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Embracing Change a.k.a. Comparing Apple and Abacus

AFO Associates, LLC

My Point of View

August 6, 2017 | Mark Matthew

Roman Abacus

Without trying to date myself, I remember back in the days of my early corporate finance career, when green ledger paper, white out, and a whole lot of paper and file cabinets were utilized to conduct day to day business operations. In school, I took tests to show speed and accuracy or “wpm” (words per minute) on a typewriter. Today my kids ask me “What’s a typewriter?!?” I tell them that it used to be THE state of the art way of writing up professional looking correspondence. In fact, it was the only way, and now, it is just obsolete. They just laugh. My 6-year-old son could already navigate a laptop and use a cellphone before he learned his ABC’s in kindergarten. I didn’t even think about typing until high school and for that matter, when I was in high school, “cellphone” wasn’t even a word! Yep, I went and did it, I dated myself…I am no spring chicken! That’s okay, I don’t consider age as a detriment. I look at myself, rather, as a well-seasoned bird!

Moving on…

Does anyone out there remember:

Triplicate Carbon-less Paper
Carbon Paper
  • Carbon paper: It used to make the worst handwritten copies. I liked

the new carbon-less triplicate forms. Top sheet was white, middle sheet yellow and 3rd sheet usually pink or blue. You had to write with a hammer and chisel in order to read the 3rd copy. Carbon paper was also used in early Brother Fax machines.

  • Microfiche: you needed a huge special monitor to view and print. Libraries used this tool as well.

Microfiche Reader

  • When a Library was where you went to get books for free, not have to buy them at a Barnes and Noble.

  • The Dewy Decimal System: you actually had to be IN a library to understand this system. I do remember that Math & Natural Science was under the 500’s, Applied Sciences – 600’s and Geography & History – 900’s. Today, when I ask my kids where the Technology books are, they say “Aisle 9 by Starbucks!”

  • Pay Phone Booth: When you needed a quarter to make a phone call OR know how to make a collect call (when you’re in jail you learn about collect calls real quick).

  • Beeper/Pager: when they only beeped or vibrated, usually when you’re in church. Doctors and Lawyers started using them first before they became trendy. They thought they were really something until they had to ask an ex-con how to make a collect call from a phone booth.

  • Oki-Data Printer:

The dinosaur of computer printouts! Talk about wasting paper. Green and white ledger paper with hole guides you had to line up and feed into the printer. It was perforated and folded in such a way so that if you lay the 1st few sheets down on the floor just right as it was printing, your 500 page report would stack nicely back and forth. Then you had to tear the perforated hole guides off and separate each individual sheet, take it to the copier and reduce the image so you can produce a report that can be reviewed by upper management. You also had to make sure you printed on the right side, not the green AND white side.

  • When a computer monitor’s display came in only 2 colors….green or orange. I preferred the green.(NY Jets Fan)

Floppy Disks
  • Floppy Disks: No, not those 3.5 double density disks that everyone loved, I’m talking those big 8” floppy disks that looked more like a vinyl record! My kids ask…”What’s a vinyl record?!?” ☹SIGH!