Sunday, March 4, 2007

catching up on technology...

Just a little bit. For some reason, having spent my youth exploring the boundaries of new stuff, I have now become so retro that it's scary. I mean, my mother is WAY more advanced than I am!

To put the 'boundaries' into perspective, I remember going to research lectures on what hardly existed then - the web, as it was, was a small number of sites accessing each other under the auspices of the US Defence. It was called Darpanet or something similar. We laughed at the concept of world wide - I mean no-one was going to let other unknowns into their system!

I remember seeing a demo of 'dial up' - where you put your home phone's receiver into two little ear-muffs, and at about 4.6 Kb/s, you could 'talk' to another computer. Analog, of course, and you could go make coffee in between each line of green text. Oh yeah..that was in the days of one colour only screens. Mostly white text, but the newer, more exciting ones were in green.

I had a home PC. I was the first person in the whole school to have one. The entire memory was 48Kb, before you loaded the operating system (Basic), after that it dropped to 36Kb. Programs had to be written in really tight code, so as not to overrun memory. I had a chess game that was pretty good. I learned to write some machine-code, where you PEEKed at memory, and then POKEd it with hex characters to display things - the most I ever managed was to write a race-car game that you steered by using the ASDF keys. My favorite was Eliza, a good version of the standard analysis game. Eliza started by asking 'how are you', you responded, it then asked you a question based on picking various bits of your reply. Example. Eliza : how are you? Jcat : I am miserable. Eliza : Why are you miserable? Jcat : I am a banana. Eliza : Why does being a banana make you miserable? Jcat : Because a banana is a squishy fruit. Eliza : I see that being a squishy fruit makes you uncomfortable. Would you like to tell me more? etc etc.

Another talk was on the Japanese ideas of cell phones. We laughed at that, it was just inconceivable that it could ever work properly. Maybe in the middle of a big town... but all over the country? Get real! That talk was in about 1991....

So now, I am the only person I know whose cell phone can't even take photos, never mind videos. I don't have a DVD player (although I think that the replacement PC I got after mine was stolen last year can play them...I haven't tried yet). I still have a working VHS VCR. My microwave has just celebrated its 21st birthday, and my fridge was born in 1992. I treasure things that belonged to my parents, and to my grandmother. My printer could be a fax machine/scanner if I really wanted it to be, but I haven't done all the connecty bits to allow it. I finally unwrapped the portable CD player (that my folks bought me about 4 years ago) when I was in hospital for three weeks last October. And that was primarily so that I didn't have to talk to anyone.

Yesterday's great leap was when I got tired of finding free songs to download, because they never had the ones I wanted. Now ordering CDs is cool, I do that quite often. But the big break was....buying an album of downloads! That worked well, so I bought a few more, of songs that I really wanted. And then this little voice said 'your own compilations...' and the thought was awesome! So have spent about the past 8 hours selectively uploading all my CDs. Not all - I'd guess that I've done about one eighth so far. And I bought blank CDs. So by next week I will have a whole bunch of perfect CDs, with nothing but the perfect mix. However I think the 'last CD' is going to be 3 or 4 volumes - that's ok, they will all be perfect to drift away to.

Guess it is only the thought of dying that has motivated the techno-jump. I want to have the background music, while I sit in the bush downing pills with vodka/Coke lite, and breathing CO. I keep telling myself that preparation is ok, in return for holding off on action for another day.

That the one day that I hang on for might be the one where the meds work. The one where I see t-doc and a huge revelation appears and I am filled with insight and hope for tomorrow. The one where I go see a numerologist that t-doc has recommended, who is supposed to have had good results with treating sad fuckwit losers. The one where I meet Mr Perfect - and he is not only available, but is interested in me just as much. The one where I get hijacked or caught in the middle of a shopping mall robbery - and the whole situation is no longer my choice.

And as you can see by the time, the super night combo (including the Zopimed) has not done much towards throwing me into the arms of sleep. But had better go try it out, because the little finches, the robin and the thrush will all be wanting brekkies by 07h30 or earlier....

Every time my phone bleeps, I have this wistful though that it might be DB. I'd like it to be. I'd like it not to be. I am scared that if we did go on, it would be with all the stress fractures unhealed, and that soon it would end even more painfully. Painfully for me. I don't think it hurts her at all, based on some of the things she said - her pain is behind a whole wedge of psychotic delusions, and maybe she will see it sometime long in the future and wonder why on earth she acted the way she has.

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