Saturday, September 15, 2007

Komputer Karma

When I was in high school we were all living in a pretty low tech sort of time. Despite this, my school did manage to procure a few of the latest and greatest in computers. They were cumbersome, clunky things that really did very little except glow menacingly and make us all wonder if we were looking at our future overlords. These weren't your fancy-schmancy laptops of today that bring us our daily dose of email and "enhancement" offers. Still, we were pretty lucky to have them given the day and age.

We were also pretty lucky to have this new and amazing thing called a photocopier. No more were teachers rushing off to class carrying a stack of mimeographed pages and a smeared master in their purple tinged fingers. Elementary schools were a bit late in getting this particular equipment update, though. We were still using mimeograph machines when I was student teaching. One day someone in my dorm pointed out that I had somehow managed to get the ink on my tongue. To this day, I can't tell you how I managed to do that, but my tongue remained purple for almost twenty four hours and was the subject of much speculation, most of which cannot be discussed on this, a family style sort of blog.

One of the classes I took in high school required that we spend some time doing simple programming with the behemoths that represented the height of technology back then. It wasn't anything fancy. We just needed to be able to get the computer to solve for "x" as in a simple algebraic equation. I don't remember much about algebra, but I surely do remember my fascination with the concept of an "if/then" command. All you had to do was use the right series of words and symbols to get the computer to understand what to do if certain circumstances were in play. If. Then. Simple and to the point. I wasn't so good at math. But I got the idea behind: "if" this is happening, "then" do this.

If/Then has a few real-life applications even today. We see it all the time. To use a recent example from the Life And Times Of The Sheep:

If it looks like rain...

Then you should close the windows.

Nice!!! If, that is, you happen to remember to close the windows. If not, then it goes something like this:

If you forget to close the windows when it looks like rain...

Then you will have very wet carpets.

Not so nice. But, it really supports the If/Then principle.

Here's another one:

If you publicly declare your hatred for your knitting and your intention to abandon it and henceforth work only in Popsicle stick sculptures...

Then Frecklegirl will send an email to tell you that Ravelry has decided it cannot live without you.

Figures. I am SheepishAnnie. Please, I beg of you, consider being my friend. I am not going to be the best of Ravelers what with my Popsicle stick commitment and general tendency towards disorganization. My notebook is not exactly the place you will be going for great project ideas and insights on how to become a better knitter. But I'm there after languishing on the waiting list since July and am determined to enjoy the experience. I don't need to be the most popular girl at the dance. But, my self-esteem will suffer greatly if I don't make a friend in there somewhere. Think of it this way:

If Sheepie thinks that people are looking at her stuff on Ravelry...

Then she will feel guilty enough to keep the place looking nice enough for company.

SA

18 comments:

kmkat said...

You have a friend in meeeee..."

Anne said...

The thing I miss about those mimeograph machines is the smell. Remember that? And getting papers when they were still damp?

I'm a Ravelry newbie too. We can "friend," if you like!

Donna Lee said...

We never had computers in high school. When I went to college, there was one on the campus, in the math and science building and no one but no one was allowed to look at it let alone touch it.

I liked the smell of "dittos"!

brenda said...

I'm still waiting in line. Only about 1000 more people ahead of me, then I'll be your ravelry friend if you'll be mine!

Beth said...

Yea! I just added you. I like the picture you chose for your profile. :)

I remember something about using computers in algebra, too. I also remembered that my teacher limped from a war wound. And that I liked solving for x and y. That's about it. But now I'm getting to pull it all from the back of my mind since E is taking Algebra 1 this year.

Lorraine said...

I remember my Algebra but only because Hockeyboy is nearing the end of Algebra I and I'm constantly having to update my knowledge to keep up. So far, so good but I'll be toast when it comes to Trig or Calculus.

If/then . . . I remember it well but never did understand it - at all!

mehitabel said...

Okay, I do remember the mimeograph and ditto machines. Mimeo with the gooey printer's ink--oily greasy stuff that never came out of clothes, and the ditto machine with the alcoholic fluid that left the pages wet as well as purple! Ewwww.
I went to Ravelry and added you to my friends--hope you'll stay and play!

Mel said...

Come on, just admit it. You got high on the mimeograph fumes and passed out on the machine with your tongue hanging out, didn't you?

I still miss the smell of fresh, warm mimeographs.

Kris said...

When I was a TA in college (this would be the late 90's) we could only make photocopies of the exams. Worksheets were ditto copies. I hated making the masters. *blech*

April said...

Added you to my friends list; love the picture you chose. Much more creative than my Mary Poppins avatar.

Mia said...

Ahhh Ravelry.. I ONLY have about 14000 more people ahead of me.. but then again, 6000 BEHIND me *grin*

And I SO remember those ditto machines!! But a purple tongue Sheepie??? ::laughing::

trek said...

I loved the smell of the mimeographs. I still sniff new books for the cool scent of publishing, too.

I'm your friend - even if there are still 5620 people ahead of me and I am keeping company with a llama...

And you don't have to keep the place looking nice to entertain your real friends!

Diana said...

My notebook is a mess on Ravelry: it's just like my old school days where I didn't do my homework or organize my notebooks.

I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but I think you might be following in my footsteps!

Teri S. said...

Welcome to Ravelry! I've added you as a friend.

You were lucky to have a computer in your high school. My first experience with a computer was in my senior year in college, in a statistics class. We had to run a SAS program. The method of input? Punch cards. And the card punch machine did not have a QWERTY keyboard, so I wasted a lot of cards.

Mouse said...

I friended you as well.. welcome to the insanity.

Julie said...

Ah the sweet memories of HS - mimeograph machines, carbon paper (remember trying to fix a typing error with multiple copies?), manual typewriters! Sheesh Sheepie, thanks a bunch for making me feel so darn old!

Ronni said...

Alas I was in a backward environment. So I too remember mimeos. They did have a distinctive, almost attractive, smell. I seem to recall that if you got in trouble one of the methods of punishment from some of the more creative teachers was being forced to type up their masters for the mimeo machine which was a real pain. Not that I would know from personal experience, of course. (wanders off attempting to whistle innocently)

Bobbi said...

I friended you! I luuuuuuuuvvv ravelry :) I try not to blog about it too much so people who do not have it wont feel bad, but the love is deep! :)