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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.