I posted a picture of this device on Facebook and mentioned it seems out of place in the 21st Century.  Then I heard from several people who explain they still have an abacus on their desks.  Modern technology has some great advantages.  There is a calculator on my telephone, on my laptop and on my desktop. 

My original calculator still works.  I received it for Christmas almost 45 years ago.

My original calculator still works.  I received it for Christmas almost 45 years ago.  It’s big but I can still hold it in one hand.  If I change batteries it just keeps on rolling along.  If I could find the engineers who designed it at Texas Instruments I would offer praise as to their skill and, yet.  The old calculator rests in a box.  Forgotten because I can now do work on other devices.

The pace of technological change in my lifetime has been astounding.  When I was a little boy we had an abacus in one classroom.  My family’s TV was black and white and there were three stations.  When I got to college a professor said someday we would have 500 channels.  We do, but programming after the first dozen is somewhat threadbare.  Then along came the Internet and YouTube and now there are billions of options.

The other day there was a story in the Wall Street Journal.  The writer explained high-speed Internet really isn’t necessary for much of what we do at home and often even at work.

Is life better today?  When we had a rotary telephone and there was a long distance charge for calling a grandmother 15-miles away we didn’t call as often.  Still, we got face time once a week and if we weren’t home when someone called the caller simply phoned later.  Oh, and I miss personal letters.  Email is fine but it doesn’t match the excitement of getting an unexpected note at the mailbox.