Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Back to the 1980's

Do you remember the first time cell phones were introduced? What about personal computers? For me it was in the 1980’s. My dad just installed one of the first mobile phones released by Motorola and my mom brought home a work computer when she was working for the State of California. I remember my dad telling me “don’t use this phone, it cost $5 per minute to make a call!” However, the computer was a different story. When my mom brought it home it was like putting together a science project. The computer came with one of those 50 pound bubble monitors, a wired keyboard and a large square metal tower to store the data. There was no mouse and Windows didn’t exist. The cursor was just a blinking box with an excel spreadsheet look to it. The tab button, shift tab, enter and space bar were used to move the cursor from one line to the next or back.

I remember watching my mom working late on the computer after getting home from her normal work day. In the 1980’s working overtime was more required then an opportunity to earn extra cash. It was before safety belts became required and riding in the back of a pickup truck was still legal. Anyway, I digress. My mom was helping her department implement a state mandated transfer from paper information to a computer database. I don’t think anyone really understood how the information was going to be used. It was more of storing data so that boxes of paper could be removed from a warehouse. It was essentially a better filing system.

My mom spent hours doing data entry. I remember she was always extremely exhausted and she had to work weekends to get the job done by the deadline. However, from my point of view I didn’t understand why she was so tired. The computer was amazing! There were times that I asked if I could help her enter the data. She would let me find the letters on the keyboard and enter in line by line. It wasn’t long before I was typing 20 then 40 words per minute. She walked me through how to read reports that were printed on two color lined paper that had holes on both sides and folded nicely into a storage box. The holes on both sides of the paper, back in those days, were used to feed the paper through a printer. My mom continued to show me how to find fields on the computer screen and then type the data into each of the blank fields that matched what was on paper. It was exciting for me to be able to help at such a young age. I was giving my mom a break from work and learning how to use a computer at the same time.

When you’re thinking of something innovative to create keep in mind the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Also, your innovation could be the starting point for someone else to launch their new idea. It could stir up imagination and even greater opportunities could develop. So whatever you create, design and deliver do it with passion and know that somewhere down the line you could inspire others to dream the next technological evolution.

Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.

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