In a previous article we’ve promised to reveal which one is our CEO in the photo of our team provided as sample to the PaperScan v.2 release article.
Click on it to enlarge and look at the row on your left: it’s the plain blue T-shirt guy wearing no glasses.
Today we are going to say just few words about the pre-digital age of communications.
Not so distant times, actually, just some 40 years or about half a lifetime, but for a today’s youngster life back then might seem simply impossible to conceive.
It was the age of fixed phones: talking to someone implied that the called person had to be at the called phone location at calling time.
Such required synchronisation may sound ridiculous today when everyone has a mobile phone but people went on quite well with it.
It was also the age of letter mails.
Picture this: you had to handwrite the letter on paper, buy and apply stamps on the envelope, go to a post office to send it, then wait until the estimated time of delivery elapses, hoping the receiver finally got it.
But no matter how weird this might sound today, people got along very well with this too.
It was also the age of printed books and journals.
For the journals you had to either take daily trips to the closest kiosk or wait until the postman brought them
If you needed to get seriously informed, you had to go to bookstores and libraries and retreive the book(s) you might need by consulting paper-writen, manually-created indexes.
And in case you were after a particular information, you basically had to read everything from the start until hopefully finding the needed piece of information.
But as hard as it seems today people lived with this very, very well.
And it was the age of handwriting too of course.
So in order for your ideas to get shared, you needed to have a readable, ordered and as little mistaken as possible handwritten text.
The same requirements applied to typewritten text as well, basically the differences between handwriting and typewriting being the standard readability and slightly superior text ordering feature provided by typewriters.
And again, people used them very well.
“OK, so is there a point in this article?” you will ask.
Well yes, there are at least 3 of them actually.
First, none of the above is extinct.
Seriously diminshed, maybe, but not defunct.
People still use fixed phones, letter mails are still being sent, printed books and journals are still present everywhere, libraries are still busy and there are still people who prefer to write their drafts with pencil on paper instead of using computers.
So predictions over complete digitization might prove either false or might happen way later than thought today.
Secondly, reminding how things used to be does no harm, does it?
It is important to keep memories of how life once was anyway.
And getting addicted to our digital super-tools might leave us helpless if some incidents happen.
So, for example, it might prove important to know how to read a map if the GPS breaks down in the middle of a trip.
And thirdly, it is a preamble to the short series of articles we are going to start next week about some interesting and less-known facts inside the transition from pre-digital era to the “information super-highway” digital age we’re living in today and they will include some stories about cell-phones, internet, GPS and computers inventing and inventors.
So see you next week!