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Jumping from paper to bits and bytes

10 Sep 2008 | | One Comment

How can you tell when you’ve really made the jump from “hold-in-your-hands-paper” to “batteries-not-included-digital” – for me it came in a few phases.

Phase 1 – from back in the early 80s, I never handwrote anything – well except when I absolutely had no choice. And of course, this explains why I’ve had many art nouveau-collectors approach me to buy my painfully scribbled shopping lists for tens of thousands of dollars.

Phase 2 – I recall when I was in university back in the early 90s, sitting through lectures (well, sometimes sitting, mostly sleeping), I used an Amstrad NC 100 – a little micro-computer for typing my notes. It had about 8 lines x 80 columns of LCD, it was completely flat and had a jaw-dropping memory capacity of about 64kb.
 

If you can't use this new computer in 5 minutes, you'll get your money back.

Amstrad promised, "If you can't use this new computer in 5 minutes, you'll get your money back."

Of course, all my pen-toting university compatriots used to look at me with both awe and jealousy – at least that’s what I thought until I started receiving death-threats.  You see the keyboard was cleverly engineered in such a way that each tap of a key replicated the sound of a shotgun firing both barrels simulataneously — or so it seemed in the middle of a pin-drop-deafening-style lecture hall.

FWIW> Today’s students would probably use an ASUS Eee PC for the same sorts of high-speed, lightweight editing activities

Easy to learn, Easy to work, Easy to play -- and I think hard to say...
Eeec PC = Easy to learn, Easy to work, Easy to play — and I think hard to say…

Final Phase – I had a postal delivery just yesterday, and the rep had forgotten his pen. He asked if i had one, and after 15 apologetic minutes of searching around the house, I realised i didn’t have one. It was only a few hours after he left that I did find one, and the only reason I had this was because it had the unique feature of containing a 1gb USB key within the pen barrel.

Now that was the point of my self-realisation — and why I’m pretty sure no OCR technology will ever have any luck with my handwriting…

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One Comment »

  • Chloe said:

    This article made me giggle. Reminds me of my friend Mel who is attached to her laptop – i’ve never seen her use a pen in the two years i’ve known her. I wonder if we will all get to this stage

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