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The Roadtrip Computer

The Roadtrip Computer
By Joe Phillips Dear Me
The Roadtrip Computer
By Joe Phillips Dear Me


I believe we've become dependent upon things to just get along. The cell phone seems able to do about anything when there is an application (app) for it. We just finished a two-week road trip, and right away I found that my little laptop computer had processed it's last bit, or byte.

This computer is much smaller than a regular laptop but could do everything I needed it to do. The scratched case shows it has not lived a pampered life. I've used it all over the country to scratch out notes to you and do family research.

Computers are temperamental critters. They don't like being bounced around. They have a hard drive that is like traveling with a phonograph with the needle hovering millimeters above the grooves.

Many of the characters I've introduced to you were found while traveling. Names and locations are changed but the essence of the individuals and their stories remain.

When it became clear that I would not be able to write to you until I returned to my home computer, there was a sense of “withdrawal.” I didn't like it.

I can't whine too loudly because there was a time I could not be away from my Ham Radio for long and eventually installed the rig in my car. That called for another for the house, which was more powerful, took up more room and was all 'round mo' better.

My parents used Ham Radio to keep up with me.

Through radio I stayed in touch with people I knew and chatted with every day. In Ham Radio you get to know people very well and might never meet them in person.

There are meetings via radio. It works like this: Imagine being in a dark room and unable to see who else is in the room. But you come there every day and you know folks by their voices. Ham Radio is like that.

A wonderful thing about small towns is the wealth of information.

In every town there is someone who continued from page

knows everything you need to know about a particular subject. If you want to know how to train a bird dog, there is an expert, local history has a “go-to” person. The same applies to artists, mechanics, glass cutters and old timey family doctors.

In the case of the little computer, an unexpected expert showed up after church.

As you get older, you think of kids as being static. They are kids when you meet them and stay that way in your mind, so the guy who showed up and started tinkering with the little computer fit that idea.

He tinkered around, leaned back, then announced he had ordered a part from China.

It was that easy. The little computer will be as good, or better, than new, scratches and all.

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