I am e-generation.
But I remember when I was not. When electricity had not yet become electronics and charged the globe with super cyber teckietonics.
I am an elder of the e-generation, because I was part of the transition years. I began my journalistic career pecking on a manual Royal 440. When they brought in the IBM electric Selectrics with their magic ball of letters, it was revolutionary.
We hadn't seen anything yet!
Univac was our intro into the e-world, bringing us scanner copy, which had to be typed very carefully within red lines so it could be scanned into the computers, which only were found on editor's desks back then.
Even with that change, I saw fellow reporters balk and quit with what seemed to be some moral objection to the new.
We hadn't seen anything yet.
Next, screens did appear on each reporter's desk, but a bulky manual and endless seminars on using them accompanied their arrival. A few in the news room understood this gadgetry, and I constantly was crossing the room to talk with one of the learned gurus to find out how to reboot.
Still, we hadn't seen anything.
Those screens got bigger and the concept easier to understand, yet even this generation of computers were conceptually challenging.
We learned about "garbage in, garbage out," or "GIGO," which we quickly learned was only the teckies' way of blaming users for their own glitches.
All the while, the thing called "Internet" was slowly creeping into our e-evolution. At first, it was almost laughable in its ridiculous benefits. Even the newspaper I worked for tried to launch one of the early Internet publishing efforts, only to fail along with hundreds of others.
The Internet laugh got louder.
We had not seen…
Suddenly, overnight, out of the e-blue, there was the burgeoning power of the 'net, rising to give us a new view of the globe, and shrinking it in the while.
Now, we could see everything.
Sometimes, remembering the trials and tribulations my transitory generation experienced between scanner copy and the laptop, I wonder if the youngsters weaned on the Internet and friendly computers of our new age should not declare a holiday to those of us who went through the changes to bring them this new life.
They owe us, for sure, but I doubt that my generation will ever be declared noble veterans of the electronic revolution.
But we should be.
While I sit here bruised and lacerated from the pains of bringing the computer and Internet to age, but am so very happy we did it. When I write a story, I can go quickly to the Internet for a brief on many of the subjects I write about, which provides instant background information.
Before, I depended far more on the phone, only to have to wait for return calls to answer some of these basic questions.
So, yes, I am proud of what we have done as pioneers of the e-world, for the Internet and digital cameras have rocked my world with wonders.
And, sometimes I think: I haven't seen anything yet.