This guest post is written by my pharmacist friend Don Weiss. His murder mystery, Picture Perfect, is about to be released. Check it out in e-book or paperback form on Amazon or Barnes and Noble!
Hello, fellow sexagenarians. I’m typing this blog post on my brand spanking new computer. It is light, fast, and pretty darned near amazing compared to my old machine. Which brings me to our topic—technology. First, let’s harken back to those thrilling days of yesteryear.
For my twelfth birthday, I received a compact transistor radio, complete with leather case and earphone. Raise your hand if you know what a transistor is? Give up? It’s a tiny device invented by two guys at Bell Labs that started the whole tech revolution. I had that little radio for years. I wasn’t married to it like kids are today, and I sure didn’t treat it like a disposable commodity. And for years, nothing better came along. Then sometime in the mid-seventies, things began to change. Two guys working out of their garage came up with something called the Apple II personal computer, and another revolution began.
It’s always amazed me how quick we are to embrace technology and how little about it we understand. Televisions used to come in big, heavy, wooden cabinets. We got three channels, and the broadcast day ended with a test pattern. Show of hands again. How many remember the test pattern? The test pattern stood for two things: the end of the broadcast day or the Russians had just unloaded their entire nuclear arsenal in our direction, and we were to stand-by. We had to constantly adjust the vertical and horizontal hold and fiddle with the “rabbit ears” to clear up a fuzzy black-and-white picture. But despite the primitive nature of the set, most of the programs were pretty darned good. Now our sets are 55 inch wide, ½ inch thick, ultra-high definition marvels of technology with computer interfaces. I have a satellite dish on my roof instead of a flimsy metal antenna and at least 2500 channels beamed down from a satellite hovering 22,000 miles above the planet in outer space. Mostly, I watch the Discovery Channel, Netflix, and A&E., which brings me to my brand new laptop computer.
My daughter, Amanda, who is now 25 years old, sat with dear old dad to help set up my new machine. Mans (as I call her) was born in 1990. She grew up with computers, cell phones, iPods, iPod minis,