Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Computers

I’ve been a regular computer user for about 8 years. Prior to that I was easily able to go about my professional and personal life without the need for one. I think I both envied and pitied computer users. Part of me wished that I had some sort of high-tech lifestyle that used computers to process huge amounts of information, like an 80’s movie where some unusually intelligent kid rigged his Texas Instruments computer to hack into another country’s mainframe – spitting out national secrets in small, green letters seemingly typed out individually. The other part looked down on people stuck in cubicles endlessly plugging data into some large database that spit out endless information for other people to plug into their database. And even though those thoughts are polarizing, there was a time when I could go either way.

These days, I don’t care if you’re the most dysfunctional person on your block; it’s almost guaranteed that you’re tuned into the computer for one use or another. Old men are browsing their way through the Internet reading up on upcoming surgical procedures that they will undergo. Kids are surfing sites their parents asked them no to. Whatever you do, whoever you are, there is something a computer can do to make your life more efficient or help you to consume tons of time that would be otherwise unconsumed. If you’re reading these words than you know the power of the glowing box.

My father is the only person I know that doesn’t use a computer on at least a semi-regular basis. He uses it indirectly, but isn’t the first-hand user doing the navigating or typing. I introduced Skype to my parents so they could visit with Branden, my nephew, while living states apart. So, my Dad will go to the screen and have fun with is Grandson, but hasn’t had the urge to take charge of all those gizmos himself. I was on the phone with him the other day and he was getting emotional talking about his last Skype experience with Branden, so even the guy who doesn’t use computers gets teary-eyed about his computer use.

I use a computer as much or more than anyone. I practically run Half Acre Beer Co from my computer. Of course I’m out and about meeting with establishment owners and enjoying the world and beer drinking public, but much of my business communication and marketing happens with the use of this here computer. I’d be up the creek without it.

In a relatively short time computers have become so important and incredibly powerful. I had, and still have, the first IPod. This thing is like a white lunch box that could store a few word documents compared to the little squares of storage wonder that are selling for half the price I paid for my first. I don’t know the facts, but it seems like the more advanced technology gets the easier it is to improve. Technology breeds better technology. It’s as though the designers of these things would make chips that are 1000X more powerful, but they need the chips that are 10X more powerful to understand how.
Regardless it doesn’t seem like there is an end to the improvement and understanding when everyday they’re creating more powerful tools to help them understand.

“I think this computer thing is catching on,” my father will joke, and I think he’s right.

Half Acre Beer Co

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