Posts Tagged ‘Nostalgia’

Slave Station 2.0

In humor, Office humor, Technology on May 3, 2012 at 21:32

The thing about old friends is…they know you…And there is a thing or two to be said about familiarity. The personal kind, not the kind thrown at you through an analysis of your browsing history.

But the march of future is inevitable. If you still think Android is something to do with biology and if you still carry a pen in your breast pocket, chances are you’ll look more outdated than retro. You belong to the land of elbow pads, carbon copy and (gasp!) Orkut.

After holding out for months, you have finally had to upgrade to a laptop. With Murphy’s specter in action, the administrative work moves faster than ever. Soon, you are faced with a sleek new machine that you will practically have to go to bed with everyday. As you pull out the plugs on your old faithful, you feel like you are being forced to administer euthanasia to an old family member.

And that is not all, there are also signing formalities for the handover, like death certificates. As the laptop is switched on, you look at its shiny new operating system and glossy icons. It’s like it is trying too hard to please. All you can manage is contempt. Perhaps this is what being old feels like.

Besides the bells and whistles, the new machine is also a needy creature. It needs to be hauled around your back wherever you go. It needs a charge about as many times as you take a loo break. And unlike your old work station, you certainly can’t kick it when it hangs. You would end up hurting more than its feelings. Now you know why your father hangs on to his old Fiat in the era of Prius.

Nostalgia aside, there is certainly a thing or two to be said about ergonomics. You can’t work for twelve hours and more in a submissive pose on the ‘lappy’ (puke!). You are not going to give in that easy. So you tame the machine. You attach an external keyboard, an external mouse and mount the damn thing on some boxes so you can see it eye to eye.

Sleek was never your style. So they can call you DOS Uncle if they like. But till they plant a chip in your head, you are going to fight it! The thing about old friends is…they are old. And you would trade gloss for warmth any day.

–          J.

Desk-bound Nostalgia

In humor, Office, Technology on May 2, 2011 at 13:25

Tomorrow is a very re-assuring concept. It is a soft pillow, a foot massage and Valium rolled into one.

Couldn’t finish that file again?

We will catch it tomorrow.

An old colleague has been calling to catch up?

May be tomorrow

Forgot to fix the leaking pipe again?

What is one more day…?

Still haven’t updated your CV?

You get the drift.

Tomorrow is therefore under a lot of pressure to deliver. But it always comes through for you at the end of the day. It has one mortal enemy though, death. Yes, eventual and coldly absolute. Death means no more tomorrows and no more second chances.

Demise is scary, even when it comes to in-animate objects. That is why the recent ‘news’ of the last type-writer factory shutting down has received widespread sympathy. From horse-drawn carriages to gramophones, many of us feel nostalgic about a time we have not even lived.

Still a good choice for a gift; albeit, in a different context

Being born into a world without correction pens and film rolls, it is difficult to appreciate the subtle flavors of an era past. It is great to read about Sherlock Holmes taking on a city full of crime with nothing but his intellect. But the stories don’t get into the nuances of everyday life in the Victorian era. Think uncontrolled polio and uncollected horse dung.

And that is what nostalgia is, a condensation of the best of yesterday. The feeling is at best, a fleeting romance. It conveniently side-steps the petty drawbacks and little frustrations of the time you long for. Think Dot-Matrix printers and highly pixilated TV games.

As soon as I read about typewriters finally kicking the bucket, my first thought was: ‘I should get one!’ But as the news gets traction, more and more Nostalgiophores will line up to get their past-cringing hands on the last few specimens of typewriters left. The pursuit will look increasingly lame.

This is when you need to look around your desk. A lead pencil, a calculator and a dark ages version of MS Office. Nothing of note about them individually, but put them together and you have…technophobia or even a general anxiety towards change.

Can't imagine snoopy with a netbook, or worse, a Black Berry

I know the recorded ‘click’ of cell phone cams just does not feel as warm as your old Kodak but it’s better to collect relics than to become one.

–          J.