Phones and computers : Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

In my early life (and you can see that it was early) the only computer we knew was that inside our heads. File storage was in cabinets or lying around on the desk.We were taught early the value of keeping records, adding and remembering. Logical thinking occurred way before fuzzy logic was even thought of.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

Telephones too were stationary. The first phone in my recollection had the number Casino88. It was an operator connect phone on the wall. You spoke into the box and held an ear piece to your ear. We had to get on a stool to reach the mouth piece. Phone calls weren’t made willy nilly. Care and thought had to go into whether it was necessary and the expense. In those days telgrams were used. We thought this black phone was modern luxury.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

And were quite jealous of my aunt who had a coloured even more modern version.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

We got into computers early in the piece and took two with us for record keeping when we were on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu.

IMG_0007

© irene waters 2015

Our friend at the Coffee Plantation on Tanna had an old phone (working) inside the red telephone box. The old A and B version. When you are isolated little things like this really make you feel at home.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

Finally we got the roof on our house and our computers moved upstairs where we could both work at the same time.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

The telephone in the restaurant was vital for incoming bookings and fax messages. When the phone rang and we heard the shrill squeal of a fax it would be all hands on deck. Someone would dive to the generator in the kitchen and start it so that we had the electricity to run the fax machine. Another would go to the fax machine and plug it in the minute they heard the loud noise indicating the generator was now operational. Someone would stay on the phone checking the sound of the squeal. If we weren’t quick enough we would hang up so the agent could try again. They all knew to ring back if unsuccessful the first time. It became a challenge to get them first go and by the end we were fairly successful.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

Our office. Roger has the left whilst I have the right.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

I’m an apple fan

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

whilst he likes windows.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

In my other temporary workplace I do all my uni work on the computer they have given me.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

State of the art computers at Sunshine Coast uni are a far cry from the mainframes that even computing students couldn’t get near. Does anyone else remember the rheems of paper they used to generate.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

In response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
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17 Responses to Phones and computers : Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

  1. Irene, your visual history of modern communication is wonderful! (Oh, and you were a really cute baby.)
    In 1975 and pregnant with our first son, I worked at the Colorado State Judicial Department in Denver. The basement of the building was loaded with computers the size of side-by-side refrigerator-freezers, and sported phalanxes of lights and bells. Our mission was to get the entire state hooked up to computers. That meant convincing thousands of employees state wide that they would love the computer more than their typewriters and paper files. (They didn’t.) My job was really mundane. I couldn’t do a thing with the computers – that was the domain of the young, mostly male, geeky wizard programmers. I sorted paper files, and also had to organize thousands of pages of computer print out sheets, all of which arrived in long, connected sheets with perforated edges that had to be torn apart and put together in the right order – because they printed willy nilly. My other big job was to dust the offices and type up the programs the geeks wrote out in illegible handwriting. Type, I said, type! For all the computer business we did that year (I was only there for about 6 months) we used tons and tons of paper. I loved the people though – the young geniuses of the new communication protocols.
    That first son is now a computer administrator, a genius who graciously bails me out of all my techie problems.
    I remain a computer doofus but I love the phone, though I don’t have a smart phone yet. You must remember – I was born in the last century. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • I truly was the kid that had the curl down the middle of my forehead (and when I was good I was very very good and when I was bad I was horrid.) Thanks for sharing your experience with computers at the Judicial Department. A great story. The amount of paper those things used I would think criminal today. In those days you felt special to even get it. You are lucky having your son join the ranks of the geniuses. With all the glitches we get these days on computers I think he’d be a huge help.
      That is no excuse Sharon- being born in the last century – so was I. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Charli Mills says:

    Such insight in this series of photos. The fax set up sound both modern and inconvenient!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Deb says:

    My first typewriter was a royal. Next came an IBM which later got upgraded to one with a correction tape feature. I was dancing in tall cotton when I got that! Progression kept going and now computers are smaller and smaller. I worked for a hospital in the early 1970s and they built a room just to accommodate the computer system to do bills. It was awesome! The lady that ran it looked like she was working at a space control center!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Cee Neuner says:

    Such a fun post for this week and travel back in memory lane. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I can’t wait to read your memoir, lady. This is great. LOVE the telephone box! And the restaurant. Yes…I remember the rheems of paper. O_o

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Norah says:

    Your photographic record is impressive! I’m always amazed at how many photos you have to illustrate your posts. The timing of this post is perfect with mine talking about changes from the 20th century. Phones and computers are definitely areas of enormous change. My relatives living on properties were connected by phones on what were called “party lines”. Only one person from each line could be on a call at the time. I’m not sure how many were on each line, but everyone could listen in. There was no privacy. There was a little handle on the phone they had to turn rapidly to alert the operator that they wanted to make a call. An aunt had a small store at Boonarga which included a small telephone exchange. When I visited on holidays I was fascinated at the way she connected the callers. Was sure better than the tin cans and the pieces of taut string that we kids used to use!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sherri says:

    Me too Irene, can’t wait to read your memoir! And this is so interesting, just today I was tweaking a part at the beginning of mine about my first job and how I used to have to sit there for hours going through great rheems of that green lined computer paper with the holes down the sides looking for codes indication faulty sub stations. With a supervisor watching from the corner of the room. It was worse than school. The best part was when I got to go down to the computer room with those huge, mainframes. Another world wasn’t it? I love the telephone box. And your office looks so nice and roomy. I’m with your hubby, I like Windows, but then I’ve never tried Apple, so I can’t really compare. I’m just glad to have a laptop fully functional right now. Great post as always Irene :0)

    Liked by 1 person

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