Wednesday, January 07, 2004

A private airport

A dream or a nightmare? I am not sure. But my study certainly has become an "internet cafe" as threatened. Tonight there were four mac laptops and my old PC all humming away - along with their accompanying users, of course. A hive of downloading and installations. Rather a jolly group, all told. Students and writers. Of course it was a mac event. The PC, the only desktop, was my retreat since my mac was busy getting some new applications. I had some chatting and surfing to do - and some quiet comparisons, if truth be known. I now loathe this PC keyboard, although I am not altogether comfortable on the wee flat thing on the laptop. But I am old school. No soft flat-handed finger-patting of the keys. I hit the keys - because I typed before I keyboarded. I typed on thumping, great antique newsroom typewriters - those old Underwoods with white keys. What with the heavy nature of the machines and the need to imprint through three layers of carbons, a strong stroke was needed on each key and a firm arm to whack the carriage return. Those were the days. No one got RSI. They got exercise. And newsrooms were full of the clack-a-clack of many reporters hammering out stories, phones ringing and voices shouting "Copy". Oh yes, and those chutes which zapped the copy through to the compositors - whooosh. How different are newsrooms today - quiet keyboard pattering, subdued voices on phones. No copy boys or chutes. The copy reaches its destination with a touch of the return key.
And no coils of smoke from ashtrays on all the desks.
But there is just as much paper piled all over the place, even if the old spikes have been banned. Apparently they suddenly became dangerous. They were removed because we might hurt ourselves - after scores of year. A work hazard. What a joke. Work Safety makes children of us all.

No comments: