An Amazing Time

Mama Buzz texted that it must be amazing what technology I’ve seen develop in my lifetime which, naturally, got me rambling down memory lane. LOL

I’m so old, I remember visiting one of the first computers at Cornell with my advanced math class. It filled a whole room and had less computing power than a kids’ toy has now. Daddy actually did a program on that computer using punch cards that filled a box … that he dropped and had to resort LOL.

Thinking back to my childhood and adolescence, I remember all of these happening: polio vaccine, color television, remote controls for the television, push button phones, self-dialing phones, typewriters where the letters were on a ball that moved instead of the whole carriage moving, and 8-track, then cassette tapes replacing vinyl.

Bop had one of the first self-dialing phones. It used a plastic punch card that you pushed out the holes for the number, then pushed the card into the slot and it dialed as it wound itself back out. It was state of the art when he got it. He loved gadgets! LOL

And, of course, we all saw the moon landing together as it happened.

As an adult, I watched closely as photography and videography switched from film to magnetic tape to laser disk to digital disks. In computing, typewriters were supplanted by dedicated word processing machines which were again supplanted by personal computers that ran word processing programs as well as other programs. The first time I saw a screen with icons on it, I had no idea what I was looking at. The owner said, “You click on the icon and it opens a program.” I still had no idea what I was looking at. LOL

When I was pregnant with Marine Princess, Daddy had to do his architecture thesis on Cornell’s computer. I went to a course to learn how to do the inputting and remember being SO confused about it all. Then I had to go to Cornell to get it printed out, while I was hugely pregnant with a high risk baby and early contractions! Fortunately, the guy at the gate saw how huge I was and gave me a pass to park right at the building so I didn’t have to go out to timbuctoo and ride a bus in and walk. I still wish I could’ve just typed it LOL.

Daddy’s first CAD stations cost tens of thousands of dollars. His firm took out a bank loan and when Kuwait happened and his partners all quit, we got stuck paying it off. I was so nervous about moving those expensive machines to our easy-to-invade basement! Now they’re utterly worthless. I have more computing power in my $95 ReUse it refurb than those things did!

And you’ve seen how fast storage has changed. I’ve got boxes full of CD back up disks for my early years, then one small external hard drive with some more years on it. Now I put a whole year on a thumb drive and there’s room left over! Of course, then there’s the PHONES, cuz I remember when Ma Bell was all we had and she charged whatever she charged. It’s been quite an amazing time to be alive!


Filed under Loose Pollen

2 responses to “An Amazing Time

  1. When I was a wee tad, we already had voice-activated phone dialing.

    I picked up the phone (which had neither push buttons nor dial). An operator said, “Number, ple-ease?” Because I knew how to count by twos, I could easily remember my buddy Tom’s number: “Two, Four, Six.” The phone would ring at Tom’s house. Those were magical days.

    Speaking of phone tech, this vid from 2018 shows two 17 year olds trying to dial a rotary phone
    We had an advantage – Bell Tel films that taught us how to dial.

    Liked by 1 person

    • chrissythehyphenated

      I don’t know when dial came to my home town because I wasn’t even BORN until 1954! (Hahahahahahaha)

      But I do remember when we suddenly went from 5- to 7-digits. My father had JUST ordered a big box of matchbooks for his business that now had the wrong number on them. We had those matches in the ceramic jug on the mantle over the fireplace for decades! LOL

      When they actually ran out, we were all like deer in headlights. “What do you mean, we don’t have any MATCHES?!” (Something similar happened with tartar sauce, though it had nothing to do with the phones, just Pop getting a Great Deal. LOL)

      I also remember when we went from 7 to 10 digits! Oh wait … that was last month. ::snort::

      Liked by 1 person