Saturday, September 02, 2006

In the old days, we whistled into acoustic modems...

I remember when I was growing up how silly I thought older generations sounded when they would talk about how newfangled and confusing the world was. Why, when they were young, they didn't always have television, and never thought computers would be tools they'd ever need, or see in the home.

As a toddler of the early '70s, we were always going to the moon. We were going to build cities there someday. Mars was someplace we'd go shopping in that far off time known as two-thousand something. Technology was something to embrace, learn, and master without fear or disdain. Computers? Couldn't get enough of 'em. Bulletin boards? I'd spend hours on many nights just trying to cut through busy-signals to connect to a BBS to swap notes or programs for my C64. By the time I hit college, the idea that I could swap e-mail with people using computers on different networks like the ArpaNet or BitNet made me feel like I was member of a secret society (perhaps I was, we certainly didn't get spam).

And then, suddenly, the shoe got firmly stapled to the other foot. When I wasn't looking, I hit 40. Communication, computing and publishing technologies continued to change so fast that I stopped keeping up with them. Blogs? Didn't we have this 25 years ago when we had BBS systems? Chats? AIM? ICQ? Didn't we go through all this with text messaging systems on mainframes? RSS? XML? DRM? I thought I left TLAs (three-letter acronyms) behind when I was let go from a defense contractor because Reagan's military build-up stopped and Clinton was spending the peace dividend. Most surprising of all, I became IT support for my father.

Suddenly I found myself being dragged kicking and screaming into a world of technologies that most 12 year-olds use and unconciously manipulate every day, when they're not modding their 360's, or trading whole seasons of Desperate Housewives over P2P networks.

And so, we have my first blog. This blog is a test. It may become more than a test someday, but for now, it is only a test. Those of you who know me either personally or professionally, relax. I'm not using this as a window to my soul or an outlet for repressed inner feelings. What I'm probably going to use this blog for is a way to experiment with new technologies, and in the process, share some comments about what I find. Along the way, I'm hoping to have some fun, but not at anyone's expense. Those of you who'd like to share in this discovery, I invite your comments.

Who knows? Maybe I'll learn something really cool.

Maybe we'll make it back to the moon.

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