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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Tuesday, November 5 2002 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster More get hooked on e-toys

Two additional letters have come in in the wake of Judy Rose's letter on Friday (in response to last week's series on computers) about her conversion from fear and loathing to love of her computer and its related e-toys. The first:

Loved Judy's letter on e-toys. Did you know that there is a robot that will play 5 or 6 games with you online? It is called Smarterchild and is on MSN messenger. It is a harmless way for small children to play on the Internet.. My grandkids showed it to me.

We are so excited over the Ellis Island Website. We found that Dominic's grandfather, Franco Bendinelli, is "on the wall" on panel 35. We found his Covolo grandmother, his mom, and some of his aunts. It has their age on arrival, the date of their arrival, and the ship they came on. It even has a photo of the ship (if you would want it).

Sallie Covolo

The second:

It surprised me to read that Judy Rose's first experience with computers was only three short years ago! I thought I was the only "old sop" who hadn't a clue about computers. In 1984 I was introduced to my first career and my first computer. Twenty years of my life had been taken up with rearing children and community activities.

The closest I ever came to a "computer" was the year my mother-in-law bought a computerized sewing machine which made my salivary glands go awry. Having been an accomplished seamstress since high school to the time I was "forced" into the working world, nothing excited me more than the newest innovations in sewing machines. By the way, upon the passing of my beloved mother-in-law, I now own that computerized "dinosaur." But, I digress.

I vividly recall the day my boss, then-Senator Mark Singel, walked through the door, bent over with the weight of the wonderful 286 computer he was hauling into my office. My first question was, "What's that?" He informed me that it was a computer and that I was going to use it. I said, "Not this kid." He was right, I had to use it. Like Judy Rose, I was terrified of it. As it turned out, the only thing I did was type names and addresses of constituents. To tell you how crude it was back then, I had to plug the telephone receiver into a rubber-gasket modem that fitted the phone. With that, I could then send and receive messages.

Moving on to my second "career," I went from politics to drugs; which, tongue in cheek,some say is a natural transition. This time I was introduced to the 386 computer that was to be an integral part of my job as marketing director for a wholesale drug company in Altoona, where I was to market a third-party prescription drug program for employees of self-funded companies. That was where I learned word-processing. I'd graduated from the IBM Selectric typewriter that had been my mainstay throughout the years. By this time, I thought I was a "biggy girl" knowing how to use a word processor instead of a typewriter.

The real shock was my realization of still knowing nothing about computers when my program ended in Altoona after seven years. I was job hunting again, and, like Judy Rose I shied away from anything that required computer literacy. I knew my limitations. Public relations was my forte and I hoped that anything I'd land wouldn't involve a computer. But alas, that was not to be. I never dreamed the world was so serious about this computer thing! I answered an ad for a PR person at the Cambria County Library and, with my "silver tongued" personality, landed the job which, yes, very much demanded computer literacy.

As author Rita Mae Brown said, "When I got my library card, that's when my life began." Ditto, Ms Brown. I had arrived in the cyber-age. I now laugh when I recall that one of the first news releases I wrote regarded the installation of four computers that would be linked to something called the World Wide Web. "What the heck is that?" I asked. It was explained to me and I still didn't understand it as I stood there nodding my head. I certainly didn't want anyone to know that I hadn't a clue.

By the way, I had graduated to a 486 computer, and used Print Shop Deluxe for my graphics program. Remember, we weren't yet linked to that World Wide Web, now commonly known as the Internet. "All's well that ends well," they say. Though I haven't had much formal training, having taught myself the rudiments of the computer, today I am able to tell people with a degree of pride that along with my public relations and word processing expertise I have also learned to manipulate the computer to my best advantage in many other ways. I'm perceived as the in-house expert on graphics, document creation, public service brochures, and many other printed items including all staff business cards. We have virtually stopped sending our jobs to outside contractors.

The term World Wide Web no longer needs an explanation. I use it every day in the course of my job. I have listened and learned from the professionals who have computer chips for brains and computer cables for veins. Now I am able to speak computerese with a small degree of understanding. I don't know what I would do without it in my life. By the way, I've now graduated to a Pentium 3 processor.

Trudy Myers

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

New economic vocabular

CEO: chief embezzlement officer.
CFO: corporate fraud officer.
BULL MARKET: A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.
BEAR MARKET: A 6- to 18-month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewelry, and the husband gets a cold shoulder.
VALUE INVESTING: The art of buying low and selling lower.
P/E RATIO: The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.

—G. K. Chesterton

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