Americaphiles

The Story Of My Fucking Life

One-forty-two

Posted by ilbebe on October 18, 2013

Earlier today someone older than me said “The….hashtag” in reference to a key on a computer keyboard I would have referred to as the “Number Key”. A slanted version of this character can be found on most phone keypads and is generally referred to in that usage as a “Pound Key”. The person who said this chuckled at themselves for their nomenclature and said “Sorry, you can tell I’ve been on Twitter too much.”

I remember transferring text files from five-inch-floppy to five-inch-floppy by command. I say this not as someone who has much knowledge of computer programming, let alone computers in general. I’m saying that when I wanted to transfer the substantial inventories of my baseball card collection from one disk to another, so as to free up more room to expand the inventory (which ran in line-item to five digits), I had to type commands on a black and green screen using what was called PIP commands in the primordial word processing environment my obsessive documentation program was couched in.

PIP stood for “Program Interface Program” if I’m not mistaken. Sophisticated.

And O! The tactile joy of:

I had complained to my Dad about needed more blank disks for storing my files on. He said that there was a way to transfer files around, and he would find the manual for the program. The next night, he had found the manual, and I sat in front of the computer when I should have been in bed, typing in a series of command lines that eventually resulted in a file-transferring orgy between disks that took nearly an hour. I would later learn through experience that floppy disks, especially re-writable ones, would physically burn out if overused, and this led to adoption of a somewhat elaborate back-up system where I would back up files like “CURRENT INVENTORY 6″ and “CURRENT INVENTORY 7″ to a second location before trying to add “CURRENT INVENTORY 8″ to their home disk. I had run some other command to check the available space on said home disk (labeled BASEBALL 3 on an adhesive label that came in the package with the blank disks) before attempting such a risky maneuver as floppy-to-floppy file transfer on old (1986 vintage) drives in 1993- I heard and watched the drives spin out and destroy disks a few times. My data, shredded! Drat! And such an unpleasant noise!

The tactile joy, though, the tactile joy!

-12:12 AM, 10/18/13 Alphabet City. Happy.

One Response to “One-forty-two”

  1. beltdrive said

    yup…

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