Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Joyous Sound of...Plotters

I arrived at the office this morning, not knowing what to expect as to IT issues. When I left last night: e-mail was down; Internet access was down; our intranet was down; and all copiers and plotters were inaccessible. All the way home, through especially horrendous traffic, I kept thinking this would be a good time to launch my dream magazine, Technophobia.

This morning, I got to work about 7:30 AM after a stop at the bank and the gas station. Rounding the corner and entering the long, narrow corridor to my office, I saw a beautiful sight: an engineering drawing sitting on the out-put tray of a plotter. They must be working! I thought. Then, after getting coffee and completing my short devotional, the joyous sound came: the whine of the back-and-forth of a plotter head, producing a drawing. I about cheered these two sensory experiences.

So I took a chance. Calling up MS Word, I opened my daily diary sheet, chose the printer that's supposed to be closest to me, and clicked . For five seconds nothing happened, then came the joyous sound: the printer/copier spitting out my document after it's morning warm-up. Everything's working; all's right with the world.

So it's back to the routines of the last nine years. Only difference is the route to work, and that only for the last mile and a half. I don't have a key to the office yet (because the electronic entry is not yet installed), so I'll come in a little later and fight heavier traffic on the commute. Before work I'll have devotions then check writing web sites. On noon hours I'll walk and write and eat simple fare at my desk. After work I'll spend a half-hour or so waiting on traffic to clear by doing something else for writing. Hopefully, in between these, I'll return to my past love of civil engineering and find meaning in flood plains and drainage ditches and sewer lines and streets, etc. At least I can write about some of those things at Suite101.


Gary said...

Technophobia? Gonna write it in cuneiform on clay tablets, or is that too modern? /snark

Seriously, aren't we soooo dependent on the manipulations of electrons now?

David A. Todd said...

Yes, Technophobia. But no, it will be published by the most modern methods possible. One can use technology and still fear it, kind of like flying, or many other life endeavors.

Yes, we are quite dependent on chips and light emitting diodes and pixels and whatever they do to electrons. There's no going back.


Gary said...

I'd like to see some quantification of benefits v. cost of technological advances. On a time line. It seems that innovation creates a lot of benefit at first but then the bad guys use it to cause more harm than ever. Take email; it obviously has made business more efficient, but now 90% of it is spam, scams, and a mal-ware delivery vector.

David A. Todd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David A. Todd said...

Well, the greatest technological advance of all time was, IMHO, movable type. It allowed the information explosion we've had since. Of course, that eventually led to junk mail, so I think your thereory is proven. In our faster paced world the degredation of the technological advance happens at warp speed rather than mere leg power.