The challenge was to chat about how technology has changed in our lifetime. Gasp. I don't even wanna go there but alas, I did.
I began my typewriting journey on a manual Underwood typewriter. You had to REALLY mash the keys. Mashing + Rhythm = Speed. I loved it. I began my journey to become the next Della Street (an awesome secretary to Perry Mason - the greatest lawyer of ALL TV) in the ninth grade. So I learned the keyboard, with many exercises, including the “quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Know why that sentence???? Its a pangram , a sentence containing all letters in english alphabet. The school had a mixture of typewriters and it was there I learned of “electric.” Whoa.
Remember having to fling the paten back to the left edge?
Having to find the middle of the paper and counting every two letters to find the center?
Remember the keys jamming when you typed too fast?
As I entered the workforce, there too was a mix of typewriters but mostly were newer than I was used to. Which was cool. The difference in the workforce was that you had to be PERFECT. And if it wasn’t perfect you had to type it OVER, and OVER. Until it was. Back then if you wanted multiple copies - you used carbon papers. And you had to type HARD enough to make sure ALL the copies were readable. AND you had different color and/or watermarked because they were filed in different folders and sent to different people identified in the CC’s (carbon copies) plainly identified. But there were also BCC’s (blind carbon copies) which were secret to the addressees. Liquid paper was my friend. Whoa.
Then IBM became the king of electric typewriters:
you could back space to make a correction - it typed the ink of the same letter perfectly and you could then type the correct letter. No one would know.
you could record standard greetings and phrases to play back.
you could change the balls to different fonts for snappy titles.
At the same time word processing machines were used mostly in secretarial pools because of the expense.
Then came the computer. But not as we know it now. It was a stand alone high powered word processor that caused wide panic because cc’s & bcc’s had to be revised. Most of the software was a nightmare to use because you had to make a two-three keystroke command for italics, underscore, bold, and center. My employer used SAMNA word processing which wasn’t wide spread but it was the easiest. Whatever you wanted to do - you hit THE F key and when you wanted turn the function off. You hit the SAME F key. Amazing.
I have to admit that I sometimes don’t do change well. And honestly, I loved the typewriter, however, it only took about a week to decide that the computer totally rocked. It checked spelling, the multitude of fonts was mind boggling, but the BEST of ALL, was you didn’t have to retype the whole document when you made a mistake. You called up your document, made the correction and reprinted. What a concept!
I don’t know about other employers but mine was slow to evolve the intranet and move on the internet. But it happened and now The computer today. WOW!!! I wouldn’t know what to do without it. Especially the INTERNET.
And cell phones (another animal) you can use your typewriting skills to text. Anyone.Anytime.Anywhere. journalng 10.7.09