Friday, February 11, 2011

Does not Compute

I think every generation has one great invention that they can count as a major milestone in their own lives.  For my great-grandparents, it had to be radio (my GGs on my mom's mom's side were both born in 1897, which would've made them around 24 when the radio went global).  For my Grammie's generation, it was definitely TV (she was born in 1924 and TV came to Green Bay in 1953, so she was only 29).  For my mom's generation, it was a whole bunch of things: hi-fi stereo equipment, color TV, VCRs, microwaves - all things that became ubuiquitious when she was in her 20s and 30s.  For MY generation, it has to be computers and the internet (I was born in 1968 and the computer first entered my home when I was 22; the internet first happened for me in 1995).

And let's talk about the word "computer" for a minute - doesn't that even sound a little quaint now?  It's too vague a term!  If someone says, "I got a new computer today", most people are going to assume you mean a PC (because if you get a new computer that happens to be a Mac, you're probably going to say, "I got a new Mac today").  There are smartphones, iPod Touches, Nintendo DSes, Wiis - technically, they're all computers.  But we'd never call them that, would we?

I think that shows just how much they've become a part of our lives.  I am currently writing to you via my desktop - it's still my favorite way to use the Interwebs.  I do own an iPod Touch but I find it to be cumbersome for all but the most perfunctory of tasks (like what time True Grit is playing tonight).

To show you how far we've come, just 18 short years ago I began my newspaper career.  I had a computer at my desk but it still ran DOS.  I can remember many instances when we'd be sent home because the mainframe was down and we couldn't run billing (I worked in the finance department).  By the time I left just 3 1/2 years later, in late 1996, the newsroom was on the Internet (which they foolishly didn't think was going to be competition) and the graphics department made the switch from pasting ads with Velox and wax to going completely digital in their layout.

When I recall this sort of information it reminds me how fast life moves these days, and how adorable these punch cards and papers now appear.  My dad in-law used to work with these every single day; now his son, my wonderful husby (and his bro) own, a website development company right here in Fondy.  Isn't that wild?  :D

And yes, I LOVE using punch cards and paper in my artwork!  It's really versatile.  Here are a few examples:


  1. Good grief, when I first took programming classes in college, we used punch cards. I feel positively antique. :)

    I love the artwork!

  2. A ha ha ha - don't feel "antique", Ann - it wasn't that long ago! :D

    Thank you for your very nice comment about my artwork - I have SO much fun doing it! :D

  3. Sorry - I spelled your name wrong, Anne! :D

  4. My roomie at ISU majored in computer programming in the early 80's and she had to lug these boxes of punch cards with her for her homework. We've come a LONG way baby!