Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Remember the IBM Selectric?

Oh. My. Goodness. Today I had to use a *gasp* typewriter to fill out a form. Now I spent three years in typing class and my top speed was over 120 words per minute. During the last two years of high school I was dual enrolled, spending half the day at the vocational school in a secretarial training program. Mom, a 6th grade dropout who spent her life waitressing, gave me no choice. She was determined I be able to do more than waitress -- which I have also done, and it's HARD work! So I took the course and spent several years working as a secretary.

But that was a few years ago.

And I've since gotten used to the ease with which you can make changes on the computer. I could not believe how inept I'd become on the old typewriter keyboard. We'd printed the forms out (from the computer, of course) and added a few extra copies, just in case. Well, needless to say we ended up printing out even MORE copies. In the end it took one and a half hours and six copies before I got it right. Good grief!

How the lofty have fallen! My glory days of winning speed and accuracy contests have long since faded. I had never realized how often I use the backspace key or simply wipe out whole sections and just start over, until today. I'm so ashamed *head hanging low*.

And it makes me realize I'm getting old. We've had a computer since our youngest was a wee thing, so our kids have no history with a typewriter. But I remember what a big deal it was when IBM came out with the Selectric with changeable font balls. My kids can scan and print anything they want. I remember when our vocational school went from the old purple ink hand crank ditto machine to our first Xerox copier. That Xerox was huge, and we couldn't copy photos because the images were unrecognizable. Back in the day, only girls took secretarial training and only boys took shop.

I must say, I like the way things have changed :-)

1 comment:

Linda said...

Well, I can so relate. My husband and I used to sit at my mom's kitchen table when we were dating, both of our electric typewriters humming away as we typed our college papers! The whole table would vibrate. I'm like you in appreciating many technical advances! No more white out!