My first personal experience with a PC was at the hospital. We were going to start electronic charting. Meaning all the information formerly kept in large binders would be stored in the computer. Great! You could always find the chart. It would always be at your fingertips. We nurses spent a lot of time and energy finding charts for everyone. Doctors needed it, x-ray techs needed it, and respiratory therapists needed it!! Well you get the idea. What a pain in the “you know what.” This would be the best thing since disposable bedpans. It took almost one month to train everyone and practice charting on the computer. It was a lot easier for our ER staff. We used flow sheets, and our care plans were pre printed lists of problems and their solutions that you just checked off. In the Emergency Room, we are all about keeping you alive and comfortable, assessment and action. The day we went “live,” I thought we would all go nuts. We were all afraid to venture too far from a PC in case we needed to chart something. Hovering around the screen like mother birds at the nest. We had the most amazing Tech Support Nurse that had helped design the system. She was at our beck and call. And call her we did. Constantly!
Back to the home front. Not much had changed for me. I met a wonderful man, Bob. We married, and I moved into his house on the other side of town. I gave my Mac to my son and started using Bob’s computer in his office for my email. My introduction to his PC was limited to the time that he wasn’t using it. As he worked at home, my opportunity to use his machine was very limited. I was relegated to using it late at night and very early in the morning. Still using it just for the email etc. and looking up addresses and phone numbers. You see I found the computer was much easier to use than the phone book! Especially since our community had about five of them. I still didn’t quite get the WWW thing though.
I started selling makeup as a part time adventure in addition to my full time nursing job to earn extra income. I found so many times I wanted to order something or check email for orders, and Bob was in his office on his computer.
So I wanted my own machine. Still partial to the Apple brand, I found another Mac fan at work. Enter Brian. He knew so much about the computer world, and I was sure I had found another mentor. There was a sale on line for the Mac Book and I had just received my Bonus at work. So in my head this was a no brainer. Buy the Mac at work, have it shipped to my house, have Brian help me if I can’t figure out something. Perfect! This would be so much better than the store gauntlet procedure I was enduring.
The white box arrived about five days later. It came pristine with crisp edges and the silver lettering displaying the Mac logo. I was so excited. Bob just laughed when he saw me setting up. He had a router in the office for his laptop so now I just had to get the password and set up the wireless. Can you believe I know all this jargon? The Mac instructions were so easy I did not hesitate to jump right in and follow the tutorials to set up the computer. Off I went into this world of the Internet. Now I was really surfing!
I think at some point on that first day it dawned on me just what the World Wide Web really was. OH! My! God! What a wonderful thing.
I took a free introduction class at the Apple store to get some idea how to maneuver around in the computer. This machine was so much more powerful than I thought! Learning new tricks every day gave me such a rush. It was kind of addictive. The fact that this thing was portable made it even better. I spent a lot of time sitting on the couch in the evening just messing around on it. Between you and me, I know it irritated Bob, who was used to my attention being directed on dinner, TV, or him.
Gradually I found out about music on iTunes, and how to load my music on the computer. Well! Here goes another wonderful obsession. I downloaded all my CDs and records. Well there it is, old school terminology again. I guess there aren’t any records made any more or eight tracks or cassettes. Everything has gone digital. I can’t believe I even know what that means.