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Our newest employee at CS3, Joshua Blaho, is a millennial new to the world of desk jobs, so we asked him to write a weekly blog series about his experience.
Read the week 3 blog here.
Week 4: Timehop Circa 1990
Millennials grew up alongside massive technological advances. I was born the same year the world wide web was implemented and the internet became available to the general public. When I was three, the first search engine was created. Just one year later in 1994 there were 11 million Americans on the internet. There were one billion unique web pages in existence just one decade after I was born. Now, we all have the Library of Alexandria in our pockets. While growing up in the technology age I never stepped back to think to myself how amazing it is.
After sending an email with an attachment, I thought, “that was easy.” It was easy because I didn’t have to get up from my desk to have it reviewed. I sent it to my co-worker with the click of a mouse. This isn’t a thought I have often because it has always been a part of my life. Then I came to the awareness that doing the same thing circa 1990 would’ve been completely different. Fax machines, dot matrix printers, and DOS seems so ancient now. The amount of work one could accomplish at that time was balanced on the technology available. This idea led me to interview the baby boomers in the office. I had to know what it was like.
I learned that data storage was very expensive. Whatever could be stored off the computer was put in filing cabinets. This made copiers, printers, and fax machines crucial. Sometimes binding machines were in the office to bind documents and proposals. Knowing that DOS was the primary OS, I wondered how rich text was made for such proposals. The caret symbol and B made text bold. Italicized and center were almost the same. To even operate a computer in those days most people could have been considered mild programmers.
Opening documents would take approximately 15 to 60 seconds. That was normal. Today if something took that long you would most likely think your computer is locked up. I was told that running an operation would take 30 to 40 minutes. Like reconciling monthly pay. All of this information would sometimes be stored on floppies.
I don’t want to turn this into a research paper but the words pager, Telex machine, dot matrix printer, 5¼ floppy, electric typewriters, and Rolodex were used in some of their responses. Oh, and all phones had chords back then.
Now having this insight, I see more clearly how easy we millennials have it on the technology side of things. It’s interesting to hear baby boomers’ perspectives. Technology will keep getting better, faster, and cheaper. I’m interested in what implementations will make our workday easier. In the future, I know we will look back and say, “do you remember when used that?”
Click here to go to the beginning of the series.
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