Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

March 5, 2014

The one-eyed monster that changed our lives

By Keith Kappes - Publisher
Journal-Times

March 5, 2014 — I’m not exactly sure of the date but was at least 25 years ago when that “thing” came out of a storage closet and changed my life forever.

It was a personal computer.

I had made my living in journalism and public relations on a typewriter and I was not anxious to change.

After all, I had an electric typewriter that would store up to 100 documents in a dial-up tape drive.

And it didn’t come with a bulky monitor which required space on an already crowded desk. Frankly, it was as “high tech” as I wanted to be…or so I imagined.

My exposure to personal computing came slowly.

Morehead State University had a mainframe computer and offices were connected via “dumb” terminals that could not store information themselves but could retrieve it from the system.

That system brought about something called e-mail (electronic mail) but, as an experienced reporter and interviewer, I was convinced that the telephone was still the best way to communicate, if not in person.

I blame Bill Redwine, my good friend, next-door neighbor and former colleague, for forcing me into the computer age.

He came to my office one afternoon to ask why I was not responding to his e-mails. He asked if my “PC” had become disconnected.

Somewhat sheepishly, I confided that the machine was still in the shipping box in my office closet. Moreover, I didn’t know how to send or receive e-mail.

It was about 3 p.m. when Bill locked my office door and told me I wasn’t leaving until I had installed, tested and used my own PC.

As I recall, it was about 7 p.m. when I entered the computer age by successfully sending and receiving e-mail for the first time…and when I moved my old typewriter to that same closet.

Thanks, Bill.