This Is How Baby Boomers Have Rocked Technology
Boy, how things have changed, looking back over my working career that has spanned over 50 years. At the tender age of 18, I was employed as a typist. I thought I was quite the cat’s whiskers to be working with this fancy green machine, the Remington Manual Typewriter. After being taught on a cumbersome Corona typewriter, the Remington was a pleasure to use and an added bonus, no nails were chipped in the process. As a typist we all had to take turns for switchboard which meant plugging in calls by using red and black extension cords. Switchboard relief also included working the telex machine (for those who don’t know what a telex machine is, this was the forefather of the now obsolete fax machine – Woe betide anyone who stood on the ticker tape!)
Progress through the technological ages
Imagine our delight when along came the Olivetti Golf Ball typewriter, no more changing ribbons and black stained fingers. This machine only required you to change a cassette, depending on the font you required, you just dropped in your desired golf ball, modern technology at its best. Funny to think that one would have to type a letter in triplicate with carbon paper in between, get the boss to sign the letter, fold it, seal it, frank it, send it and then know that you had at least 6 weeks to wait for a reply. No such thing as a quick call on one’s cell phone to seal the deal and a confirmation email!
The next amazing piece of technology to delight yours truly was the Wang Word Processor. To my amazement I could type an entire document on a small screen that showed one sentence at a time, hit print, leave my office to go get that all important coffee return to my desk and the letter would be typed. How much further could we advance with this amazing technology? Not only that, but phone calls could now be transferred at a push of a button, no more getting tangled up in all these extension cords.
Enter the world of computers
Cue the forerunner to the modern computer. This piece of machinery was amazing, I could work on my computer screen, get my exercise by running into the cold printing room that housed the main frame computer where all our printing was churned out. This sometimes resulted in fisty cuffs, if you had held up the printing queue, especially when monthly reports were due!
After seeing all the ructions in the printing room, the Guardian Angel of PA’s and Secretaries designed a standalone PC along with you own printer, fax machine, scanner and telephone. Surely it could not get any better, how mistaken could I be! Who would believe that I now work on a laptop and cell phone for someone in another country. Never leaving the house or meeting him face to face. If you had said to me 50 odd years ago I would have laughed in your face. How times have changed!