Jay Beeler

The times are changing. Every day we see things differently than they were just a few years ago.

For instance, photographer Bill Wilson brought by his usual compact disc filled with Grand Prix of Long Beach photos and we realized none of our current computers have CD drives. Nowadays the programs that used to be installed via CDs are now downloaded from the software developer. We have dozens of programs on compact discs that should have been tossed out years ago.

Most of our programs come from Adobe (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Acobat), Corel (Draw, VideoStudio), Microsoft (Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook) and Intuit’s QuickBooks.

They reside on “the cloud” and are automatically updated. Those same companies extract their fees monthly, quarterly or annually via our credit cards.

Once upon a time you could purchase the above programs on CDs in a box and use them five or ten years without the need to update, thereby saving lots of money.

There was a time when we were stuck at our office desk doing our various publishing tasks. No more. Thanks to those programs on the cloud as well as the ability to store project files there as well, we can spend less time in the office and more time at home – enjoying the 17-month-old granddaughter who is staying with us as her home in Oakland is being re-built.

My bucket list item of visiting Italy last September was handled with ease, thanks to the internet being accessible at hotels and aboard the airplane.

The pandemic hastened the movement toward working from home and reducing the need for commercial office space. There’s a modern, glass building across the street from our offices at PCH and Anaheim that’s nearly empty as it transitions into additional student housing for CSULB.

Twenty years ago our offices had a half-dozen full-time workers augmented by another half-dozen freelance helpers. Now our offices are occupied by several independent business owners who have a occasional need for desk space and a conference room to meet with clients.

Then there’s the newspaper business. Every day we hear about the decline in advertising revenues and lost jobs for journalists. The internet was blamed for much of it, but we’ve seen it as a source of additional revenue to offset losses on the print side.

Locally a couple of news sources have switched to non-profit status. It remains to be seen if that approach works. We looked into it two years ago and decided to do things the old-fashioned way.

Even more concerning is that we have fewer web printers in Southern California than we had 24 years ago, when we started publishing the Beachcomber.

But the fact remains that the older generation still likes to get ink on their hands as they consume a cup of coffee. More importantly, they want the local news and don’t enjoy reading it on a computer or cell phone.

Yes, the times are changing and survival depends on your ability to adapt.


On the humorous side:

  • The biggest joke on mankind is that computers have begun asking humans to prove they aren’t a robot.
  • When a kid says “Daddy, I want mommy” that’s the kid version of “I’d like to speak to your supervisor.”
  • It’s weird being the same age as old people.
  • Just once I want a username and password prompt to say CLOSE ENOUGH.


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