There are a few kinks still to work out with this move to WordPress. (Part of me wonders if this is not just What I Get for trying to implement a content management system the inner workings of which I do not really understand. . . .) Anyway, as one astute commenter noted earlier, the RSS link to the left below reads “feed:http://www.newrambler.net/lisdom/feed/” and thus, I gather, does not work properly for some who have tried to subscribe to the blog.
My technical adviser has spent some time trying to figure out how to get rid of that first “feed:” but has had no luck. If any of my more technically inclined readers has an idea, please let me know–you can leave a comment or e-mail lauracrossett at hailmail dot net.
Technology is an odd thing: like “middle class,” “tech literate” covers a very wide terrain. To some of the people I work with, I’m amazingly technologically literate because I know how to set margins on Word, find and copy images from the Web [for reasons unbeknownst to me, the right-click mechanism is disabled on most of our public access computers, so if you want to cut and paste from most the Web (menus are also disabled on Internet Explorer), you have to know the keyboard shortcuts], use Google Maps, etc. But compared to others, I’m an ignoramus: I know a little markup but no coding; I can use a networked computer but don’t know how to set up such a network; I can use RSS but I don’t know how to fix a problem with my feed.
I was reading a Talk of the Town piece in the New Yorker today which noted that “When [Alan Greenspan] took office, the Politburo still occupied the Kremlin, the Dow was under 3,000, and few people outside the Pentagon and university science departments had heard of the Internet.” And it struck me that, actually, at that time I had heard of the Internet, though I’m not sure knew it by that name. In 1986, the year before Greenspan became Fed chair, my mother acquired our first computer, a Mac Plus. The site I just linked to (the first Google link for mac plus) notes that this was Apple’s longest lived Mac, and indeed, we had ours until 1994, when I left for college and my mother got a newer Mac, the specs of which I have since forgotten, as it was only around for a few years. My mother, who was finishing her residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, got the computer because she was planning to do a research project that would involve using what I now know as the Internet. Essentially, she explained to me, she would get this computer and something called a modem, which would allow our computer to talk to other computers all over the world through a telephone line.
As it turned out, she didn’t do that research project, and we didn’t get a modem until 1994, with the new computer. I spent many happy after school hours on the Mac Plus, though, moving fonts around on floppy disks, drawing pictures using MacPaint, and, very occasionally, attempting the typing game my mother had gotten in an effort to get me to learn to type. (I took a mandatory typing class–on computer–in junior high–but I still maintain that I really learned to type by using Broadcast, a sort of campus-wide IM system, in college.) I made graphs for science lab papers on that computer and typed college application essays on it. But I never used it to get online. I didn’t have e-mail until 1994; I didn’t surf the Web until I learned about Netscape in 1995. I am not what you would call an early-adopter. But once upon a time, I did know about the Internet, even if I had no idea what a large role it would come to play in my life.