How Did That Happen?

It’s April already. Did not see that coming.

I know that April comes at this time every year, and I live by my diary so I see the days passing, but suddenly, or so it seems, it’s April. Mind you, I was at the Glen Mhor Hotel in Inverness the other day and they were talking about Christmas bookings. Now that does seem a bit early for me.

I like Christmas, always have. But I really only want to start thinking about it in December. What usually happens is that I see all the nice Deli stuff and bakery from about September, but it always feels too early to start buying at that stage. Then, in December, when I am ready to buy, there is nothing, or virtually nothing, left.

This tells me two things. First, I need to be thinking ahead more, and second, my plans need to take more account of what everyone else is doing, so that I am not the only one participating.

Normally, my life is pretty well regulated. My diary tells me where I should be day to day and if I have meetings, Zoom calls, or phone calls to make. It tells me when and how I am travelling and where I am staying if I am away for a few days. If I lose my diary, I am lost. Mind you, it is online, so I can access it through various devices, and that includes my phone.

I carry a spare mouse in my briefcase. The reason? I keep leaving it behind. So, I bought a spare to keep in my briefcase so I am never without one. But I don’t have a spare phone! If I leave that behind, and it has been known, then I cannot see my diary or make or receive messages. It is also my calculator on the move and I use it to download train tickets etc. Without it, I am pretty well lost.

So, how did we become so dependent upon technology? It seems to have crept up on me. But I would not want to be without it. Just think what life would be like without my phone, my laptop etc. It does not bear thinking about.

But, maybe you are one of those people who would be very happy not to have to rely on any technology. It’s a valid position, but we will have to agree to differ.

In my previous existence, working for a large national firm in London, I still remember preparing a set of accounts “the old way”. It took 14 sheets of A3 to set it all out. It was completed with a pencil, rubber and a calculator. You had to balance every sheet, all 14 columns, and then you balanced the whole. Late adjustments were interesting. You could spend a few days setting it all up, especially if the sheets did not balance. Computers have, thankfully, done away with all of those types of jobs. These days, if we want to process any late adjustments, it takes just a few minutes, Wonderful!

Where is all this going? I recall a techy friend saying to me that technology had advanced so quickly that it was now going to plateau. Hmm… then we installed Windows 95. It has never stopped, and there is no reason why it should. I think it’s great. Sorry, if you don’t agree.

Between my phone and my laptop, and the prevalence of Wi-Fi, it all means that I can do almost anything anywhere. Storage is not a problem. After a few years with my current laptop, I still have a significant amount of free storage on the hard drive.

I was tidying up in one of my offices a little while ago and I came across some 5” floppies. I also found some 3” floppies and zip drives. Each one in their turn was such an advance, Now they are redundant and I keep them for posterity/ novelty value. I suppose CDs and DVDs will go the same way. We have a lot of CDs at the house, but we now stream most of our music. I still have most of the LPs that I had in my teens, but all I do with them these days is look at the sleeves nostalgically from time to time.

The world moves on, and I like the new opportunities that it brings. I can do things for myself and my clients that I could not have done years ago. This afternoon I updated a set of statutory books with new share issues and prepared dividend vouchers which I emailed to my client. The whole thing took just a few minutes.  They were going to print the dividend vouchers and hand them out as soon as they got them. We were 120 miles apart. And we now just accept this as the norm.

So, where are you when it comes to technology? Neanderthal or  ….?


Alan E Long

The Long Partnership

07770 738770



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