How Computers Made Life Easier
How Computers Made Life Easier
The invention of the computer has made a considerable improvement in the lives of many people. In Chapter 2, The Accelerative Thrust, “the computer burst upon the scene around 1950. With its unprecedented power for analysis and dissemination of extremely varied kinds of data in unbelievable quantities and at mind staggering speeds, the computer has become a major force behind the latest acceleration in acquiring knowledge.” When my parents were in high school and college, they had to use a typewriter to complete writing assignments. When I was growing up, my parents owned a word processor. In January 1999, my parents decided to buy their first computer, when I was in eighth grade. The computer has been an important part of my life since I was thirteen years old, and I have used a computer on a daily basis since high school. During the last eleven years, the computer has made a significant impact in my life and the lives of my parents.
When my mother was in high school from 1971 to 1975, her parents owned a Smith Carona typewriter. The typewriter had a ribbon to function properly. The ribbon had black ink on top and red ink on the bottom. She needed to turn a knob in order to change the color of the ink. Her homework assignments were usually hand – written, but her school reports usually needed to be typed. She went to a small high school that did not have a computer. Her parents did not have an electric typewriter or a computer at their house. When my father was in high school from 1969 to 1973, there was one computer for the whole school district, which was located in a unique travel trailer. There were four high schools in the district, and each high school got to use the computer for nine weeks. The computer was as big as a refrigerator. This computer was similar to a four function calculator. My dad needed to use IBM cards to print information from the computer. The IBM cards were about three inches wide and eight inches long. His parents did not have a home computer or an electric typewriter, but owned a Smith Carona typewriter.
While my mother was a student at UW – Whitewater, she used a typewriter to complete her homework assignments. There were some problems with using this typewriter, because it worked on a roller. In order to make copies, you needed one piece of carbon paper between the front sheet and the second sheet. While you were typing, the black ink would go off the carbon sheet and onto the second sheet. Sometimes while typing, my mother would have trouble with the guide by the roller. By having three sheets of paper, the guide would sometimes get loose and then the typed lines on the paper
would become crooked. If the lines were too crooked, my mom would have to start typing her paper all over again, which was very frustrating for her. You could only make one copy at a time.
During that time, there was correction tape if you made a mistake when typing a paper. The correction tape was on a roll, like masking tape. Sometimes, my mother could not see through the correction tape, which letter needed to be corrected. This made it difficult for my mother to write well on her homework assignments. Unfortunately, my mother did not have an electric typewriter to use during her college experience.
Computer technology had significantly changed throughout the years. My parents decided to purchase an electric typewriter in 1980. The electric typewriter worked faster than the original typewriter. The electric typewriter was more automatic and easier to correct mistakes. My grandparents never had an electric typewriter. My mom’s parents never owned a computer. My dad’s parents did not own a computer until 2005, when they received a computer as a gift from my aunt.
My parents owned a Brother word processor from 1985 to 1999. The word processor had a ribbon that came in a cartridge. In the typewriters, the ribbon was located along the eight inch roller. The word processor was easier to use than the electric typewriter. The word processor included more features to improve the writing process.
In January 1999, my parents decided to buy their first computer, when I was in eighth grade. This Dell computer had Windows 95/98 operating system, and used floppy discs or round compact discs. My parents had dial up for internet service. In high school, the computer was easy to use when typing up papers for school. Since my parents had dial up instead of high speed internet, it was difficult sometimes to find research information for my papers, in a short amount of time. I enjoyed using this computer to play games that my dad had purchased for us.
In 2005, my parents decided to buy a new computer for their house. The new computer had Windows Vista operating system and did not have a drive for floppy discs. My parents still have dial up internet for their computer. My parents decided to keep their old computer, so me and my sister could come over and do schoolwork for college classes. In 2008, my parents decided to give me their old computer, because I still had several computer games that only worked for Windows 95/98 operating systems.
In 2009, I decided to buy a new computer for my house. My new computer has Windows 7 operating system and works with high speed internet. I decided that doing homework for college classes would be easier at my house, rather than going to my parents’ house or the library. I can’t image my life today without using a computer. The computer has been an important part of my life since I was thirteen years old, and I have used a computer on a daily basis since high school. With the use of a computer, I can keep in touch with friends and family, without only using my cell phone. I can email important news stories to my parents, talk to friends from high school on facebook, and find out important information regarding celebrities and sports athletes. I think that the computer was one of the most important inventions in history, besides the television and the cell phone.
Kuske, Jennie. Personal interview. 15 September 2010.
Kuske, Steve. Personal interview. 15 September 2010.
Toffler, Alvin. Future Shock Bantam Books, 1970.