I’m not one to go out and buy new gadgets just because they are, well, new.
One of my last TVs could only be viewed when I placed a wooden clothes pin on one corner of a circuit board and hung a small weight on it to bend it just the right way.
My current TV weighs a ton. You could never mount it on a wall because its mass would bring down that wall.
My cell phone only makes phone calls. It doesn’t take pictures, get on the Web or have a multitude of “apps.”
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So when it became apparent I needed a new computer, it was not an easy decision. My computer had no sound. I was unable to make a copy of anything on a disc. I couldn’t get on any websites.
The little green bar just moved about a quarter of the way across the little window and stayed there. I once waited 10 minutes to see if it would download. It didn’t.
I looked up my paperwork and found that my computer was only six years old.
I’ve been typing for more than 50 years. From the mid-1950s until the late 1970s I pounded on a manual typewriter. You needed a heavy hand to get the keys to move.
Even now I consider the computer nothing more than a fancy typewriter with the addition of a movie screen. I will admit producing words on paper is a whole lot easier now.
I wish the present generation could try to type an original and three carbons just to see how much trouble it was to make a correction. That alone makes the computer worthwhile.
But buying a new computer, at least for a person in his 70s, isn’t easy. I couldn’t even understand the questions. And when I finally bought it and brought it home, I had trouble making everything work.
Talking to a tech person on the phone is useless for me. They speak a language I’ve never heard before.
I have friends my age who are very savvy about computers, but I have purposely avoided that world.
It is kind of my own little boycott of “progress.” It is why I refuse to get on Facebook at my children’s request or look up anyone else.
One phone technician asked if I had checked for “cookies.” Sure, there were a few crumbs lodged in the keyboard, but I didn’t see how that could result in the thing not working.
So a week later I’m still trying to rebuild my address book and I still can’t burn a CD.
But don’t my words look a lot brighter?
Lon Allan has lived in Atascadero for nearly four decades. His column appears here every week. He can be reached at 466-8529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.