Intro from Admin: this is a republishing of an article published some time ago but inadvertently deleted. Sorry. The comments were lost but I managed to recover the article.
A potted history of our journey from using typewriters to broadband internet accompanied on the way by our loving and loved cats.
I was thinking about how much richer our lives are for meeting like-minded people through Internet sites and groups of people who care about the same things as we do, through Pictures-of-Cats.org for instance Ruth and I have both met people we are proud to call our friends even though we may never meet up in person, and of course on Facebook we’ve met people, fallen out with people, started causes, helped other causes, made protests and signed petitions to name but a few of the things we all get up to online.
But it’s not all that long ago that I had no idea what the Internet was, certainly in my youth a worldwide website that could answer almost any question I asked and where I could meet, talk to and see pictures of people and their cats from all over the world would never have even featured in a dream, and yet here it is and here we are, all hooked on it in the nicest way.
Looking back to our first “computer” it was almost a prehistoric monster which our brother gave us when Ruth’s trusty typewriter gave up the ghost after years of her pounding away on it.
“Get a word processor”, said our brother. “A what?” said we, and so he gave us his old machine and spirited-up for us, also, an ancient printer that used tractor paper with holes down the sides that fitted onto little teeth that chugged it through the printer. Luckily he gave us a good supply of paper as well as we were never able to find any more.
We couldn’t get onto the Internet with it of course and barely knew even then what the Internet was, this was in about 1995/6, but we used it for writing letters and stories and there were some games on it that I enjoyed playing. We had a lot of use from it and in fact still have it in the dark recesses of the bedroom cupboard.
But we kept hearing from friends how exciting the Internet was and really wanted to join the fun, but where to get an internet ready computer was the problem, until I saw an advert from a company called Fiche and Chips selling refurbished PC’s with printers as well. Trustingly we sent off a cheque for what was to us a fair amount of money, after a few anxious weeks sure enough we took delivery of a big box containing all the exciting stuff, everything we needed to get online was there, except we had no idea how to start!
Eventually after we’d arranged dial up Internet access we found a friend of a friend who was willing to come and set it up for us and give us a basic idea of what to do, that was enough and from there onwards we soon picked it up and were hooked on the ‘Net though we had to share it between us and we were always conscious of the cost of dial up but we did manage to join some online communities, animal rights groups and cat lovers groups mainly. This was before Facebook was launched in 2004 of course and it wasn’t so easy to link up with people.
Eventually we were able to afford a second, new this time, PC for me and Ruth said she would happily settle for having the old one for herself, but disaster struck not long after and it died suddenly taking with it lots of files and photos and teaching us a never to be forgotten lesson – back it up! So we purchased another new PC for Ruth and treated ourselves to Broadband and the world became our oyster!
Bryan our gorgeous brown tabby (who we sadly lost in 2000) was a good little office boy, he would sit with, us in bygone years, while we were hammering away on typewriter or PC, purring happily and watching the screen just as Walter does nowadays, he likes to sit by me and he pinches the computer chair to do so, and often watches the movements on the monitor, Jozef isn’t into technology he’s the one I call the doer while Walter is the thinker. Jo likes to preserve his energy for stalking the neighbourhood.
So in that short time, a matter of less than 20 years how much our world has changed, I like to think that during our time on the Internet we have done some good, and I think we have, with the anti-declawing crusade and various other animal projects and groups we have been involved with, I hope so anyway.