Sunday, 23 February 2014

Never on a Sunday?

My Kindle e-reader is playing me up. It empties its battery even faster than my Nokia phone. Maddening. Last night it refused to turn pages and would not jump to the end of my pdf file, uploaded from the book I'm writing because that seems to be a good way of checking that the story is at least coherent.
So I'm looking round for a new e-reader and have already discovered how to make my collection of kindle format books available on other gadgets. Easy when you know how....

What a wonderfully technical world we live in. My mother was born into a world where there was no public radio system. She grew up in a small town where her father drove the first motorcar, was born into a world of house music (her mother and other relatives had a barbershop quartet and my mother was a good pianist). They could all sing, so I know where I got that talent from! 

I think the BBC was launched in 1922, making radio at last available to the general public, assuming they could afford or build the equipment. Cars got radios later. The first ones were the size of an average passenger. My father had dreamt of, but died before colour TV became available. Computers were generally familiar only as complicated wired up building-sized monstrums - my first experience of punch cards was in a Doris Day film. My mother died before the internet became available to everyone, and when I went online in 1996, AOL was just getting into its stride here in Germany and was almost the only good option. I had jumped on the computer gravy boat in the late 1980s, buying an Atari because it could write music down. My printer was a deafeningly loud 24 needle scratcher and its type face had to be programmed manually. My atari had no storage facility and I remember that my version of WORD was on 23 floppies and took hours to install, a frequent occurrence since it was full of bugs. 

And no, the computer bugs of the 1990s were not virulent, but mostly due to defective programming. It didn't take long for hackers to emerge, and of course, being an open system, the internet is vulnerable. 

When I was studying, it was possible to make photocopies, but photocopying was expensive and the results were not good. I remember actually copying songs onto manuscript paper because I had to give the scores back sooner than was convenient. How delighted I would have been with my all-in-one printer. 

So much for reminiscing.

 I never go anywhere much on a Sunday. I can watch one of hundreds of TV programmes (when I came to Germany there were just 2 available), or listen to radio from all corners of the world on my PC digital radio. I didn't have BBC4 for many years, so I've lots to catch up on..... except that there's still plenty to do apart from just consuming.