dragging out the heavy old encyclopedia's.
Usually only the more affluent or elite could afford to buy a computer and internet, due to the high cost. The internet ran off the telephone line by being hooked into the landline. If our telco internet provider, usually metro, was situated several hundred kilometres from our landline, as they were if you were rural, then our telephone provider would gain a financial windfall from many and more often than not taking the food off our tables as shock bills arrived. Long distance call rates were charged to connect us to the internet and for the entire time we spent on it by the minute or hour. If the telephone line was in use hooked into the internet, regular callers were denied and would get the beep beep beep busy signal, so many phone calls were missed if we were using the internet. Too bad if it was an important call or emergency.
More often than not there were many shock bills. Telephone company providers often literally took the food off the table due to their hefty fees and charges. Many family wars were started by the question "who was on the internet?" and "why so long?" or "who made all those long std calls?", as bill shock arrived in the post further on down the track. If you had teenagers who had girlfriends or boyfriends who lived outside your postcode, it was classed as an std long distance call and boom. Yes we were billed quarterly back in the 1990's so it was often a big bill shock.
Funny how things haven't changed that much. Internet, mobile technology, apps, websites, e commerce have taken over the world it seems, as have the gadgets that provide this time consuming, expensive, was non essential to now necessary and often frustrating, culture twist of cumbersome, complicated, time wasting trickery. I remember complaining about all the junk mail in my letterbox, now it's in my email.
Jump forward 20 years later into the new century and the year 1999, which seems not so long ago for some, was the beginning of end of life and everything as we knew it. Mobile phones and pricing plans by the big two players were becoming slightly more competitive and affordable. This enabled at least one family member to commandeer a mobile phone for business purposes or convenience, usually to ring home to the landline for check ins. Equally, the family computer was becoming reasonably affordable and within budget of the higher than average wage earner. Funny how calculators were contraband in schools back then and were not accepted as necessary in class, but now it's all the go.
Then mobile phones were contraband at schools, then allowed and now once again it is a contentious issue nationwide, such a distraction for the young ones. Now if the powers that may be concentrated more on engaging students in participating in doing things they love, enjoy and are good at, aka their natural born talents and skills, as opposed to ramming irrelevant rubbish down students throats, perhaps the students would be more likely to engage in and enjoy class. How about teaching them life skills? Funny how they change the rules all the time.
So here we are, 2019 and moving on fast. After an "Introduction to computers" course in the late 1990's, and then an Information Technology II course in 2007, learning advanced internet skills, programming, coding and website building from scratch, I learned enough basics to get my interest up and started building a website in class. Though it was impossible for me to get on my own PC back then, the old Windows 2000-2004, due to my children's fascination with all things internet and my busy working/family life. Computers & Information Technology took a back seat, it was shelved, took a rain check with a view to one day picking it up again and finish that website I'd started to build.
By the time I had time, to sit down to the computer again and take up where I left off in the early 2000's, advancement in technology had changed the framework and formatting, an upgrade if you will. So I needed to learn website building all over again. Mostly it's easier now with drag and drop templates from various website builders, unless you get into coding to build one from scratch, but who has the time? The difference now is that the basic free templates are gone and it's all monetised by guru companies cashing in on it. And there was I, forced against my will onto the computer due to necessity or worldly demands rather than desire, and the passion slowly re ignited itself. Bring on 2016, everything learned about coding a website from scratch was obsolete and useless on the internet highway, they changed the game again.
Somewhere in 2010 I bought $5.00 bitcoin on some random site, if you buy $100 worth you could be a millionaire in 7 years time the spiel said, how correct they were. But $5.00 is all that I could afford and I didn't pay $7.00 for the wallet they advised I should get, so it was left on some site somewhere. No wallet, all evidence gone, computer in the trash, due to obsolete computers and forced upgrades, emails wiped long ago, my chance to at a random windfall totally blown, opportunity gone, all those nights playing games and socialising on the internet highway of abundance and learning about the new world in air space wasted. My one big chance and I blew it. So that bitcoin is now floating up in airspace and gone forever.
After starting my own business in 2015, I needed to compliment it with a website and so the self taught crash course began. Google has it, anything you need to know about websites and how to build one, not least of all the cost. Always the creative artist, I found I could transfer my skills from paper and pen, arts and crafts, to the almighty god, the computer and its applications. Self taught, be proud. And if you need to know or learn anything at all? Ask Google. Google knows. Although you still need to sort out the wheat from the chaff, the honest from the con and beware the sales pitches or brilliant ideas with hidden agendas by expert scammers who often work in large packs like wolfhounds to achieve their goals.
So here we are, back to our passion, 20 years later. Creating, Art & Design is the passion. Building and expounding feel good stuff, inspiring, all that jazz, and somewhere in there, finding new ways to recreate our dreams, goals, re purpose and how to make a living in this day and age, as jobs and job markets become narrower, evolve, mutate or cease to exist. We also need to find new ways to evolve, new purpose and new ways to exist.
Give us the simple life any day. Appreciate what you have before it's gone or taken away. Love what you do, do what you love, love who you are, love your loved ones and family. Life is but a fleeting moment in the moment.
Our yesterday is gone.
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Copyright © 2019 Helen Joy
Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.
Jon Bon Jovi