What type of communicator are you?

I recently noticed a friend posting on Facebook about having their typewriter returned after being cleaned and tuned up. I immediately remembered typing lessons in high school when we’d all be sat in front of a typewriter and expected to type in time to the music. That’s if you could really call it music. (Yep, I’m really that old.)

I knew then and there I’d never be a touch typist belting out a hundred words per minute.

Thinking about those days got me wondering about the differences between the trusty typewriter of old and the computers we all use today to communicate.

Have you ever made a mistake while using a manual typewriter?

Once you press your finger down on a key the corresponding typebar flies out of the typebasket towards your piece of paper, connecting with the inked ribbon on the way, to leave a lasting mark on the page. It not only marks the paper with ink, it leaves a permanent impression. The harder you strike the key, the deeper the impact.

There’s no effective ‘backspace’ key on a typewriter if you make a mistake. Even newer typewriters that had erasers could only remove the ink. The indent in the paper remained. Of course you could cover it up with some kind of correction fluid or tape, but even that left a tell tale sign that something wasn’t quite right.

Using a computer keyboard when communicating it becomes all too easy to rush ahead with fingers flying, knowing that we can select whole sections of what we create and then with the press of a button, it’s all gone without a trace. If we want to add an extra word in the middle of the text, we simply drop the cursor where we need it and add whatever we want. It was never that way with a typewriter.

When we combine the ease of throwing some words together with the instant nature of social media, it’s no surprise that careless words find their way into the hearts of those on the receiving end of our communication. A thoughtless comment on social media or a hasty text message can leave a deeper impact on a person than an old typewriter would leave on a page and one that won’t disappear with a bottle of correction fluid.

Typing with a typewriter was a lot more intentional.

With a typewriter you had to structure what you wanted to say before you began striking the keys. You couldn’t just throw some ideas down and then move them around the page.

I don’t want to go back to using a typewriter and lose all the extra functionality that computers afford us, but I do wonder if we’ve lost some of the intentional thought processes we needed in days past.

With a typewriter you feel, see and hear every key stroke yourself before it’s felt, seen and heard by anyone else. Unless you want to waste a lot of paper, you think through what you’re about to communicate when you use a typewriter.

The good news is that we don’t have to go back to using typewriters to communicate well. We can take advantage of everything that newer technology offers while still taking time to think through what we’re trying to say, keeping in mind our intent and the way it will be received. We don’t have to be careless with words. We can choose to consider our communication.

I think there is still great beauty in a classic typewriter but I won’t be rushing to start using one again. I think there’s even greater beauty in continuing to be a thoughtful communicator.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. – Proverbs 16:24

What kind of communicator are you?

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading What type of communicator are you?? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.

Can I throw away my keyboard yet?

KeyboardWhen will I be able to buy a computer which reacts to my thoughts? How much longer will we be using devices such as the keyboard and mouse to interact with our computers?

Professor Andy Cockburn, from New Zealand’s University of Canterbury reckons that we can forget about throwing out our keyboard and mouse anytime soon.

We keep hearing about advances in technology but Andy says while scientists are working on the next generation of interactive devices the keyboard isn’t going anywhere soon. At a conference in Brisbane he said he thinks the keyboard will continue to have a very, very, long life. He says it’s an extremely efficient way of getting information into a machine and it’s also really difficult to beat the mouse in terms of high fidelity precision of interaction.

The professor’s research interests are in human-computer interaction, so he certainly knows what he’s talking about, but I’m still reminded of a couple of famous quotes about computers from those “in the know”.

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. – Thomas Watson – IBM Chairman (1943)

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. – Ken Olson – President, Chairman and Founder of DEC.

You can’t always tell what might be around the corner so I guess I’ll just keep on using my keyboard and mouse until something better comes along.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Can I throw away my keyboard yet?? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.

100 Dirty Websites

Want a list of the dirtiest websites online at the moment? Did you know that you’re risking infection just by visiting a dirty website?

Symantec’s Web site ratings service Norton Safe Web has once again ranked the top 100 Dirtiest Web Sites. We’re not just talking about dirty content, it’s all about viruses that can infect your computer. With most of these sites you don’t even have to click on aything or download anything, visiting the sites is enough to corrupt your PC.

The rankings are based on the number of threats detected by Norton Safe Web as of August 2009.

It comes as no surprise that 48% of the Dirtiest Web Sites are, well, dirty— sites that feature adult content. However, other Dirtiest sites run the gamut of subject matter, including sites dedicated to deer hunting, catering, figure skating, legal services, and buying electronics. Viruses are the most common threat represented on the Dirtiest list, followed by security risks and browser exploits. Simply clicking through to a site with these threats could put you at risk of exposing your computer to infection, and worse, put your identity, personal and financial information into the hands of cybercriminals.

You can see a sample of the sites at the Norton Safe Web site but if you want the full list, and keep up to date with risks, they recommend you join the Norton Safe Web Community.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading 100 Dirty Websites? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.

We're in the money

Sometimes it all comes at once.

My bike needs a major repair. The shifter lever needs replacing. The problem is one small, broken spring but they don’t sell the spring so I need to find a second hand shifter or buy a complete replacement. Ouch! (If you have a spare Tiagra 9 speed shifter please send it my way.)

Our computer is an old Celeron 900 which has worked its little CPU out for years for us. Over the past few months it’s been having more and more issues. Today it doesn’t want to work at all. I’m hoping to get it running again tonight but we really need to bite the bullet and get a new computer. I’ve recently taken on some extra work which requires me to have a reliable computer at home.

As you probably already know, I’m flying out of Australia this weekend with Compassion Australia to see their work in Haiti. Flights, accommodation and meals are looked after but there are always extra expenses so I’ll need some extra cash.

On top of that there’s all the usual efforts to balance a very tight budget.

Just when I was getting ready to tear my hair out I was thrown a lifeline. This email arrived in my inbox.

We the entire members of Chiesa Cattolica Italiana hereby notify you as the winner of $650,000.00 US (Six hundred and fifty thousand US dollars only.

You are advice to contact immediately you received this mail for Further instruction on how you are to claim your donation prize.

Please quote your qualification numbers to our secretary for security Reasons.

Qualification numbers N-222-6647, E-910-56 quote in all Discussions. (1)FULL NAMES, (2)ADDRESS, (3)CITY, (4)STATE,(5)COUNTRY, 6)SEX, (7)AGE (8)MARITAL STATUS, (9)TELEPHONE NUMBER, (10)OCCUPATION

Contact information below:Executive Rev .Sis Rose Eduardo

Forget repairing my bike or computer. I can now buy a new bike, new computer, new house.

OK, yes, I know that it’s just spam and that I haven’t really won anything. Don’t you wish that just once one of those emails was the real thing?

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading We're in the money? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.