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Living like an Irvanian in a universe filled with Dweasels

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Technology, thou hast failed me

August 27, 2008

Here it is, well past the middle of 2008, and I find myself using an ancient bit of old and odd (for me, anyway) technology. Iím writing the original version of this post on a piece of paper. With a pen. Not some high tech pen that talks or makes phone calls or does something digitally, a ballpoint pen. With blue ink.

You long-time Irvania.com readers out there probably know that Iím no Luddite. I bought my first home computer in 1982, got my first workable word processing software in 1984, and havenít looked back since. Well, okay, I look back all the time, but thatís another article.

After 24 years of using a word processor, it feels very strange to be using pen and paper again. It feels, well, unnatural. Sure, I use paper and pen or pencil all the time for scratching down notes or scribbling out paperwork at my job, but very rarely in the last 24 years have I done any real writing without involving a computer somehow.

When I was in the third grade ó this is 1969 weíre talking about here ó we were taught the proper way to write a paper: make a first draft using pencil, then revise a second and third draft in pen, then revise and rewrite a few more times, then by about the sixth or seventh revisions, start using a typewriter. Continue revising and rewriting, retyping every page from scratch each and every time. By the time you got to the thirteenth or fourteenth revision, you might have something presentable.

Even back then I thought that process sounded terribly obsolete. I donít know if itís taught anymore.

The advent of the word processor, of course, made that entire concept redundant. You revise as you go, and if, like me, youíre paranoid about losing stuff, you make backup copies at various steps along the way. For instance, I have 49 different versions of the first chapter of my book saved, but there is no real ďfirst draft.Ē

So anyway, here I am, putting pen to paper. After years of using Palm Pilot and other PDAs, various portable computers and laptops, I find myself in a place with some time to kill and nothing but a pen and some scratch paper available. My handwriting, never very good to begin with, has obviously deteriorated since 1984.

I feel that, somehow, technology has failed me. Or I failed techology. Iím not sure which. Thereís gotta be some betrayal in there somewhere.

This article was filed under:
Getting Old
August 2008 articles
Irvania.com webmaster: Dave Ferris
The content on this page was written: August 27, 2008
Last updated: June 11, 2016