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The first personal computer arrived in our house in 1986 and operated on DOS with a “floppy disk.” We used to the  the sort of people who knew all about the cool tech. Somewhere along the way we found tech that we liked and years later it is still cool to us.

Our desks are covered with cords and plugs and parts that do not go with each other. Thinking we could solve the problem, we got a thing that looks like a key fob with 12 different plugs hanging off of one USB. The advertisement said this would fit everything. It has more thingies than we have need for and we have need for more thingies than it has got.

A micro USB is not the same as a micro USB, sometimes–or not. Same with a full USB 1, 2 and 3. We have a new lamp that runs on 4 D cell batteries or the optional 5V DC 2000mA adapter. The lamp worked and then stopped. Seems the adapter went missing, or perhaps we never had it. There are so many cords and plugs if we were missing one we could never know. We cannot even figure out where the 4 Ds go so the lamp sits forlornly in the corner of the room.

The tech pile at our now-burned house was higher than what crowds onto our desks now. Every year or so we would drag out the two banker-file boxes we had and dig around among the cords tying things and labeling them and saying to each other, “Surely we don’t need this one anymore?”

They were things we do not have anymore. Tapes and disks, cords and cables are gone to the hungry fire. It consumed our first edition manual to SPSS and a stack of punch cards. The first edition was not important but the punch cards were. In the 1970s not a lot of people walked around with boxes of computer punch cards. We did.

Electronic media is elusive, even when you carry it in a box. You cannot touch what you see on the computer screen. You cannot reach into it and pick it up like you would a cup out of a cupboard. What we have left from the fire is like that.

Tiny sony vaio computer

My “Pink Crocodile” tiny computer that weighed only one and a half pounds never got to go on a single trip before it died.