Do you remember Multimate? It was a word processing program for computers that let you type words, after you literally learned so many codes that you were practically “programming” the text onto the page. The program should have been called:”multimonth” because that is how long it took to learn how to use it, and it took almost as long to write something with it once you did finally figure how what you needed to do to code things, such as itallics, or bold.
I’m trying to remember that as I struggle to learn a new operating system for my Asus Transformer tablet, and my new Samsung Galaxy S3 android phone.
Back to Multimate for a minute: as I recall, you couldn’t actually do a lot of complicated things with Multimate. You could do some very basic stuff, but adding photos or videos, changing colors, even creating a standard signature, didn’t exist. Yet, Multimate seemed somewhat miraculous anyway, because before “easy” programs like this one, the ordinary person had no chance of typing letters unless it was on a stand-alone electric (or worse, manual) typewriter.
While it seemed to me this morning that learning new things used to be so much easier, in reality, it wasn’t. Technology has gotten a lot more complicated. However, it has also in some ways gotten a lot more user friendly. If you doubt this, you haven’t ever watched the YouTube video of a baby trying to turn the page of a print magazine. The baby is trying to get the page to move forward by “swiping” the page with a fingertip as you would with an android device, or an iPhone or iPad, (instead of turning it with an actual hand).
Today, as I’m struggling to learn my new android devices, I keep thinking that if a tiny baby can learn how to make one of these devices work, surely I should be able to master it, too.
*this is a new feature on my advice sisters web site. I’m starting this personal blog because after decades of writing articles and reviews, I want to try something more personal. It seens that these days writers who blog about themselves, get fans. And who doesn’t want more fans?!
I don’t want to spill bad feelings or personal information to the world at large (and if I do, please leave a comment and remind me that it’s like walking around without your clothes and therefore not a good idea), but I’m hoping my personal thoughts and comments about my life will be interesting to you. So if you like the idea, and like what I have to say, I also hope that you will interact with me by telling me you are reading this blog, suggesting topics you want me to cover, ask me questions, make a comment–anything to let me know I’m not just sending the blog into a black hole.
Alison Blackman Dunham
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