Can you remember when you started using computers?
During engineering lab in college in 1969 I was introduced to the nascent ARPAnet and learned how to create punch cards for data entry.
Would you say this was an easy process to get to grips with?
No, I was not a very good typist and any mistake had to be thrown out and restarted. Programming was machine language, and I wasn’t willing to learn a new language. I am very grateful to all the programmers that have created all the marvelous software that is now very easy to download and use.
Since then, has your journey been straightforward, and if not, can you remember what some of your challenges were?
No, although I worked on computer systems in the Navigation Center on nuclear submarines in the 70’s and IBM 360’s and the officeMAC LISA system in the 80’s, I didn’t break down and join the computer society at home until 1995 when I bought a WebTV. That was adequate for my needs until 2005 when I bought a Sony VAIO with WindowsXP. Now I have a Dell desktop running XP and a new VAIO running Windows 7 with which I am rapidly becoming best friends.
Do you have any challenges even now?
Because I am fairly familiar with Windows XP, the shift to Windows 7 has been pretty easy. I am not a gammer, but I have always looked at conquering a new software program and integrating it into my computer as the ultimate game. I still have no desire to learn the language of computers and rarely touch even HTML language. As long as there are youngsters out there willing to produce new software i am willing to give it a try (ie the new Hamster video converter is my latest download via CNET; thank you very much)
Did you/do you have any coping strategies? Patience is a learned virtue and will garner you the ultimate reward. Intellectual curiosity opens the mind’s eye to other genre which is the greatest aid when conducting computer searches. It really helps to read more than what’s on the computer screen to engage the synapses (eg books, magazines, product labels, technical manuals). Don’t be afraid to open your eyes to new realms of knowledge, but always enable the mental discernment button before downloading all you hear or read.
Looking back, do you think the challenges you faced are any easier to tackle now?
On a typical day, how long will you be interacting with computer devices?
If you include DVR, digital tv, MP3 player, laptop, desktop, Archos 70 internet tablet, and cell phone then the anser is about 18 hours. If you add all the RF from wireless routers, cell phone towers, satellites, tv and radio transmiters, then 24/7.
Do you appreciate the extended functionality/increasing pervasiveness of computing now?
Can’t live with them, can’t live with out them; but within the next 5 years the internet will wakeup to itself, and in 30 years a version of the Cylons (ie BSG) will be amongst us.