Monthly Archives: July 2017

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Sandra Lee Smith

I an the first to admit how little I know about computers and how they work. For many years I worked in an office (I am reluctant to mention the name; I don’t want anyone from the office showing up on my doorstep or suing me for naming names.) I clearly remember the year–1982–when the Office began to convert to processing claims by computer–prior to this, all the claims were processed by filling out a form, determining whether or not the person was entitled to be reimbursed for his or her medical expense, figuring out what the 80% reimbursement came to, deducting any deductible (oh, those were the days! the annual deductible was $100.00 per person) and routing the claim to the person who typed the checks every day.

As time went by, computers improved by leaps and bounds–we changed computer systems three or four times in the period I was working there–when I decided it was time to retire, another computer system was scheduled to be installed the following January. The time was right, I thought.

Well, one of the first things I did that following January was buy a new computer of my own. My sister’s stepson helped me choose a computer and he also installed it for me. I wanted to get back to freelance writing and it was senseless to type articles or manuscripts on a typewriter. I didn’t even own a typewriter by then–I had lent my portable Smith-Corona to a friend who never returned it. (Even so, the first poems I sold were typed on that portable Smith-Corona).

Now I had advanced to the world of computers–back then the paper was 3 thickness, an original with two copies–and the paper was continuously fed through the computer–if you’ve been around a long time, you will remember how that paper was fed through the computer. I have to admit, today’s keyboard, choice of lap top or desk top, and plain white multi-use paper, versatile for lasers, inkjets and copiers does a much better job of printing my material than anything I had used before. (I am old enough to remember typing a manuscript with a carbon copy, double spaced, word total indicated at the top of the page (no, your typewriter didn’t compute the word total for you–today’s computer does that job, though). I had an experience recently that made a believer out of me–a computer geek was helping me with some computer issues…I don’t know how the subject turned to my blog, but it did–this person, who was far away, was able to retrieve my blog and enabled me to return to writing for my blog again. I didn’t think it was possible–but I have under estimated computers for years–and I am as happy as a clam to be working on my blog again.

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