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Technology Illustrations

  • Cell Phones, Manners

    restaurant meal3Friends and I were chatting over dinner in a restaurant. A man at the next table told his cell-phone caller to hold on. Then he stepped outside to talk.

    When he returned, I said, "That was very thoughtful."

    "I had no choice," he nodded and said to me. "You were making too much noise."

  • Clear Communication

    business meetingIn a software design meeting, we were using typical technical jargon to discuss a data exchange interface with a vendor.

    One co-worker said the programming we had ordered was delayed because the vendor was suffering from a "severe non-linear waterfowl issue."

    Curious, the team leader raised his eyebrows and asked, "What exactly is that?"

    The programmer replied, "They don't have all their ducks in a row."

  • Generation Gap

    computer2I've got 3 TVs, cable and a satellite dish. I have 3 phone lines in the house, a cell phone and one in the car.

    I use 2 computers, 3 ISPs and a fax. I subscribe to two daily papers and one weekly one. I watch both the local and the network news every evening.

    And my kids have the nerve to tell me I'm out of touch.

  • Give Tech Support a Break

    tugboatOur tech company uses satellite communications to send and receive messages from tugboats moving barges up and down major rivers. Each day, by 2pm, the tugboats send data on the day's activities to the company's traffic department.

    At least that's how it is supposed to work.

    "I got a call from our traffic department saying they only received data from about half the boats, and would I check on it?" the technician Don says.

    He calls the satellite company, but the satellite technician there says there's no problem on his end.

    Meanwhile, the traffic department calls again - they're still not getting messages from the missing boats.

  • Going Back, Progress

    children playI want to be a kid again. I want to go back to the time when...

    * Decisions were made by going "Eeny-meeny-miney-mo."

    * Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "Do over!"

    * "Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.

  • Grandma Generation Gap

    sewingMy granddaughter came to spend a few weeks with me, and I decided to teach her to sew.

    After I had gone through a lengthy explanation of how to thread the machine, she stepped back, put her hands on her hips, and said in disbelief,

    "You mean you can do all that, but you can't operate a cell phone?"

  • Handicap Parking Hologram

    Here's a holographic reminder of how not to use handicap parking spots.

  • Parental Supervision

    classroomThe math teacher saw that little Davie wasn't paying attention in class. She called on him and said, "Davie! What are 2 and 4 and 28 and 44?"

    Little Davie quickly replied, "NBC, CBS, HBO and the Cartoon Network!"

  • Progress, Forgetting How It Was, Television

    Black and White

    tv old[An ode to times long gone; for older folks only. Under 40, you just won't understand.]

    You could hardly see for all the snow,
    Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.
    Pull a chair up to the TV set,
    "Good night, David; Good night, Chet".

    Dependin' on the channel you tuned
    You got Rob and Laura or Ward and June.
    It felt so good, felt so right.
    Life looked better in black and white.

  • Progress, Progress?

    You know you are living in the 21st century when...

    computer2. Your reason for not staying in touch with family is that they do not have e-mail addresses.

    . You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.

    . You call your son's beeper to let him know it's time to eat. He e-mails you back from his bedroom, "What's for dinner?"

    . Your daughter sells Girl Scout Cookies via her web site.

    . You chat several times a day with a stranger from South Africa, but you haven't spoken with your next door neighbor yet this year.

  • Trusting Advice

    stormThunderstorms had rolled through the region, knocking out power temporarily to some of the stores of this supermarket chain. So when a help desk technician got an emergency page from one store, he figured he knew how to handle it.

    Turns out it was not that easy. "When I called the store, a somewhat dippy cashier answered the phone," he says. "The cash registers were all off-line, and when I gave her what I thought were simple instructions to restart the registers, she was having trouble understanding."