Today’s Technology

Here we are again, Freedom Friday. If you’re joining this series for the first time, you can search for all the posts by simply clicking on the Freedom Friday link above this post. For those who need a refresher, I use Freedom Friday to express my views about what’s current, what’s not or anything else that may trickle into this brain of mine at the time of writing.

27-Inch Hitachi Tube TV
27-Inch Hitachi Tube TV

At this moment, I’m thinking technology. In particular, I’m thinking about how far technology has come from the good ol’ days when a large 27-inch TV and a VCR dominated our entertainment centers. Anyone remember this? For some of us, we had two VCRs—one for recording and one to watch recordings. It made for a simplistic life, but much of what the 80’s had, delved on simplistic.

We cherished those cold, winter evenings when we got back home from work, prepared a warm soup for dinner and plopped on the couch to watch the latest episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation

Let’s not forget those autumn Tuesday night comedies. How can I forget taping  episodes of Home Improvement so I can watch them later. Those episodes always shattered my funny bone for some reason.

Home Improvement
Home Improvement

So much has changed.

Today, we live as a traveling society. We bring our entertainment with us. We can download any episode of any series we’d like; plop it on our iPods, iPhones, Nexus 7’s, Samsung Galaxy Tab’s, whatever—and we can watch them on the go. Gone are the days where we sit in front of the TV as past generations. The media we consume, at the rate we consume it, is unbelievable to those who’d lived in the VCR age.

Take, for instance, music. I remember a time when I’d recorded my favorite tracks on a cassette tape in a specific order based on how the songs meshed. Then, when I traveled with my Sony Walkman, I could listen to them on the go.

Boy, that no longer happens. At least, I don’t think.

Mixtape
Mixtape

Today, I can carry my entire music library I had carefully culled over the period of decades on my iPod. I have mixtape playlists, compilation playlists and even live playlists (those used when rating songs during my travels).

Insane!

This is what our technology has brought us. We can carry our whole media library anywhere we go and consume it at a bus station, truck stop, library, museum, deli, newsstand, restaurant, friend’s house, wilderness, bus, train, woods, park, walking, hiking, boating, sailing, running, riding, traveling, etc. all in the confines of our realities.

I laugh. How did we do it back in the 80’s?

Anyone else notice how far technology has advanced? Anyone else have the same idea I have with the way we consume our media? What about books? Do you like hardcover books or do you read them on a Kindle or another reader?

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6 thoughts on “Today’s Technology

  1. Funny i was just talking with my grandmother about how fast technology has changed.
    I remember calculators were just mass marketed, and you could get a cheap one at $75. Our 27″ color TV was a console and it had a remote control with a “channel” and “Volume” button on it. We had a VCR, it covered the entire top of the TV and you loaded it from the top. When cable TV came out, mom wouldn’t get it because she said, “No one’s gonna buy television programming from a bunch of drug pushing pimps!” well, i used to sneak over to my friends to watch his cable. Video games came out but you had to go to the arcade to play them. We did get “Pong” when it first came out in the home edition and my uncle gave me a “slightly used” Atari 2600 game console for christmas.
    we had the Apple II e in our library. that was the only PC in the entire school. loved to play Oregon Trail on it when we had library.
    One year, my dad got me a Commadore 64 home computer. You had to write your own programs, i made a game after the TV show “Airwolf” where you had to fly you copter from your fortress in the mountains, past the terrorists camps, then land it on a moving semi while you were being shot at.
    Mobile phones were in suitcases and were a little bigger than a brick with a high antennae. we never owned one.
    Speaking of telephones. when we had a rotary dial phone, you could tap out the number you wanted. you didn’t have to, but as a kid it was fun. In a rural area i lived in, we still had to deal with “party lines”.
    yes, i can’t even fathom what it was like for my 90 year old grandma to see her world change in her lifetime. she still uses a VCR, that’s as techie as she is willing to go. so i record DVD’s onto VHS for her. She gave up her cell phone because she said it was too complicated, especially when the great grandkids would text her. who knows, perhaps someday i’ll refuse to use the teleportation device to get to see the grandkids because i like sightseeing while i drive.

    • I also remember those days when the cable converters were set-top appliances, fastened to the TV that had to be manhandled in order to get anywhere with them. I’ll never forget when, as a kid, we got our first remote control…box… Yeah, a big, huge box with fifteen buttons and a switch at the top that allowed me to switch to the next fifteen in the lineup. All together we had thirty channels of glorious analog color cable. For the time, we were living in the future. The thing about the converter box was that it had a long, fifteen foot wire that everyone in the household had to take care not to tangle.

      Funny, I’ll never forget my dad laying on the couch every Saturday night, watching Hockey Night in Canada with this massive converter box on the floor next to him. He’d change the channels in between the beer commercials to see if there’s anything else he might like watching.

      Man, so different from today when I can download an app to control my remote and get any channel simply by touching a piece of glass.

      Remarkable!

      • i’m reminded of the giant 19′ satellite dish my dad had in his backyard in the early 90’s. i used to lay in it with the girlfriend and look at stars and…well…

      • …you saw the first ships of the alien invasions and scampered outta there, wondering if it was just a dream or the zombie apocalypse had finally taken over 🙂

  2. Hi Jack,
    The thing that I think of when it comes to technology are: BOOKS!!! Remember when we went to the library for many reason. To do reasearch for a school project, now they search anything on the web on many devices, PC, laptop, tablet, phones, or to find reading material. I remember searching the card catalague for the book available under my Favorite Authors name. Only to go to the shelf with the series of numbers & letter to find it, to see that it was not there, already borrowed. Due Dates!! Had to have those books back in 2 weeks. LOL Now I have Kindle on my phone I can read from the library or buy one to download from Amazon. Instantly!! If I’m reading a series I can get the next one as soon as I finished the one I’m reading. I remember racing to the library to get the next book in the series, cause I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. The Good Ole Days!!!! Or were they? Now I can read in bed with just my iPhone. If i fall alseep it saves my page. I have my reading material everywhere I go, so I don’t mind waiting for anything anymore, cause I can read my book.
    Just my 2 cents worth.
    Have a great weekend!!
    Your biggest fan!
    Kim

    • Wow, Kim, so much you’ve said is so true for today’s technology.

      I know in my case, I now checkout my books at the library via the Overdrive App for the iPhone. It’s one of my favorite apps. It allow you to borrow ebooks from the local library. It’s great because I can borrow them and never have to worry of overdue fines because once the expiry date comes, the books vanish from the iPhone. It’s great knowing I don’t have to worry about returning the material late.

      I also love reading my books on the go. Like you, I carry my whole library with me wherever I go. I love the whole idea of “The Cloud” where I can place a bookmark on a device and keep reading the book on another device or computer at another location. Everything is so seamless nowadays.

      Anyway, I appreciate your 2 cents worth! I always enjoy what you have to say on Facebook and I’ll never forget you being the very first person to read my writing in its entirety!

      Thanks for your support, Kim!

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