As I read Morgan’s post, I couldn’t help but think about how often I have struggled with mundane technologies. I work at Special Collections and a good majority of my work since the pandemic hit has been to scan copy orders for patrons on the Bookeye Machine. Now, this may sound fancy but it is not. Essentially, it is like your everyday printer scanner, except the scan is taken from higher up and at a higher resolution so you can get larger pages in. However, the Bookeye in Special Collections has had more problems than you could possibly imagine. Even though we have tech support, it still acts up all the time. It is slow and frustrating and the worst part is when you have to wait for a minute for the thing to even respond.
I think most of us have had experiences with clunky tech, whether it be a printer, or a DS that you have to blow into to make it work. This project has shown me that both sides can be frustrating. The scanning takes longer than you expected, and Primo works ever so slowly on my little 2014 MacBook Air. Even though one may be a screen and the other an old hunk-o-junk, they can still be frustrating, just like most learning curves. It’s like we are constantly learning how to ride a bike in this minor. In the beginning it is hard and frustrating, but once we understand how something works, we can ride all day.
I think this is something we will experience throughout our careers in the Digital Humanities. We will struggle to understand new programs and machines, but eventually, we will have acquired the skills and knowledge to combat the next newest tech. So to that, I say, thank you Butler, and thank you clunky-ol-printers.