Bye Mac, Hi Aero

Today I opened my ‘kaban’ to reclaim an old friend.

I am trying to prepare myself to surrender the Macintosh laptop the office has allowed me to use.

D’ Mac has been a useful tool even if I complained a lot about its configurations in detecting wi-fi internet in most of the city.

As I move to my next assignment, I have to bid Mac good bye. Now, I’m forced to rejoin a thing of the past.
After 40 months in a dungeon, I have to resurrect my old pal, Aero, a Compaq Contura subnotebook. I acquired it second hand in 2001. Those who are familiar with the model know its in “obsoletecomputer.com.”

Compaq introduced the model in 1994 and axed it years later. Anyway, I have to contend to using it for text process work while waiting for my dream laptop. Dream, dream.

While others say good bye to a computer model to welcome a more modern replacement, the opposite is happening with me. As a friend said in an unsolicited advice — “at least be happy it suits your minimum need for now.”

Just like other professionals, reporters have become common users of laptops at work.

It has become increasingly an imperative tool for journalists reporting on Mindanao. The equipment’s handy size suits the mobility required to cover the news.

Most of Mindanao’s towns still do not have wi-fi internet technology. Even at least, the more basic indicator –an internet cafe in each town is not yet there.
But with the advent of USB tech and wireless internet around Mindanao’s cities, the comfort of using a laptop is more evident.

Owning and using a laptop has become a goal of most, if not all, journalists.

Many veteran journalists (or ‘better’ journalists), however, might find this silly. Still many refuse to adjust to the technological even if they say they embrace change in general.

I heared from the stories they tell, that tools of the trade during their time include the pen, notebook, the big vintage recorder and the typewriter. For those covering out of town, they could find refuge (if you call that refuge now) in the telephone booth where they dictate word by word their copy to the desk people via a long distance collect call.

The notebook and pen tandem is as classic as the Homer’s Iliad and Odessey. They are ancient but timeless tools.

The vintage recorder is now replaced by Mp3s and mobile phones with recorders, which use digital technology. And the typewriters, many of which are now collectors’ items, give way to the PCs, laptops and personal gadgets that are capable of sending digital material via 3G technology.

More and more reporters use a laptop at work on site or offsite that slowly it is becoming a standard tool, just as the notebook and pen.

Technology has made work easier, indeed. For journalists, the speed afforded them by the laptop and the internet technologies means a lot. To some it means the job itself.

Of course, still some argue that when we still did not have these technologies, work was still done and was done pretty well.

I’m sad I can’t have Mac for now and have to make do with Aero. But on the other hand, it is relieving. Most of Mindanao’s communities are still in “typewriter stage”. If you go to the communities many of the children still do not know how a personal computer looks like in “person”.

Gives me enough consolation for having Aero. Again, for now, bye Mac.

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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