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Friday, February 24, 2006
Technology Meme
Distraction courtesy of Lillian, the Mama(e) in Translation – I thought this was pretty interesting, especially after reading ABDMom’s responses, which are very different from mine.

1. Do you remember when you saw your first computer? When did you actually use one? What about having your own? Do you own a laptop? (PC or Mac?) Have you gone wireless at home yet?

I remember using ancient Atari computers (the ones with the flat keyboards) and playing “Oregon Trail” in about second or third grade at my Catholic elementary school. We had a computer class once a week back then and I remember being AMAZED that we could program the computer to perform mathematical functions using code – back then, the computer was just a glorified calculator to me. I didn’t have my own computer until 1992, when my parents bought me an Apple Macintosh Classic II computer with a Stylus printer for an early high school graduation present. I was one of the few people in my class with a computer at home. Then I went through a few Macs in college (including a PowerBook from hell) and switched to PCs in about 1997. We have both a desktop (bought in 2000) and a laptop (bought in 2003, shortly after ST was born) at home now, and the laptop is wireless.

2. When did you first go online and/or use email? Who did you email back then? How did the internet change your life? When did you discover blogging? What about your home internet connection - is it dial-up, DSL, cable?

I started to use email (via “PINE”) as an undergraduate, probably in 1995, to email classmates and later to email friends from Europe. I didn’t really know about the wider internet attached to it back then and didn’t care, either. It wasn’t until about 1997 that I became a regular consumer of online information and services – I bought my first book online from Amazon in 1998. I discovered blogging only very recently – January 2005 – and didn’t start my own blog until July 2005. Current internet connection is wireless, via our kind neighbor!

3. Do you remember your first VCR? What about a video camera (there were some bulky ones back in the 80s and 90s) and home videos?

My dad won our first VCR, a Panasonic -- I can’t remember exactly when (1983?), but I know we were one of the first families in town to have a VCR. Oddly enough, a few months later my dad won ANOTHER, identical Panasonic VCR, so we were definitely the first family with two VCRs (despite the fact we only had one TV!). One of those clunky VCRs was actually the first VCR T and I ever had – it finally broke in 1999. When I told my Dad about the broken Panasonic, he cried, “What?! You can’t even expect things to last a measly 20 years anymore?!”

We had a video camera that my grandparents bought for our entire extended family to use at family gatherings, but my sister and brother and I used it for making our very serious fake commercials. My Mom kept those tapes and they are pretty funny when we make time to watch them.

4. When did you switch from VCR to DVD? How did it change your video viewing experience? Do you use TiVo or any such "contraption" to tape TV shows? Do you use Netflix or some other internet-based DVD "renting" service?

We got a DVD player in 2001. We didn’t use our VCR very much and we don’t use our DVD player very much because we simply don’t have the time to watch movies, unless they’re kid movies on the weekends with ST. We don’t watch much television, either, and so a TiVo would be worthless to us. (T and I HATE reality television with a passion, and so that doesn’t leave us many television options lately!) Netflix would similarly be wasted on us -- there just aren't that many good movies I'm dying to see. We don't own many VHS tapes or DVDs, either.

5. What about music? Did you enjoy listening favorite music in Long Plays or did you prefer cassette tapes? When did you buy your first CD player and switch to CDs? Did you abandon them (and turn to dowloaded music) for MP3 players or iPods or do you still buy CDs?

I used cassettes until 1996, when I couldn’t find very many anymore because everyone had CD players by then. I bought a CD player in 1996 and remember being seriously annoyed that I had to now buy CDs to replace the cassettes I owned. Now I listen to CDs on occasion, but I mostly listen to the selected tracks I have on my iPod nano. I only purchase CDs now if I know I'll like the whole album (e.g., Sting, Ella Fitzgerald); otherwise, I download from iTunes.

6. Do you own and use a cell phone? Do you think it's useful or just annoying?(Did you always have a telephone in your house growing up? Did you have a phone in your own room?)

NO – T and I have militantly resisted the cell phone craze and plan to continue doing so into the indefinite future. I cannot stand cell phones. I wrote about this in a very early post, and my opinion remains the same. Yes, we always had a telephone in our house, but I never had (or wanted) one in my own room. Honestly, I cannot stand talking on the phone at all (unless it’s to ST, T, my Mom, my MIL, or my best friend K).

7. When did you first buy a digital camera? What kind was it (3.2, 4.0, 5.0 mega-pixels or better)? Did you start taking more pictures or were you a photo afficionado before then? What about a digital video camera?

Sore subject! We bought our first digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix 4300, in February 2004. I loved that camera. Unfortunately, we lost it over our holiday vacation this past December and have not yet replaced it. Makes me sick just to think about it – I never took many pictures pre-digital camera, but I really loved experimenting with digital photography and miss doing it.

No, we don’t have a digital video camera, or any other type of video camera. I don’t like video cameras generally because 1.) the person doing the taping is left out of the video; 2.) no one acts naturally in a home video; 3.) no one ever watches the long, mostly-dull videos anyway; and 4.) I think a lot of things are sweeter in memory. (We don’t even have a video of our wedding, and on purpose.) That’s why I really like the short movies you can record on a regular digital camera – I have a few from when ST was just learning to crawl, and they are 45-second masterpieces that I actually can take the time to watch anytime I want.

8. What about televisions? Have you already embraced the new technologies, such as HDTV, plasma, and flat screen?

We have an HDTV because T thought we “needed” one and he was saving Best Buy gift certificates in order to fund the purchase. It’s pretty big but not obscenely big, but I’m not sure of the exact measurements. Although the picture is nice, I think the TV itself is an eyesore and I wish we didn’t have one at all. I could very easily live without television (although I would kind of miss the Food Network), and we have contemplated doing just that in the near future. As it is now, the television is in our family room, closed off from the rest of the house. To me, there is nothing more annoying than the constant blare of television noise – I like having the TV away from the rest of the house so I can simply close the door if someone is watching it and have peace in the rest of the house.

End of meme, but on a technology-related question: does anyone else have problems cutting and pasting in Firefox? For example, I typed the answers to this meme in Word last night, and then tried to copy them into Blogger and there was no "paste" option. Why?
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 2/24/2006 11:20:00 AM  
3 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 12:44 PM, Blogger Lilian said…

    Hey, I'm so glad you responded too! (I knew the meme would spread after ABDmom did it :)

  • At 12:55 PM, Blogger ScienceWoman said…

    Interesting meme. As for the firefox thing...there's a security setting somewhere that you can change (universally or for a given website) that will alllow you to paste. Just don't ask me where. I can paste on some websites and not others. You can also use the email to post option on blogger as a work around.

  • At 1:22 PM, Blogger Dr. Mon said…

    I always use Crtl+C to copy and Crtl+V to paste--that works for me in Firefox.

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