Friday, June 02, 2006

My portable typewriter tale.

There’s a story, apocryphal perhaps, about Woody Allen’s technophobia. Every time he needs to change his typewriter ribbon, a friend gets invited to a home-cooked dinner. (Read ‘printer cartridge’ just in case he has switched to a PC by the time you read this.) True or not, it goes well with Woody’s screen persona. I used to think of myself as a technophobe till the time I got myself a portable typewriter, back in 1958, to pound my M.Com. thesis on. (I never admitted even to myself that my handwriting was atrocious and illegible.) My new acquisition was a made-in-India machine. I forked out the princely sum of Rs.1500/- for it. My dissertation ran into some 700 and odd pages. After reading it, my external assessor, Dr. K. N. Raj, told me that had I waited one more year I could have got a Ph.D. for my trouble. That’s not apocryphal, trust me. Technophobe and techno-illiterate – I’ve continued to be both most of my life. I gave up driving long back because I was terrible at it, even worse at parking. When the PC came along though, I was among the early majority in getting converted by around 1995. I even managed to write a part of my still unpublished novel directly on my PC. I’m okay with surfing, e-mail and word processing but haven’t yet ventured into spread sheets. A part of the reason is I don’t really need to use Excel. This memory segment is brought to you by courtesy of Mr Gerry McGovern in whose article (Metadata is essential web writing skill.) I came across the Woody Allen anecdote which I had read before. “Metadata is the: who, what, where, when and how, of your content. … (and) may include: heading/title, summary/description, author name, date of publication, geographic classification, subject classification, keywords,” explains Gerry. The core of his argument is: “Metadata gives your content context.” Part 1 of the article at Part 2:

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