Entering the 21st Century finally with a new Kindle Fire…

March 3, 2013

I feel as though I have finally entered the 21st Century. I just bought a Kindle Fire e-reader/tablet.

Almost took it back, I got so frustrated. But a young sales gal — actually not the sales person who sold me the Kindle, but not important here — told me if you’ve never used the touch screen on a tablet there is a “learning curve”. I think that prompted me to try harder to show I can handle it.

Cut to the chase here: by now (it took a few days) I am satisfied with it and actually quite excited. I just started really. I have not even bought an e-book yet, but I borrowed one and started reading it. Now this book does not seem to have a lot of big, unfamiliar words, but I love the instant dictionary feature where you can just press on the word and get a definition.

Now I have books and newspapers and magazines and videos at my fingertips. I guess I have more too — I don’t really know all the features. I’m not the kind of buyer who shops around all that much on most things. I hate to shop. But when I get into the mood to get something or if I really have to have it I just go get it and don’t fool around with salespeople who cannot or will not answer my questions. Actually I’m an easy mark for a sales person who even acts like her or she knows the product and can sell it.

I’ve come a long way. I began my career (or so-called career) in newspapering in 1973. I pounded out my daily stories on an old manual Royal typewriter. I made a lot of pencil corrections and did a lot of cutting and pasting with the copy paper. And I had a dictionary handy and madly looked up words I was not sure about. And all of this had to be read by an editor and then went to a typesetter and then back to a proof reader and then was pasted onto a page, and had I begun but a few years earlier it would have had to have been set in metal type. I recall going to a newspaper office where my dad worked and seeing all that.

In 1978 I took a job with another newspaper and we had video display terminals hooked into giant computers that were in a separate room and manned by a technician.

And then I went backwards and took a job with a newspaper that was still using typewriters. What was I thinking?

And at the last newspaper I worked at before leaving that trade and becoming a long haul truck driver we had the old main fame computers but some of the young people were beginning to use PCs.

This tablet I have reminds me of what my beginning journalism teacher told us back in 1972 . He said that newspapers as we knew them at the time would become extinct and would probably be replaced by some kind of thin board like thing about the shape of a newspaper that would be electronic. And that is what we have now, except smaller and much more sophisticated than many of us might have imagined and it has not only made the conventional newspaper all but extinct but it has made vast changes all across the various media.

Many things about the new technology are great and some are not. And I miss the old way to some extent. But like a friend of mine told me, you have to embrace the new technology or you will be lost.

I’m trying.


My primary interest in all of this is information over entertainment, although the latter is great too.

But with the e-reader and the access to the internet, I now have little excuse to not be practically instantly up to date on all matter of things — time permitting.


P.s. P.s.

I’ll try to keep you posted from time to time on my progress and may even pose questions when I get stuck. I notice that most of these things do not come with printed instructions and one must use trial and error and get info off the internet (there are some limited tutorials embedded in the device, but they seem to leave open a lot of questions). My sister says most of it is “intuitive” — if only it was for me. Well the more you use the stuff the more it does become intuitive it seems.

P.s. P.s. P.s.

If the power goes out we’re all in trouble. But the old methods required power somewhere too. I remember seeing the pressman push an electrical switch to start the printing press.