Tag Archives: Technology

Typewriter goes by the way of the Dodo bird

According to Mashable the last manufacturer of the typewriter has closed its doors: click here for article. I am dating myself, but I remember taking typing classes on…typewriters! I did not  have a fancy iPhone or Android phone so was not born with a qwerty key board in my hands. I used to have to write my essays on paper…gasp. I had to wrestle with a typewriter when I was applying to colleges, making sure my paper applications aligned properly with the keys, now kids just fill out simple on line forms! When I was in college I was able to borrow my friends word processors, the technology savvy cousin to the typewriter. I spent many a late nights staring blindly into a light grey screen with simple text. In graduate school I finally moved up to a full blown computer – granted it was a  Compaq desk top not a fancy laptop.

Today I type on my iPhone, my laptop, my iPad and even my television screen. I think there is an old typewriter somewhere in my parents house, I will need to find it and send it to some museum or just keep it so I can one day show my grandkids what I had to endure to publish a document. Where it actually took some physical strength to put words on paper and where Courier was the only font one could choose!

The end of the typewriter is a reminder of how quickly technology moves. The first patent for the typewriter came out in 1868, that is a pretty good run for technology. Because of its mechanics we are forever (well at least for the foreseeable future) destined to type on a qwerty keyboard, rather than one where the keys are more efficiently positioned.  The typewriter is also a great case study for the value of open standards – how many devices have a non qwerty keyboard? The typewriter had its day in the sun, and will forever hold a place in the halls of game changing technologies. However, like the VCR, rotary phone, Atari and countless other technologies will make way for newer, faster, cooler and more powerful devices and technologies.

What technology or device do we have today that could last for 100 years in its existing form?

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Filed under Current Events, Technology

Be thankful…you are not in this line

I always find it amazing when places such as London get snow before Boston, but that was the case this past week. The snow created all kinds of traveling snafus, some flights were not going to be able to leave for a week out of Heathrow! A great video of a queue at a London train station…I feel for the baby that you hear crying in the beginning or maybe that is the cry of an adult having been stuck in line for 5 hours!

What this reminds me of is that for all of our technology and gained efficiencies we are still at the mercy of Mother Nature. Supply chain companies, technology companies and the like can all talk about improving asset turns, inventory, worker output and the like but all you need are a couple of inches of snow in a place like London and it brings the entire machine to a halt. Remember all the problems the Icelandic volcanoes created earlier in the year? As our supply chains become longer, more complex and more subject to risks we can neither model nor control, we must ensure our strategy and thinking takes into consideration these real variables.

Hope those folks in London were able to get to where they needed to go…

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Filed under Supply Chain, Technology