Thursday, December 20, 2007

We're getting hooked up to broadband Internet this weekend and I can tell you it is going to change our lives. Julie does so much of her work for the PTA through email and the time she spends just WAITING for the dial up to connect she could be relaxing or recovering from her early morning shifts at the cafe. And of course, there are the countless times in which we get disconnected, usually in the middle of a download that should only take mere seconds, not twenty minutes. Worse, AOL is terrible. I shouldn't complain because I have gotten it free since I began at the network, but seriously, AOL sucks.

I'm pretty excited, too, because I'll be able to log on anytime and make entries to thunderbolt and work on my columns for Popdose. One of the reasons I have been so infrequent with entries to thunderbolt is because it feels so labor intensive waiting for our slow PC to hook up to the web. This all reminds me of the first computer we ever owned.

Back in '95, while I worked for Tony and Alterian Studios, I was cleaning out the storage loft above the shop and came across an old MAC. It was the type of model that was revolutionary back in 1991. Mt college roommate, Dan, owned a similar MAC and people we knew would come over all of the time to borrow it when they needed to type a paper. Anyway, this old computer was gathering dust in the loft and I inquired whether they (Tony) wanted it in a more dust free environment. It was actually Tony's wife, Cindy, who flat out offered it to me on the spot. Something like, "Oh, do you think you could use that?" Of course I said "yes".

I wrote two scripts on that old machine. And eventually I gave it to some other struggling writer who didn't have the cash to pony up for their own computer. The thing about that MAC was that it took 10 minutes to power up. I could turn it on then go make a pot of coffee and scan through the headlines. And, obviously, everything had to be backed up constantly on floppy discs.

I look back on those lean years and I feel like we were just kids. Now, I'm closing in on 40 and mentally, I still feel like a kid. And damn if the times aren't still lean. With the new year approaching, I have to do something about that.


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