The Old Trunk



The Old Trunk
My grandfather had an old trunk down in Sandy Point that used to set in the corner of the front bedroom. There was a lock on the trunk and the key hung in the small closet in his bedroom. The trunk had two straps that helped secure the lid and they were buckled somewhat like an old leather belt. This is not an actual picture but is similar.

Kids knew this was strictly off limits and all the things that bound the family and insured its security were kept in the trunk. The Old Family Bible, the genealogical family record, was in there too. It never was carried to church: it came out when someone was born or someone died. The event was recorded there.
You might find letters, a .32 Cal. pistol and some shells and bits and pieces of things that made up their lives. There was an old pocket watch that did not run any longer but had belonged to a deceased relative. Any financial records would be in that trunk, as well. A tin type picture from long ago.

There was no username and password involved. No mumbo jumbo or hocus pocus was needed. You took the key, unlocked the trunk and took out what was needed for today’s agenda.
Then, when finished, you put the stuff back and hung the key in the secret place in the closet in the other bedroom. No one ever hacked in and got the personal and private info inside. To have done so would have possibly gotten the perpetrator shot!
I never heard of anyone’s identity being stolen back then. I suppose it could have happened but I never heard of it. And, after the bank collapses of 1929, people still did not trust banks much in the 40’s.
I worked for IBM in the 60’s and only big companies used computers. In fact, when I worked there, businesses did not own the computer they used: IBM owned the computer and the company leased the room sized contraption. Somewhere along the way, the courts ruled that they could not continue with that practice.
The company I worked for so many years installed a computer to handle billing and to address much of the clerical work but it was was somewhere around 1982 that we went live and moved everything over to computer based inventory, order entry and such. Later the company began to interface with the suppliers.
The first computer I owned was about 1987. It was a Sharpe that I ordered from a magazine and it used a 5″ floppy disk for storage. No internal storage was being used at that time. The computer folded up and weighed about 15 pounds. I bought a dot matrix printer and had to learn DOS commands to operate the thing. It was awkward but I finally got the hang of it. Then, we finally started having all the reps at work use a computer for a variety of reasons.
The recent stories about computer hackers could be very unnerving and gruesome. From the smallest to the largest organization and including the US Government. The Yahoo technology theft involved 500,000,000 users and maybe more to come. The list of companies keeps growing and growing.
Yet, every day I am encouraged by some company to go paperless and that my data will be safe. Two companies just sent me info that the files from Washington and Idaho fishing licenses have been hacked. The later occurrences do not make me inclined to give out any more info to anymore companies.
Big Lie: When they want us to sign up to go paperless they claim it is safer than mail coming to our mailbox. This simply is not true. It would take a lot of work to secure all the data on 500,000,000 people by stealing their mail out of their mailbox. But some 19 year old computer whiz can do it from the comfort of their basement in a few minutes and have it sold to the highest bidder in a few more. Eric Snowden walked out one day with all the Nation’s secrets on a thumb drive. That action brought home to the American public just how much spying the government has been doing on them. And, many don’t care. The infatuation with iPhones and other similar devices is so high, people willingly give up the last bit of information to get one and then proceed to publish every jot and tittle on Twitter or Facebook. There was a waiting line at the iPhone store today when I was by there.
That same 19 year old would have never tried getting into my grandfather’s trunk. Not with a 12 Gauge standing in the corner. Those trunks may have to come back in style.
Or, maybe we issue everyone a T-Shirt with name, rank, serial number, Social Security Card and User Names and Passwords and Pin Numbers painted on them to save all the hackers the trouble of hacking it.
Trunks and coffee cans: more secure than the NSA and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Who would have believed it?
© HJC 2016

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