Munchkin Boy was spending some time at my office recently and he dusted off an old computer, found all the proper plugs, and turned it on. The beast -- circa 2002, we deduced from its contents -- sounded like an old Model T sputtering to life. He ended up having to explore the thing sans mouse since none of our leftovers seemed to want to work. That was fine. I taught him the old ctrl+tab and Alt+underlined_letter tricks and he navigated suitably well. He explored the programs, the games, and started himself a spreadsheet of product line for some venture he has going in his head.
Later, he was asking me questions about the first computer we owned.
How much did you spend on it?
More than on any computer we have purchased since. $1,500 in 1990.
What version of Windows did it have on it?
Windows 3.0. That was the really cool thing. It was one of the first IBM compatible computers that I remember seeing with Windows on it. I had to explain IBM compatible, as it was not a term he'd come across before.
Hubby and I took turns telling stories about DOS and what we remembered of the tips and tricks to running our first word processing program. (I'd had experience on the Mac in high school, so I was familiar with an environment like Windows, but we'd gone with an IBM compatible for our first purchase because that's what the "business" world was recommending in those days and... it was more affordable, if I remember correctly.)
Oddly enough, both Middle Munchkin and Munchkin Boy were rather captivated by these stories of early days on the computer with Mom and Pop. Getting carried away with the reminiscing, I began to tell about using PageMaker 1.0 in 1986-87. By the time I started re-working aircraft maintenance manuals in PageMaker for my first job for ORBIS International, we were using top-of-the-line, version 3 or 3.1. I remember upgrading to version 7.0 and feeling like I was really something. I'd been there from the beginning!
My son, of course, is looking at me with puzzlement by this time.
Mom? What's a PageMaker?
PageMaker! It was replace by InDesign! It was...
all before he was born...
Somehow my story had grown stale, and I was feeling really, really old.
So I "lost" my cell phone about a month or two back. This nagging feeling that it's around here somewhere still haunts me. I have a memory of putting it on a bookshelf.... or sticking it in a crack somewhere. I even have a memory of thinking, "This is a really stupid place to put the cell phone."
I assumed it would turn up.
We've even had company, which always results in a pretty concentrated house cleaning effort, and still... no cell phone.
I don't exactly miss it. We have a second cell phone we bought for the kids to use when they are out and about and it's usually sufficient to have just the one. I call it my daughter's phone so that I don't feel the need to pick it up and carry it around myself.
I honestly, don't miss having a phone in my pocket.
The older I get, the more I believe people were intended to remain disconnected, at times.
None-the-less, I have found myself, several times, passing on my home phone number after explaining that I really don't have a cell phone anymore.
So a friend called the other day--after I'd told her the no cell phone story--and about an hour later she'd called again. We were working on an event together and I had assured her I'd be home all afternoon, so to call any time. The second call, however, it took me forever to get to the phone. The answering machine was well into its spiel before I picked up the phone, out of breath.
"Sorry," I said. "Couldn't find the phone."
It was true. I couldn't! I'd run from room to room, discovering both our phone cradles were empty and not a phone in site.
"That's an issue with you, isn't it?" she said.
"Apparently," I answered.
That's when it hit me. The most brilliant idea ever. Phones should come with a cord. A short one to tie them in place. If a phone had a cord, you'd always know where to find it.