I’ve just been pondering, as I do quite regularly, the spectacular speed of change in the field of information technology. Today I particularly recall my time as a school librarian.
When I started at the school I had one little old Apple Mac with super-slow net access (and a circulation system based on small yellow cards and brown pockets). A few years later we got a pile of money with which to install a ‘computer suite’. It was very exciting.
Sadly the headmaster was a PC man and insisted that most of the machines be Windows based. However, the head of the computer department (HC), being in thrall to Mac, had created a mini-Mac-network up there. I convinced the Head that I MUST have at least one Mac in order for the library to be part of this network, blah blah blah and so forth.
I was overjoyed the day I unpacked my blueberry coloured iMac and placed him front and centre in my new computer suite…and now to my point: I was shocked to find that he had no floppy disc drive!
Feverishly, I consulted HC at which point he shared with me his Vision of the Future. In the Future, HC claimed, no one would use floppy discs. Ha! I scoffed. How then would people transport their documents from place to place? By email, HC confided. Over the internet.
I remember the incredulity I felt at that time but i realise that I now live in that unbelievable world. At some point in the intervening years HC’s Future became my Present. I can’t remember when I last used a floppy disc as anything other than a coaster. Can you?
In my first job we ran computer programmes by poking holes in pieces of card and sending them off to the gargantuan, arctic-cold computer department. Now I probably have more computing power in my mobile phone than was contained in that whole, enormous room. Plus… I have a mobile phone! I am sooo science fiction!
I fully expect to be downloading BBC drama direct from iPlayer into my BRAIN by next Xmas. I am now ready to believe that anything is possible…