Jan 12, 2010

Technology and Crustaceans

I know that my previous success in working for a high tech internet company surprised a lot of people. Namely, anyone who knew me. I was never particularly interested in "computers" or "technology".

I remember when email first hit the scene. I was in high school when people started to get this internet thing at home. Our home package was something like $30 per month for 10 hours that could only be used between 6pm and 6am. It came with an email address the whole family shared. My school friends wanted to email in the evening, and I could never figure out how to enter in an email address correctly. It always bounced. The only way I could successfully send an email was to reply to one. New communications would not, could not, be initiated by me.

In 1998 I went traveling. Before I left, my 14 year old cousin suggested I set up an email account. But, I proclaimed, I won't be traveling with the house computer. Duh! He sat me down and explained all about free email sites like this crazy thing called "Hotmail". I just couldn't understand how I could access this from any computer. Email went directly to one specific computer. Everyone knew that!

12 years later and I've come a long way. I'm pretty good with computers. I can usually figure out what's wrong with one, and I may even be able to fix it myself. But I have to admit that this is only because of the information forced upon me during six years of working for an e-commerce site. Keeping up with technological advances is not something that comes naturally to me.

For example, guess what I learned yesterday?

You can pause TV.

Let me say that again.


How crazy is that?

When I was a kid we had this tiny black and white TV with bunny ears and a dial to change the channels. But the dial was busted, so instead we used a crab claw whose pinchers fit into the dial mechanism perfectly.

Yes, I said crab claw.

To change channels:

1. Insert crab claw.
2. Gently apply torquing motion in the desired direction until correct channel is displayed.
3. Remove crab claw.
4. Hide from children.

Just like the modern day remote, who ever controlled the crab claw controlled the living room. Except our channel changer was very delicate, so we had to be careful in our fights for TV dominance. If that thing busted we could be stuck watching something lame like the news or weather updates FOREVER.

At some point we upgraded to a colour TV with a remote control, and a VCR player where we could tape one show while watching another. Mostly this technological advance was used to record X-Files and Paula Abdul music videos.

Then I moved out, and haven't had cable since. I've seen people with these things called "cable boxes" that add hundreds of channels (all which play the same three movies over and over) and add about five more remotes to the equation. But I'd never really used one. Until this week, when I once again found myself pet-sitting. Charlie's Angel: Full Throttle was on, and for a second I forgot that I'm not watching a DVD and hit the pause button. And it paused!

The TV!


I feel like some hick from the 90's who's been cryogenically frozen and defrosts in the far away time of 2010, to find that life as she knows it has changed forever. Can I adapt? Is there a place for me in this world?

Can I sell my movie rights?

1 comment:

Matt said...

Return of the crab claw!

I also suffer from ignorance of modern tv capabilities. I've only used our PPV once, and I forgot it was something I could pause for trips to the bathroom.

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