Thursday, December 16, 2010


Last night, Connor got the original Tron movie to play on the TV upstairs, not with the projector setup which was fine. I doubt I've seen the movie since it's release in 1982. But I had a good chuckle last night...a chuckle on myself, that is.

Most of you know me now as a techno-junkie...there isn't anything out there computer-wise that I don't want to have/own/try. But back in the day when computers were just peeking into homes, I was deadset against them. My song at the time was..."if my kids need a computer then they can use one at school". Silly me. Foolish me. I was a late bloomer. But, boy! Once I bloomed there was no going back.

Perhaps part of my reluctance to the computer-age was that I never saw myself as being able to afford a computer. Then there was this moment in church...I will never forget's as clear in my head as it was on the day it happened. One young couple, on the cutting edge of computers, loved to boast about having one. I doubt they were the first...because really I am fairly certain Ron had the first one. He IS the cutting edge. But this couple loved to talk about it. One Sunday, Debbie was assigned to give a talk in church. She got up to the rostrum (how about that for a word! It's on the door sign at Dawn's wardhouse...Robert and I chuckled when we saw it, a rather old word for podium/stand/pulpit) and as she set out her papers, it turned out she had printed off her talk onto what was then the paper used by computers...continual feed. Now for you younguns', continue feed were papers that were all linked together but you could (and she should have) separated them at the perforations. Then they would have been just another piece of typing paper. And she even left on the edges that were holes where the paper fed through the turning thingyabobs. PLUS she used a very large font. So as she went through her rather long talk, the paper was draped over the rostrum (there's that word again) and puddled on the floor beneath her. Oh good about pride and showing off. The whole of the congregation had a major snicker over this (despite it being Sunday) but we all attributed it to her very young self. But it was enough to steer me clear of wanting that much showiness...much to my despair today. Now I JUMP literally at the chance to buy whatever is new. I have even made Robert promise me that when my computer dies I get to have a new one immediately. Hence, last year, without a dead computer but one on its last leg, Robert bought me a laptop and gave it to me AFTER Christmas (and after cuz he knew Ken was buying Pam one for Christmas and altho he had bought mine first, he didn't want to outshine Ken, nor did he want me to think he was copying Ken....I mean, really...who cared? I just loved/love this laptop).

But when I saw that first movie I didn't have a clue what they were talking about, really. It was a strange story line for me but I watched it anyway. Dawn loved it, even had the Tron gave and still does. I remember how fun that game was but most of all I remember attempting to throw that frisbee thing into the swirling evil controller.

Then came the year Robert made out his Christmas list. The first item listed was a computer...and I was stunned. But by this time, I was leaning toward this new world. I talked with Ron at church who was happy to sell me an old set up for $500. It was old but it did work...altho it didn't connect to the internet...that was yet to come. My folks went with me to Ron's, loaned me the $500 and I paid them back the next month, loaded the huge pieces of computer into their car, drove to their home where Bonpapa found a huge box to store everything and we wrapped it, keeping it there til Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve arrived and at midnight, when we opened the gifts, we kept the 'box' in their car until all gifts were opened. Then we brought in the box, all 3 of us so excited. Robert opened it and was stunned. And he said, "I asked for a computer?" Emphasize the "I". Talk about a popped balloon. Why yes, you did!!!! It was a bit of a huge letdown for me but when we were de-decorating, I found that Christmas list of his and gave it to him...there, #1, was listed COMPUTER.

I don't think he ever really used that computer but the kids and I did. There were some great fun games we had which I wish were still around. But oh, how much easier it was to type out whatever, print it off, have it in hardcopy AND digital. From there on, things just got better. And BIGGER. And faster. And sleeker. And I was hooked.

Last night, the movie took on a whole new life. I understood last night what I didn't 30 years ago. I got the subtle comments, the funny names/words. And I watched chuckling at myself all the through it. Words like RAM and BYTES and BITS. Grids. Lights. Users. Programs. All made more sense.

Luckily for me, I have friends who are way smarter than I am...who still come to my rescue....Randy, Larry, Ron, Ron P., Ken, Pam, and just 2 weeks ago, Dawn! These are my Geek Squad..and they work very cheaply, basically for free...because in this wonderful world of Trons, we all share and learn. Thanks, Geek Squad. You have been wonderful to me and for me.

Tomorrow...Tron2...for good or ill....I want to see it.


Lin Floyd said...

how funny. I learned from my son Daniel to do a singles newsletter-it was certainly easier. Then as a school librarian we got computerized. I spent one summer inputting all the books in our elem. library into the system-so much easier for circulation, lesson planning, etc. Then genealogy and writing family histories and the INTERNET. Yes there was a time with no internet...thanks for bringing back my memories and for your help in learning to blog.

Nikki said...

:) great story.

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