Where technology brought us 

American Bank & Trust
3730 18 Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

American Bank & Trust
2350 412 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Office Machine Consultants
534 16 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Royal Neighbors
230 16 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Midwest- Engineering
2500 36 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

C.O.P.E. Tutorial School Inc.
228 W 2nd Ave
Milan, IL 61264
787-3609 Riverside Cemetary
3300 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Moline Memorial Park & Mausoleum
5001 34 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Umthun Trucking

VFC Distribution
525 E 1 St
Milan, IL 61264

Lipid Research Center
2188 West Lawn
Iowa City, IA 52242

Rux Funeral Home
313 Market St
Galva, IL

Rux Funeral Home
507 S Chestnut
Kewanee, IL

Marycrest International University
1607 W 12 St
Davenport, IA 52804

St. Ambrose University
518 W Locust
Davenport, IA 52804

Palmer College of Chiropractic
1000 Brady St
Davenport, IA 52803

Augustana College
639 38 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

H & R Block
1715 W Locust St
Davenport, IA 52804

E & J
200 24 Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

American Institute of Commerce
1801 E Kimberly Rd
Davenport, IA 52807

Rock Island County Farm Bureau
1601 52 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Hempel Pipe and Supply
951 S Rolff St
Davenport, IA 52802

McGladrey & Pullen, LLP
Certified Public Accountants and Consultants
220 North Main St Suite 900
Davenport, Ia 52801

McGladrey & Pullen, LLP
Certified Public Accountants and Consultants
600 35 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

1607 John Deere Rd
East Moline, IL 61244

John Deere Pavilion
1400 River Dr
Moline, IL 61265

Computers add convenience -- for most

By Pam Berenger, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

TOP: Jason Callis of Moline checks over the menu at the SouthPark Taco Bell as counter person Josh Hurley is ready to push the touch screen computer to send the order to the kitchen area. BOTTOM: Paul Ross, a kitchen worker, then checks his monitor for food orders sent from the front counter area of the restaurant.

Gary Krambeck / staff

Computers were the toys of the early 1980s and became the tool of the 1990s, according to Jim Buck, a marketing systems associate at Apex Systems in Moline.

``Most businesses looked at them as toys,'' Mr. Buck said. ``Corporations had major main frames in air-conditioned rooms that held everything. PCs today have more computing power, and do more than the old main frames.''

There have been tremendous changes in the computer industry. Mr. Buck remembers an instructor he had in 1982, who said we were entering a ``revolution that surpassed the mechanical revolution.''

Others have said our current situation with computers is similar to the cave man's discovery of fire, Mr. Buck said.

The newspaper industry is one of those revolutionized by computers.

In the late 1980s, The Moline Dispatch Publishing Co. was the first in the area to use desk-top publishing systems to produce newspapers loaded with color photos, according to publisher Gerald J. Taylor. The company was also among the first to employ digital photography.

``Without question, the past decade has meant the most change to the newspaper industry since the 1960s, when old hot-metal printing gave way to photo typesetting,'' Mr. Taylor said. ``Our business and circulation offices are in their third generation of fully computerized systems.''

Late last year, the company installed advanced, computer-controlled inserting equipment.

``Our mission is to be the primary information provider for residents of the Illinois Quad-Cities area,'' Mr. Taylor said.

In 1994, The Moline Dispatch Publishing Co. launched Quad-Cities Online, an Internet Service Provider (ISP). It is part of the Quad-Cities move into the computer age, which many say is just beginning.

A July 1998 study showed about half of the homes in the Quad-Cities area had a personal computer, and more than half of those have an ISP.

``We've just scratched the surface,'' Mr. Buck said. ``Nearly every business runs on computers. Soon homes will too.''

Today PCs are used for just about everything from finances to entertainment in the home. In the workplace they're just as versatile, used in accounting offices and on factory floors.

Computers are in restaurants, relaying on screens in the kitchen orders placed by wait persons pressing on counter key pads.

Auto repair shops are even computerized. Computers can diagnose problems with vehicles, indicating which components aren't working properly. Mechanics can use them to scope test an ignition system, which shows the flow of the cylinders.

``We can work without them,'' Jeff Novak, service manager for Sergeant Peppers Auto Body Inc. in Davenport said. ``There is no doubt that computers have made the job easier. But even with the computer, you have to have some knowledge of the car.''

Computers in the business world have made the work place easier and more efficient. Their uses include interoffice memos, e-mail, document sharing and bulk mailings.

Everything that was once stored in paper files is now stored in computers or on disks, said Rita Toalson, editorial assistant in Royal Neighbors of America's public relations department.

``We used to have to get all a member's information from a paper file,'' Ms. Toalson said. ``Today, we just look it up on the computer and everything is there. It gives us more time to do more jobs.''

The computer has streamlined jobs. Orders put into a computer by one department can be seen by another department in an instant -- even if that department is thousands of miles away.

In schools, computers aid students in getting the most up-to-date information, according to William Heitman, superintendent of the Sherrard school district.

They are not the end-all in education, and will certainly never replace the personal attention of a teacher, Mr. Heitman said. However, they do extend the boundaries of the classroom.

``It gives students instant information on anything,'' Mr. Heitman said. ``A government class could look at the legislative site to see what the latest development on an issue is. Another class may want to see what the newest finds are in the pyramids in Mexico.''

Computers are also used to help Sherrard in its day-to-day operations. Attendance marked in each teacher's classroom, along with lunch counts, immediately appears on the screen in the cafeteria's computer.

While the computer has streamlined jobs, it has also been responsible for eliminating them. John Sheley of Rock Island, a commercial artist for 37 years, said he quit the business when computers could do the same work he did.

``Illustrations, photo touch-ups, typesetting and mechanicals are all done on computers now,'' Mr. Sheley said. ``They still do a few things by hand, like exploded views and cut-away drawings that are such a huge project you'd need a screen the size of a movie theater.''

Despite the changes computers have made in his life, Mr. Sheley isn't angry.

``They put me out of business,'' he said. ``I didn't get mad. I got even. I don't -- and won't -- own one.''

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.