A Techno Apocalypse

Well, not really but that’s the way it felt Wednesday night and most of the next work day. A broken fiber optic cable under ground meant no cell or Internet service for Taos and beyond.

Like most everyone else, I thought it was me at first. I unplugged and plugged in the wireless modem. Nothing. Then, I noticed my cell phone didn’t have service. Nope, not me.

I went to the newsroom the next morning and did everything I could sans the Internet.

An intern at the newsroom said she didn’t know what to do without her cell phone and Internet. I told her “welcome to the ’80s.”

When I first started working as a newspaper correspondent Back East in 1985, I had to type my stories and then drive the hard copy to the newsroom 45 minutes away so one of the typesetters could load them into the system. Months later the paper gave us laptops from Radio Shack. The screen showed seven lines and I connected the computer to the phone jack in the kitchen to send a story. The laptop dialed a number at the newsroom. Pretty primitive stuff. We called it “shacking it.” I used if a few years until I bought my first DOS-only home computer.

Technology gets better and better. I do stuff with computers I never imagined, such as writing this blog and telling everyone about it via social media.

On Thursday Andrew, the newspaper’s web coordinator, posted a story about the outage on the website by going to the county complex down the street, which had wifi via satellite. 

Like an addict I walked to the complex to download email on my iPhone. I leaned against the stuccoed building as I logged onto the guest network. People walking by kept asking if service had been restored.

I got sixteen email, alas, most of them unimportant.

Just before 3 p.m. access to the Internet returned. So did cell phone service. We were back in touch with the world again.