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Career milestone of sorts

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, May 21, 2007.

  1. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Speaking of transmitting, how many ways have you done that?

    I started on regular typewriters; information sent over the Qwip machine -- or dictated as circumstances allowed.

    Worked on that TI machine that was like a typewriter, with paper in it, but was also a form of computer. If you wanted to change a line, you had to type your changes under the original line, or something like that. Very confusing.

    Worked on one of the first Harris systems in the world.

    Did the deal where you had to type on special paper between red lines on a Selectric typewriter, then fed it into a machine that put it into a computer that you could then edit on. That could be a disaster if you did it wrong.

    Trash 80s and 100s, of course.

    Never Western Union.
  2. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    The old TI was my first remote. I loved the keyboard, I could wail. But on a two-week roadie, you had to pack 5-6 extra rolls of paper and I always seemed to run out a couple of days before going home. And it had those 2 circular rubber cups to jam the phone in. That was fine, until you got someplace where the phone handsets were square. Didn't work so good. At Olympic Stadium in Montreal, the workers cleaned the stadium with those loud blowers. It was so loud that it disrupted your transmission. The Shack was the most reliable. I even had one of those big gray Teleram Portabubbles. I used that at home because the company lost track of 'em when they got the Trash 80s. I had the teleram until about 2 years ago, when I moved. It landed in the trash can.
  3. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    My god, it's like you're all speaking Farsi.

    I started on NewsEdit and Quark and now I'm on Harris and Newsmaker.

    The end.
  4. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    14 years this summer. And I think Mizzou might be right.

    Congrats, SF. Hope I make 30.
  5. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Congrats SF.

    I've got 16 years full time this year, 21 dating to my clerking days. I came in right at the beginning of the pagination era (Hastech, anyone?) but also had paste up, but missed the hot and cold type era.
  6. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    Congratulations, SF. I'm on year 18.
  7. pseudo

    pseudo Well-Known Member

    21 takes me back to senior year of high school, a good part of which was spent at the local Tinytown Weekly. Got to paste up a few pages and play around in the darkroom, but wasn't allowed to lay a finger on the (mostly dormant by that point) linotypes.

    The "local" paper is now printed two counties away from Tinytown, and the old place sits vacant. Miss those days.

    Gratz, SF, for surviving thirty years in a tough biz. Many more...
  8. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I've worked at two whole papers that no longer exist, and two places where the PM half of the operation no longer exists, which is also somewhat hard to believe.
  9. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    SF, you forgot Pony Express....
  10. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Eh, Sonny?
  11. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I retyped obits off the fax and teletype.
    Then, after that, I hand-coded horse racing handicap and charts.
    The obits was especially fun. I would have to call the coroner, mortuary or, in extreme cases, the family to confirm the passing with our code. Because, apparently, a good joke at the time was to place an obit of someone that was still among the bipeds. So much fun, being 17, calling grieving families confirming their husband's or child's death.
    Yeah. I was qualified for that. I wanted to quit so many times. But, I needed the $6.67 an hour. My wife and I joke now: It was a penny better than Hell. I aspired to be a Prep writer.
    Without those experiences, I wouldn't be who I am today.
  12. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    College: Handwritten stories, shoved under the SE's dorm-rooom door.

    First job, circa 1976: Semi-electric typewriter, white-out, glue pot and paste, stories given to data inputer and then came out on a slick. Dictated copy on the road. Near the end we got some machine that would transmit copies of the story through the phone line via hard copy. $3.25 a hour, glad to have it, and more "real" income than at any timem of my life, probably.

    Second job, circa 1979: The big-time. First, electric typewriter for hard copy, send down to composing via the pnumatic tube. Then we got VDTs. Used a 50-pound lug of a telaram while on the road. Still cutt-and-paste. Just got my SSI statement the other day; in this period my annual income actually increased significantly.

    Third job, circa 1985: Computers and the Trash 80s, but still cut-and-past until the mid-1990s. I got my first laptop in 1995 or so, and we didn't get individual e-mail until 1998 or so.
    Now full Quark, etc. Near top of scale in my corporation for past 10 years or so so income (not including stringing and freelancing) has remained fairly stagnant.

    It's a tough gig for 30-plus years, a lot of nights, weekends and family and personal relationships stressed. I try not to let being a newspaperman define me but it does, to some extent.

    I'll hoist one to you SF, and to our fellow 1953-55 era journos.
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