Updated: Sep 15, 2019
OLD SKOOL TECHNOLOGY
I called into my old school where I had finished working as an English teacher but needed to back-up my folder on the school´s computer. After all, in an age of internet security fears and hacking, do I need to keep my passport details etc on a computer that I will never use again?
I was a few miles, sorry kilometres from my old school and I decided to pop in and visit them. They were surprised to see me so soon but were even more surprised when I asked if anyone had a C.D.
I was corrected that I needed a D.V.D. and not a C.D. but I preceded to ask if anyone had a C.Ds or disks.
Nobody had one and my request seemed as outrageous as if I had asked them to saddle my horse or if I asked to borrow some ribbon for my typewriter.
I looked in vain for some way to take my details off the computer and I decided to check how big my work folder was. It was 16 Gigabytes so maybe I need to borrow 21 C.D.s, instead?
A C.D. is pretty useless to me and my Mac-air but never the less, it would be back-upped.
A few months earlier, I had found a floppy disk with my postgrad on it. Clearly, we were using USB sticks back in my day but never the less, my course material was presented to me and the rest of my class on a floppy disk, a 1.24mb diskette, not even enough memory to save a single picture you might take on your iPhone today.
Am I oldskool? Yes, is that cool, maybe not. I was born April 11th 1981, the day before the first shuttle launched into space but the generation before me, saw Apollo 11 rocket to the moon and back with 1/1000th the memory, you have on your smartphone.
Now that school is finished I have time to write and meet with other writers in cafes around the centre of Madrid, maybe I will feel like Hemingway for a few weeks until the rent is due but I wonder how the passage of time has changed from our generation to our grandparents' generation.
We only have to look at the differences in technologies within our own generation´s lifetime.
Imagine Ernest Hemingway writing his short stories, typing away his manuscripts only for it to be blown out the window or lost at a bullfight. How did his pieces of paper get to New York? It wasn´t by fax or e-mail. It took time to type each page and then retype mistakes. No Google to look up information, no translator software from Spanish to English.
Reading Death in the Afternoon I saw a reference to the distance from El Escorial to Madrid and it took two hours, I'm guessing that figure has halved over the years as you imagine the changes in road and rail over a century. Not to mention, better cars.
A Spanish friend told me about a farmer´s house in the mountains in Ibiza and the 8-hour donkey ride to the town centre for the farmer´s honeymoon.
Ibiza I´m sure is an island full of a different type of ass now. Gone are the farmer´s donkeys and now we have the drunk off their ass, bikini glad asses of today. Half-dressed yet carrying google maps, a camera, walkman, video camera and dictionary and instant e-mail, all by the beach front.
Donald Trump considers himself the Ernest Hemingway of Twitter but Could Hemingway have changed society or literature with his short stories and novels if he had today's technology, to email and tweet from far away assignments?
Would he watch Criminal Minds hoping they use one of his quotes at the start of each episode?
Maybe he would have spent all his time on Facebook or FarmVille. Maybe he would have taken a couple of hundred selfies during a bull run in Pamplona. Maybe he would be addicted to Instagram and might continually post pictures of paella.
Maybe he would have met his 4th wife on e-harmony or match.com or tinder.
Hemingway might have spent more time deleting his internet history than attending bullfights around the peninsula and might have written Porn Morning, Noon and Night instead of Death in the Afternoon or how to videos on youtube.com
Instead of googling Hemingway quotes maybe he would be twitting everything that comes to mind with Instagram pictures of Spanish omelettes and squid and not just photographs from bullfights and the Spanish Civil War.
I was born in 1981 and at that time Bill Gates asked the question, “Why does anyone need more than 781kbs of memory?”
Maybe he doesn't remember saying that, he didn´t have a lot of memory in the 80´s but I am still left with 16gigabytes to get from my old school, does anyone have 16,000 floppy disks I could borrow?