Computing turned me into a conservative.

Word Press has been updating again.  After struggling to use the new fancy version with my last post, I resorted to the “classic version” today.  Call my behavior a response one upgrade too many. It’s not that I can’t master it.  Two days ago, I managed to post something using the new package. But remember, I belong to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it club.”  I’m sure WP has its reasons for challenging us, but when I retired, one of the things I celebrated was my freedom from the imposition of changes from above.

I began using computers in the 1970s using mainframes in college when I worked on my first Master’s Degree, and moving from mainframes to minis when I worked for Bell (a census employee invented the Hollerith card).

I took computer course after computer course, learning how to program in Fortran and moving onto what experts called “higher languages.”  My computer skills were so good, I claimed Programming as a second language when I began my studies for the PhD in sociology (Spanish was my third language).

I traveled to Europe hauling a huge clunky old early variant (Bell) of the laptop (looking like the guy in the GEICO ad).  I used the “laptop” to write home every night, plugging it into the phone jack. Only one place I stayed in Paris, a vintage “hotel” did not have phone jacks.

The first day I went to work for the Census Bureau, my new boss took to the air-conditioned controlled room that housed the “new” to the government computers.  and it was back to the future.  He expected me to jump right into the 1980 Census data, but I had never used the esoteric hardware and software written especially for this government agency.

Enter Al Gore and reinventing government….. in a decade, the CB had bought Bill Gates “stuff” hook line and sinker and all other hardware and software was gone.

Meanwhile, over the years, many of my Academic friends had touted the joys of using Apple products.  I have to say, now that I have retired and converted, Apple products are an absolute joy.  So, to anyone still clinging to outmoded Gates products, I say come on over.  Of course I have yet to persuade David, who is still clunking away on an old AT&T computer he built back in the 1970s.


My daughter was lamenting the fact she may never have grandchildren.  One child does not believe in marriage, one is gay, the third hates kids…and Joy will only produce cows she says.  Joy is back to school and in parting, her best friend gave her a big kiss (see below).IMG_0308

20 thoughts on “Computing turned me into a conservative.

  1. Not believing in marriage and/or being gay do not necessarily preclude having children! But whatever makes your kids happy is my mantra and I bet yours and your daughter’s as well.

    Still traveling, will catch up eventually. We switched to an Apple while on this trip, if you can believe that. (We killed our PC on Alaska’s rough roads …. but we were glad to see it go although the timing wasn’t good. I’m sure we paid more for the Apple in Fairbanks than we would have if … like anyone with good sense would have done … we’d switched before we started on the trip.


  2. I simply stated the fact that I may never have grandchildren – no feelings attached to the statement. I have always encouraged my girls to do what makes them happy and be themselves. Any season of change in one’s life presents challenges and opportunities. After successfully raising four beautiful girls, eight years of that as a widow, I am embracing the newly found peacefulness and pursuing personal interests, which I have not had the opportunit to pursue since my twenties.


  3. Despite some close questioning by purchasing people, I decided to equip our Forest Service technical publishing unit with Macs, although the national standard at the time for the FS was Data General. It proved to be a great decision. I visited the unit years after retirement. The FS had switched to IBM hardware; the publishing people still used Macs. Much better for work that involves graphics.


  4. Grandchildren. I have 14, nine of them adopted. Perhaps the adopted ones are healthier. My youngest daughter’s daughter just came out as gay. I’ve never seen her son with a girlfriend, so that’s that. The other daughter has five…. Who knows what they are.

    Computers. PC”s talk with anything and Androids too. Apple talks with only apple. I have five PC’s. Ah, reality.


  5. Yeah, I hear ya. David loves his iPad Air so much, he says he might start his own blog, “David’s World.”
    I love my grandkids, ages 6 and 4. What will they be like 10-20 years from now? Will I have a blog to document their lives when they are in their 20s?


    • David’s World sounds interesting. My David doesn’t even read my blog. Joy is the only granddaughter who doesn’t mind my writing about her. The others post on face book from time to time. I get all the photos of Joy from her.


  6. I hear from many people that the Apple computers are best and I own iPads and iPhones. However, my family technicians are all PC users. My son-in-law just put together a new Dell for me and it’s great although I have to now learn where things are.

    I was bemoaning that I’d only have one grandchild.


    • I think she was kidding. At the moment, she has joined a local artists group and is enjoying her new life. Grand kids are great, but they too turn into teens. Fortunately, we can enjoy their teen years one degree removed.


  7. I enjoyed reading your post and I also loved that picture! I remember the first time we bought a computer to go on the Internet. It was a big old clunky thing and I wondered if I would ever get the hang of it. I did and haven’t looked back.


  8. I always want to scream when I hear people lamenting that they might not be gifted with grandchildren. They are a gift after all. I never asked my parents permission or even considered them when conceiving our daughter. It is nobody’s business except the couple whether they have children or not. We all make decisions in our late teens and early twenties, that make us cringe ten to fifteen years down the line, so I would not worry.

    I will share two true stories.

    A friend long by the hour and day for grandchildren, They arrived in due course, but the grandmother was alive to see them,

    The second Grandmother bored the birds in the trees with her pleas for a grandchild. The baby arrived, but with life long complications and needed constant round the clock care. Suddenly the grandmother forgot her wish and was seldom seen to visit or offer help with the child.

    We need to be very careful what we wish for.

    Sorry, Dianne, one of these days I will stop ranting.


      • I never had time for an empty nest stage. In August 1996 mother died. Six weeks later my only daughter left home for University in Scotland and only ever returned for short visits. I had no time to think about it, I was all the while full time lone carer for my terminally ill husband. He died in April 1998. I just had to pick up the pieces and begin anew. I think I coped well.


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