We're on the cutting edge of technology.
This week the newspaper's editorial department will start carrying iPad mini computers.
I remember a long time ago when I had to find phone booths along a dark road after late meetings so I could stop, call the office and almost write my story as I dictated it to the typist so I could meet deadline.
I rushed to a fatal train wreck in Confluence loaded with three rolls of film, notebook and two pens in case one ran out. When I ran out of film, I came back to the office to write the stories. It was a long day.
I had to decide a month ahead of time what color photo I wanted on the front page of the Somerset County Fair tab. We sent the negative to a company that made the four negatives for plates — black, blue, red and yellow — for us to tape together to make up the color photo.
When the powers that be decided to get new computer equipment that would include the color capability right here, they wanted us to test it out on the Sunday Shopper. I was editor of the Shopper and I was told "Make it so."
Our first full color page included a photo of a robin. It turned out beautiful and we were thrilled.
Fellow reporter Pattie Cramer and I were thrust onto the front lines many times. "We want color weather maps. Make it so." And we did.
I'll never forget the time we put a CD into a computer tower. Up to that point, Pattie and I thought the only sound that came from the tower was a "dong" that said "what you are trying to do can't be done." This time suddenly music blared, people were talking and photographs flashed across the screen. Pattie and I must have jumped 10 feet.
We were on the front lines when the powers that be said "Make the 10K tab a running list of all those who participated and their times and include team photos." And we did.
Breaking ground for video, I was on Scratch Hill Road, notebook in my back pocket, pens in another pocket, camera in one hand and Flip video camera in the other as I recorded history while the Bollman bridge was placed on the GAP trail.
Now I have an iPad. I can take photos and video. I can edit the video. I can ask some lady in cyberspace any question and she'll give me the answer. I can access email, Facebook and Twitter. A Dragon program will convert speech into text so I can dictate my story into the tablet and it will be transferred into text.
All this new technology to make me better, faster and more efficient.
If only I could figure out how to turn it on.
(Madolin Edwards is the Home and Family editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. @DAMadolinE)