As a kid in England, technology meant nothing to me. I was as far away from being a tech geek as you could be. My neighbor was super cool as he had an Atari system. Even the little kid I babysat for had a simple computer through the TV. I remember a handful of kids doing a “computer” class. I am sure the computer was housed in some warehouse! But, my family was not techie at all.
The funny part is that my dad is a nuclear engineer. If I wanted to read up on power plants or nuclear fusion, I had scads and scads of books and binders at my disposal. Back in the early 80s we didn’t have a microwave, a VCR, or even a game system even though many of our neighbors had them.
My children would be hyperventilating to hear about a life before…
- ipods…I was given a Sony Walkman “4” that played only cassette tapes in 1983. I lugged this somewhat portable device that came with a shoulder strap to college in Amish Country, PA, from my hometown in England along with Duran Duran Rio, Wham, and another tape I care not to remember.
- cell phones
- CD players…as late as 1981 I had a record player without a built-in tape deck or radio. To record music, I played a 7″ single or 12″ album while dangling a microphone over and recorded it to a small cassette player. And yes, you could hear all the noises of the room I was recording in…breathing, scraping of chairs, my mother calling me for dinner…
- personal computers…the Mac was introduced my freshman year of college.
- wireless internet…anyone else have a 100-foot cable to connect your personal computer to the home phone line? Just me?!
Tech wise my family was decidedly untechy. Today, my family is the very epitome of techy-ness. We have a number of itouches, a couple of smartphones, a regular cell phone, game systems galore, and several digital cameras.
I read a blog post this morning, which inspired me to write a post on technology. Carrie over at Carrie with Children posed the question: What is technology? Computer? Windows?
I answered by describing all those terms mean to me:
Technology helps me live an easier life, but I fear technology as well. I get sweaty palmed reading an instruction manual. I need a phone or other device that is very user-friendly.
A computer is my lifeline for my work, my children’s school, my out-of-town family, and my daily everyday life. Without a computer, I would get by. I would handwrite everything…but my writing is quite untidy. I would keep boxes of photos that I would never be able to collate, size, and organize. I would probably have to use the phone to find a pizza delivery place, locate a music class, or search for a plumber. I would get by, but with a computer I can do so much more.
Windows… I’m old enough to remember the dreaded MS-DOS. I can’t tell you the number of times I spent precious minutes entering a string of code only to find that one code…one single letter or number…was incorrect. The blue screen of death is what I remember most about DOS. Windows allows for more point and click. Much more user friendly. Oh and back in the days of MS-DOS there was no need for a mouse as the only way to navigate your way through the computer was via keystrokes. I. Don’t. Miss. DOS!