Movies old technology

If you have been laid off before, you will understand my pain when I broke the bad news to my fax machine that I no longer need its services.  You can imagine the trauma, never to receive good and bad news like those ‘before e-mail’ movies when faxes fell into wrong hands, and in the workplace where you accidentally come across a fax about a colleague’s debt history.

Technology is the culprit really because faxes now slide straight into this computer.  Nobody has asked me for my fax number for over a year and the fax number on this website hasn’t been used by anybody since I posted it in December 2009.  Everything is sent by e-mail.

My fax facility is taking it personally, so I had to give it examples of other technology casualties.  I have no qualms about being a good photographer.  Thanks to Columbia University in New York where we had a photography class.  Our professors figured that being a journalist required some basic photography.

That served me well when I was a freelance journalist because in some instances, reluctant editors were enticed by the beautiful photos I showed them, which brings me back to technology casualties.  I have three camera bags with analog 35 mm SLR’s, filters, lenses, batteries, everything I thought professional photographers need.

Enter mobile phones or cell phones.  One of the German manufacturers famous for motion picture cameras created a camera for my phone.  The resolution is amazing and has all the advantages of digital photography i.e. shoot, download on to your computer, send to the editor with the story or turn it into a calendar.  Some laboratories in Johannesburg that used to sell film and develop it have gone out of business. 

There is a film can inside. Sound and the moving picture
used to be separate reels, which were later 'mixed' in the
studio.
I thought this would make my fax facility feel better but to no avail.  How about tape recorders?  I have four because I used to freelance a lot.  They include a reel-to-reel tape, an Uher to be precise that I bought before I left Toronto because I thought I was going to be a big shot film producer. 

They are also morose because my cell phone has a tape recorder, which is nice and crisp during playback.  My tape recorders are squatting next to 16 mm film cans with finished and half-finished projects. 

I have a light meter, which cost me a pretty penny but hey, have you ever seen a director without a light meter, hovering about the poor actor’s face?  I have splicing tape, marking tape, you name it.  All these items are sitting silently in my cinema library, or maybe I should say in a particular bottom drawer.

My fax tried to reason with me.  It said not everything can be sent as an attachment.  There’s that newspaper article that must be photocopied and scanned, before it is sent by e-mail.  I can get all that on-line. Adios fax!  Nice film can holder.  Innit?

Nonqaba is the author of Sweetness the novel.

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