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30August

Techno What?

The Answer's Out There Somewhere

1978 I was using a Kalamazoo wage system to do wages for 50 men every week. It involved reams of carbon paper, layers of different spread sheets (pre-printed of course) and complete accuracy. It took 3 days of each week and ended up with a box full of little wage packets, lables, stapled and accurate to the last cent.

My boss got a kidney stone, I promoted myself to the drawing office and hired a secretary to handle the Kalamazoo.

In I985, having moved on and up, I had the use of my first Golf-Ball typewriter. I had a boss who responded well to the reorganisation of his years of chaos so I started gently with a “state if the art” filing system and eventually persuaded him to purchase the typewriter. It had a little screen with one line visible before print, and a correction key! I loved it and after some trauma even persuaded his secretary to come out of the ladies room and give it a try.

Within two years we were all designing on CAD – within 4 years of that faxes were fabulous and 3 years later, being superseded by emails.

I ran.

I went back to school and trained as a professional chef and pretended for some years that technology was a new type of blender.

1996 I became the reluctant owner of a computer. It took 2 weeks to understand that it would not bite me, explode, or cause an Eskom shut down if I did something “wrong”. Another two years to understand that it couldn’t solve world famine (girls and their new heros!) and the next 13 years to get to this point in which I understand perfectly that -

I understand nothing

I am lucky to have wonderful friends who at least understand some of it

The answers are out there

The questions are more difficult than the answers

Everyone is crazy

I am crazy

Technology is a fact of life

There is nowhere to run to this time.

Ahh. Damn. Any rich old men out there who would like to save me from this dominator of a machine and feed me tasty morsels of a gentler life?

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