Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When was the last time...

...you typed on a typewriter?



At the library at the girls' school.

One of my volunteer jobs is helping their librarian each week. Most of the time she has me shelving books, which I don't mind at all (kinda relaxing to me) but it can become monotonous after awhile. I must say though that after 4 years of working weekly in the library, I have become a whiz at the Dewey decimal system. Need to find a book? Ask ME!

Instead of shelving today we were processing new books.  And I got to type the spine labels for all of them on the gigantic electric typewriter. 

That was a blast from my past.

My kids don't know how easy they have it.

When I was in high school (Class of '88, thankyouverymuch) I typed ALL of my papers on a typewriter, using lots and lots of white out and correction tape. My parents gave me a word processor when I graduated from high school and that's what I typed most of my college papers on. By my last year of college (let's just say it took me a few more years than four) John and I had purchased a second-hand computer from our friends. It was a smallish machine and the (even smaller) monitor was black and amber. We absolutely didn't have 20-inch full color monitors back then. I remember saving my papers in WordPerfect on a floppy disk (the kind that you had to format before you could use them, and the kind that actually flopped) and printing them on the dot matrix printer that had that weird perforated paper. CRAZY.

Sarah was finishing up a research project last weekend for her tech class. She brought her paper home on her fancy flash drive (we probably have as many of those in our junk drawer as we do pencils) and she was able to add pics from the internet and configure her footnotes in Word with just a few keystrokes. You guys remember typing footnotes on a typewriter? I remember being so exasperated trying to finish up a page and not saving enough room for those stupid footnotes at the bottom and having to re-type the page completely over. (Even thinking about that is just painful!)

Oh, and anyone else remember when the card catalog was a collection of paper cards in a box? Uh-huh. We're dating ourselves, I'm quite sure.


So thankful for technology. We've sure come a long way.

Know what else I think is funny to think back on?
Flash bulbs 
My cool car phone (early 90s) that was in a bag!!!
Betamax tapes
Rotary phones

What makes you laugh when you think about how un-advanced we were back in the day?


Tiffani said...

OH MY!!!

This brought back so many memories for me!! My grandmother worked in an office and also had a home office and one of my very favorite things to do was type on the typewriter and play with everything!! Probably why I love office supplies today!!

LOVED the card catalog and wish they still had one so my kids could learn to use it.

My record player was my prized possession..it was from Sears and had speakers and looked like denim..I played 45's on that thing like crazy!! I still have a LOT of my 45's...hmmm, thinking blog post!

Loved the Betamax, VHS phenomenon especially when my grandmother would record shows for me and then I watched them on the weekend at her house...too cool!

How 'bout Twisterbeads?? Remember those? Not technology but my mind is reeling old school now!!

Carpool Queen said...

I remember my BAG PHONE!!! And standing up to change the channel. To the other three that we had.

*sigh* those were the days.

I still miss my typewriter, especially on days like today when I can't get my label-maker on a setting that makes a label that fits on the tab.

I'm considering a Sharpie at this point.

Kendra said...

Girl, I LOVED the good old days. My family was practically the last in Jonesboro with a rotary dial phone. You graduated before we owned a VHS. Mom had my old bag phone until 2000 when we told her she HAD to get a better phone! I was the queen of the typewriter and so glad we had one with built in correction tape- no gooky White Out. Now THAT was advanced!

Cathy said...

I remember loading FILM into a camera and attaching the bulb strip to the top of the camera!

We were too poor to own a car phone, but I remember washing dishes BY HAND! I was always in awe of my friends whos parents had one of those portable dishwashers that you hook up to the kitchen sink and roll around. Walkmans, yes. Record players, yes. Boombox, yes. Posed and ready to pounce on the record button of the boombox to record your "favorites" off the radio!!! Can I get 3 cheers for "Mix Tapes"!!???

Shanda said...

Right there with you. Would make you think the kids would hardly mind doing a research paper as easy as it has become...so why is it that they seem to complain EVEN MORE than we ever did?! ;)

*carrie* said...

Very funny, Mer. This brought back lots of memories for me, too!

The other thing I thought of that has come a crazy long way is cameras! I used to have a hot pink one that used 110 (?) film. The quality of the pictures was not so great, and they were smaller than the current standard of 4x6.

Gina said...

You're somewhat...older than me.
You made me laugh!

Amber said...

Oh girl. I remember typing class in highschool...all on typewriters. I walked into "Keyboarding" at the high school the other day and they were doing Excel spreadsheets. Nice. I remember having to measure margins and headers and footers.

Oh, the bag phone.
And the amber/black computer. So cool.

Jennifer said...

Oh my gosh! Blast from the past. LOL

I was laughing at your post because I remember taking a typewriting class in 8th grade. My parents told me that I had to take one so that I could type my papers and be ready for high school/college. LOL

I also think the whole card catalog story is funny. I used to teach and I did a whole unit on library and research skills. One of the lessons was how to use the card catalog and the Dewey Decimal System. LOL

Becca~CapturingSimpleJoys said...

I always had a dime in my pocket to be able to make a call.

I had friends who had party lines. Do those still exist somewhere?

I'll never forget the sound of a rotary phone:)

Record players.

No remote controls for the TV.

The novelty of VHS tapes:)

Christen said...

Huh? Are you speaking English? What are you talking about? LOL

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Merlin - my first handheld gaming device. It was big, red and I think it played tic tac toe and a memory game. Woo hoo! Nintendo DS it was not.

Class of '88 rocks!!!

jeanie@mageditor.blogspot.com said...

Oh my gosh....I don't think I could even type on a typewriter anymore. I can barely push the keys in hard enough on our wired computer keyboard. I'm so used to the really sensitive touch of my laptop. My parents bought me an electric typewriter when I started college and I really thought I had hit the big time. I used alot of White Out strips.
I've always liked the Dewey Decimal System because once you know the way books are categorized, it is easy to find a book without the title or author just by knowing the subject matter.
What about 8 track tapes and rotary t.v.'s with actual knobs and buttons. I'm not sure you can turn our t.v. off and on without the remote. I remember when bikini underwear first hit the scene and it was pretty scandalous. It was bigger than most of what my teenager wears now! We had one of those funky dishwashers that you hooked up to the sink.

Christi @ Writing the Waves said...

Oh yeah...all of that is so funny to think back on! There has been sooo much change in our lifetime. I can't imagine this much change taking place in our kids lifetimes, but who knows?

Sitesx6 said...

Oh my! I don't even want to think about this topic- it makes me feel so ANCIENT!

But....I lived in the day of NO MICROWAVES (can't really remember when they came out, but I think I was in high school)

No remote controls...we had to GET UP to change the channel (gasp)

Cassete tapes

Phones with a cord (gasp)

I excerised to Jane Fonda- wearing her leotard and leg warmers

And the biggest thing I remember is working at the orthodontist as an assistant and we DIDN'T WEAR GLOVES or masks or space suits....GROSS ME OUT...this we pre-AIDS, I had my hands in people's mouths with NO GLOVES ON....(I can't believe I'm still alive to talk about it.)

Gretchen said...

my Atari.

a non-microwaving household

black and white TV till I was 10, sans remote

learning to type in 9th grade, alternating between IBM Selectric 2s and (gasp) m.a.n.u.a.l. typewriters. I made many a hole in my paper with my eraser pencil

Using Memomaker on my HP word processor

Crying when my computer crashed in college, causing me to lose my unbacked up paper whilst I was writing it.

Daisy-wheel noisy printing.

um...pre internet.


Thanks, Mer. This was so much fun.

OhioFamOf4 said...

I got a bag phone for Christmas my senior year of high school and thought I was so cool that I could talk in my car if I plugged my bag into the cigarette lighter.

And I was always in trouble for stretching the phone cord at home so I could talk in "private" in the dining room.

Oh, and my dad got me a word processor for my 16th birthday that I ended up taking to college. I'd rent it out to girls in my dorm ($5 each use) to cover my cost for printer ribbon.

I kind of miss my big hair, too, lol.

Unknown said...

Ever since The Girl saw the movie Kitt: The American Girl, she has been asking for a typewriter.

I seriously thought about trying to find one for her at Christmastime, but then i wondered how I would find the ribbon so it would actually work!

I think about how my kids will never know how to re-heat food without a microwave, or vinyl records, or crank windows on a car...

His Girl said...

We got a remote control for our betamax machine... and you had to be extra careful not to trip over the cord! hahaha.

Also, when the microwave broke here last year, I had to think really hard about how to reheat noodles. Then, I remember how my g'ma used to use milk to reheat things ON THE STOVE. oh, the horror.

I remember that hum of the electric typewriter, too. oh! and floppy disks!