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Long Ago and Far Away


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#1 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 02:50 PM

It is now about 35 years since I got my first Home Computer - a Commodore VIC-20. I remember how modern and cutting edge I felt - even though all I could do with it was program in BASIC and play "Radar Rat Race" with my daughter.
Of course I bought it at a real computer store that sold the first IBM clones as well as Commodore and Atari. The days of online purchasing and Big Box stores were well into my future. What's amazing is that the store is still in business.
So what was life like for us back in those far off days before the Internet? I did a little reflection and this is what I came up with.

Communication - Home
We had a land line with a pushbutton dial phone that was tethered to its cradle. No voicemail that I recall. We got snail mail of course.

Communication - Work
We had a basic PBX and P/A system but to reach me you needed to dial the main number and go through a telephone switchboard operator. International communication was by Telex - you wrote a message out, the secretary typed it on paper tape and then sent a whole bunch of stuff once a day. Internal written communication was by typed memo or Speedimemo (remember those?)

Media Consumption
Paper based. Newspaper daily, magazine weekly or monthly.
We had cable TV but CNN was still in our future. Our new TV was a massive console with a 26 inch CRT inside. Our old color TV became the monitor for my VIC-20.

Video
VCRs were coming out but they were still pretty expensive. We didn't have one yet. So we watched movies on TV, or went to the movies.

Audio
Some dinosaurs still had 8 track but most of us used vinyl or cassette tape. Music was strictly an audio thing back then. MTV had yet to break through in Canada.

Reference Material
Strictly paper based. We had a cheap encyclopedia at home and if you wanted something more comprehensive you went to the library.

Financial Matters
My paycheck got credited to my account through massive mainframe transactions. We paid bills by cash or check and mailed in our Visa bill payment. Tax returns were incredibly complex paper based exercises although calculators helped. Hopefully you got a refund back in the mail.

Social Media
Once in a while we got mailed a thick brown envelope which was our family's "circular letter." Inside was a sheaf of paper outlining news about various members. I always wrote a little story about us, added it to the pile and sent it on to the next member on the list.

So as much as we complain about the issues of spam, security, privacy and Net Neutrality I don't think we'd want to go back to those pre-Internet days. Sadly, there are still some members of the previous generation (like my mother-in-law) who still live in the same way they did in 1982. It's becoming nearly impossible for them to survive without help - and it isn't just because they are in their late 80s.
Long ago and far away.
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#2 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 03:32 PM

I remember most of those things. :)
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#3 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:24 PM

Ah... the memories.

I wouldn't mind waking up in my bed tomorrow morning and finding that our modern day complicated technical-schmechnical baloney was gone from this world. People would once again really converse with their fellow humans. They'd read newspapers while having their coffee out on the porch. They'd go to a ball game and have a hotdog. They'd go dancing and romancing. They'd give an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. There would be less lawyers in the world, less career politicians, less TV commercials. The world would be a wonderful place again.

What a dreamer I am, huh? :th_0140:

There are no "good ol' days." There's only TODAY! Enjoy it as best you can cuz after today, it's gone. :tongue:

#4 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 12:38 PM

I started punching cards to input Fortran programs for my engineer boss and also to load data to run structural calculations for large construction projects on an IBM 1130 system. We also used a line-by-line specification editing system that ran on that hardware to produce specs for each new project. In 1970 that all seemed wonderful.
https://www-03.ibm.c...1130_intro.html

Edited by ebrke, 13 May 2017 - 12:39 PM.

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#5 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 11:32 AM

You had push button phones :o that long ago. Only posh folk had push button phones way back then over here.

As for living with out all this modern communication tech. I'm with Eric I could can the lot and be happy. :breakfast:

For instance back in the 1960's/70's/80's in York I could ring up my doctors and ask for a repeat prescription in the morning, I could pick up the prescription in the afternoon and have it filled at the chemist the same afternoon.

Now in 2017 I can go to the chemist which is fifty yards away from the doctors surgery and ask for a repeat prescription. I have to wait four days fro them to get the doctors to authorise it and then I  can call back at the chemists and pick up the prescription.
Or I can got to the doctors and wait in line and obtain a prescription and take it the fifty yards to the chemists and give it to them. Wait for two days and then go back to the chemists to pick it up.

What a great improvement all this tech stuff has made.

:thudna5:

Edited by abarbarian, 15 May 2017 - 11:44 AM.

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#6 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:13 AM

I for one would not want to go back. I remember our first family visit to London in 1995. We wanted to attend a West End Show or two and to find out what was on we had to go to a local newspaper kiosk and buy a week old copy of the Times to see the theater listings. it was the same next year. The following year I just went to :
https://www.londontheatre.co.uk/
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#7 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:21 AM

View Postebrke, on 13 May 2017 - 12:38 PM, said:

I started punching cards to input Fortran programs for my engineer boss and also to load data to run structural calculations for large construction projects on an IBM 1130 system. We also used a line-by-line specification editing system that ran on that hardware to produce specs for each new project. In 1970 that all seemed wonderful.
https://www-03.ibm.c...1130_intro.html
When I was in university I worked for the summer as an office boy for a construction company who had projects at a DuPont nylon factory. DuPont had an 1130 that they used for data processing. It looked pretty cool to me.
Later on I got to punch cards in Fortran IV and feed them to an IBM 7040. I'm not anxious to revisit those times either.
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#8 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:28 PM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 12 May 2017 - 07:24 PM, said:

I wouldn't mind waking up in my bed tomorrow morning and finding that our modern day complicated technical-schmechnical baloney was gone from this world.
Kind of :offtopic: but sometimes I feel the same way. I was just attempting to read what sounded like an interesting article on a website, but was greeted with a blank page. This happens regularly, so I started by allowing NoScript to run the basic script for the website. I didn't get the article text, but I did immediately get a popup asking me to like the website on Facebook. This happens more times than I can count and always ends with my deciding that the article isn't worth what enabling even more scripts will lead me to. I understand why sites want you to disable ad blockers and allow their myriad scripts to run, but with very few exceptions, I'm discovering that it turns me off so much that I'll just skip the content. It's part of the current environment that I know isn't going away, but that doesn't mean I'm going to like or accept it any time soon. *rant over*
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#9 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:53 PM

Quote

always ends with my deciding that the article isn't worth what enabling even more scripts will lead me to
I do this too.

If I'm lucky sometimes I find things repeated on a different site.

I refuse to do anything Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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#10 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:57 PM

I use PrivacyBadger and uBlock Origin and I rarely run into those issues but when I do, I do like Liz does and just search the title for a mirror.
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#11 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 07:29 PM

View Postebrke, on 17 May 2017 - 04:28 PM, said:

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 12 May 2017 - 07:24 PM, said:

I wouldn't mind waking up in my bed tomorrow morning and finding that our modern day complicated technical-schmechnical baloney was gone from this world.
Kind of :offtopic: but sometimes I feel the same way. I was just attempting to read what sounded like an interesting article on a website, but was greeted with a blank page. This happens regularly, so I started by allowing NoScript to run the basic script for the website. I didn't get the article text, but I did immediately get a popup asking me to like the website on Facebook. This happens more times than I can count and always ends with my deciding that the article isn't worth what enabling even more scripts will lead me to. I understand why sites want you to disable ad blockers and allow their myriad scripts to run, but with very few exceptions, I'm discovering that it turns me off so much that I'll just skip the content. It's part of the current environment that I know isn't going away, but that doesn't mean I'm going to like or accept it any time soon. *rant over*

I like your rant and can even relate. I actually quit running NoScript because it wasn't worth the aggravation that it was causing me.

View Postzlim, on 17 May 2017 - 04:53 PM, said:


I refuse to do anything Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Ah... a girl after my own heart!




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