McGee: Roomate was right about computers

Have you ever heard about something new and thought, “Pshaw, that won’t be around long.” I got to thinking about this while I was at a rummage sale over in Earth, Texas. There amongst the books for a dime or a quarter was a thick, yellowed volume labeled “FORTRAN.” It was a textbook about the old IBM computer language.

The book opened up a memory from my college days. My roommate was taking a Fortran class.

“What kind of class is that?” I asked as I relaxed on my top bunk, something I did more often than study.

“It’s about writing computer programs,” he said.

“Computers, now there’s a waste of time,” I said.

“Computers are the up and coming thing, you better get on board.”

“Yeah, right.”

Well, as we all know my roommate was right.

So was my journalism professor who liked to drone on and pontificate much like the teacher in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” He said, “25 years from now you’ll get your morning news from a computer and you’ll need to know Mandarin.”

“Seriously?” I whispered to the girl next to me. “Computers? Yeah, right. And Mandarin? Do you think he’s a Communist?”

Sometimes when I think back to that class I wonder how he was able to “see” so far into the future.

Then they came out with music CDs. As a die-hard vinyl record collector I said I’d NEVER buy compact discs. While friends discovered the wonders of CDs I kept buying vinyl LPs until they stopped making them. Then I begrudgingly joined the crowd.

And now comes news that record companies are pondering the future of compact discs.

Oh, I’m not going to argue or hold out this time.

I have a MP3 player and download tunes regularly.

I’m wiser now about new things.

I know I’m not alone though, I’m sure that long ago folks thought the automobile was a novelty.