Tuesday 7 August 2018

Rampant Technologies (to us!)

We had two of our grandchildren staying with us this week. Among our activities we got to see how technologies have changed so drastically over our lifetimes.

All of grandchildren are experienced and competent with electronic devices. They have grown up with iPods (2001), iPhones (2007), iPads (2010) and computers of all makes and models. They, along with their parents (our children), are also tuned into the latest websites and apps that bring them information and advice for whatever subject they want to pick, give them the ability to order goods and services, play their favourite music or movies, allow them to pay bills and let them talk to (and see) each other in real time.

Our son just bought a bunch of gadgets that will let him turn lights on and off, unlock his front door and set a security system from his iPhone.

The grandparents try to keep up but it’s difficult!

Our granddaughter typed a letter to her friend on a portable, antique typewriter I own that is close to 100 years old. She and Gramma had a great time tracking down the serial number and figuring out its age. The old keyboard is about as far away from what you work with on a touch screen as you can get.

The machine is a Remington Portable, serial number NK70148 which means it was the 148th machine built possibly in April 1927, according to information on Richard Polt’s website, The Classic Typewriter Page.

In a different vein, my grandson and I listened to music I made with my old Dixieland band 50 years ago. It was recoded on a reel-to-reel tape deck. This summer I had it all converted to digital files and now all five and a half hours are stored on my computer. Not only that I have shared it with others through Dropbox. Who knew we would be able to do that long ago!

My grandson is a budding jazz musician and this old music is something he really likes. Now, along with his own music, which we have also recorded, he can listen to his grandfather.

The music and the antique typewriter are part of the memorabilia of our family history. This week we saw how the past melded with the present with the juxtaposition of young and old family members experiencing new and onetime methods of communicating and recording events.