When I received my first computer, there was no such thing as an email or an ebook; I hadn't even heard the terms before. I had enough trouble identifying with a machine that looked like a typewriter but worked on its own with no need to press 'return' (on my electric typewriter), or grab the handle to move to the next line on my high school typewriter. It was fast too, typying 17 characters per second. The idea of being able to communicate with family and friends in another province or country, or even a different continent was just too unreal. I didn't even need to lick a stamp or walk to the mailbox or post office to send a note on its way, and I could receive a reply in a very short time, sometimes even the same day.
There were many improvements to computer equipment over the next few years... daisy wheel and dot matrix printers have come and gone, then ink jet printers moved to toner, then to wax printers, all of which I have used in my work and leisure time. Penmanship has become almost a lost art. I lost count of how many times my teacher in Elementary School would tap my writing hand with her ruler to remind me to stop writing "backhanded". She would encourage her students to be diligent in their efforts to improve their writing skills so that they could have their submitted entrys to the competition to at Calgary Stampede accepted and displayed publicly, and possibly win a prize.
In just the last few years, we were introduced to ebooks that make a whole personal library fit in a handbag or briefcase. As always, there are varying opinions about them. Many people love to hold a 'real' book with paper pages where notes can be handwritten in the margins, and some claim to miss the smell of a book. They've lost me there. Convenience trumps odors for me every time!
Tags: Computers Books Beginnings