Tuesday, 31 December 2013

In Our Day...


Another year gone! When I look at young people, I do feel old sometimes.

A colleague at work is trying to get rid of some old books. One such is about "The Internet", written in 1996.

Some of the things in there, boggle the mind of people who have not lived in that day and age.

Here're some thoughts on "When I was young...", "Back in our day...", things that you young whippersnappers have no clue about.

Let me know if you have more.

The Telephone

Back in our day, if we wanted to receive telephone calls, we had to stay at home! Because that's where the phone was. You couldn't take it with you, as it was attached to a telephonecord. That's right, your conversation went over a wire. And that is all the phone could do, make phone calls and receive phone calls, nothing else. You couldn't even send short text messages with it! As a matter of fact, you had to remember somebodies phonenumber or have it written down somewhere! The telephone was split into two parts, the part you could listen and talk to, and which was connected to the second part that you used to dial numbers. It had this circle with holes in it near the rim. Every hole was a number. If you wanted to dial a telephone number, you'd put your finger in the correct (first) hole, and turn this circle round until you couldn't anymore. Then you let go. The circle would turn back, and you could repeat this with the next number.

Ofcourse, we did have something called a "phonebooth", small compartments of glass and metal, that were put out in the street. Just big enough for one man to stand in, and it had a phone, that you could put quarters (money) in so you could call someone.

Some rich folk had a "car"phone (a mobile phone), which basically was shaped like a brick, with the same weight, and attached to a freakin' suitcase to carry the batteries and assorted technical crap around in.

Back in our day...

Back in our day, when you were lost, you were basically screwed. You could either ask some stranger or read the signs. If neither were here, and you were in the middle of ff-ing nowhere, you were simply out of luck. We got lost a lot, but, if it is any consolation, we always found the way again. Sometimes you'd bring a map along if you'd never been to the place before. It's kind of like a navigation system, only it's printed on paper, doesn't talk, is non-interactive, and doesn't automatically tell you where you are.

Back in our day, when we went to the supermarket, we'd have to pay for our groceries with cold, hard cash! At that time we had our own Dutch money, the Guilder (Gulden). None of this Euro stuff.

Back in our day, if we wanted to use the Internet, we'd use the telephonecord with a device called a modem. It would translate internet by making beeping sounds and sending that over the phoneline, to another computer that was listening to the beeping sounds to understand what you wanted.

Back in our day, we could write something called a letter on paper by hand, put it in an envelope, seal it and put a postage stamp on the envelope. We'd bring that letter to a post office and they had mailmen that would deliver these letters. It took at least two/three days for a letter to arrive. That was called mail.

Back in our day, if we wanted something calculated, we'd have to get a pen and paper and do it ourselves. Sure, shopkeepers had big bulky cash registers, but these were impractical for home use. My mom always told the story, that when she had her first calculator, she'd use it, and then, recalculate everything by hand, just to make sure.

Back in our day, when we wanted to change the channel on the television, we'd have to get up, off the couch, walk to television set, press the button on the television set for the other channel, and then walk back and sit down again.

Back in our day, when I went on vacation with my parents, my mom carried a special wallet with her. It had four (color-coded!) compartments that contained money of the different European countries we would be passing through/staying in. She'd order this money before the vacation at the local bank/exchange. If you were abroad, and were in need of money, you could use something called Travellers Cheques, basically a piece of paper you took to a foreign bank and you scribbled on it how much you wanted.

Back in our day, our car didn't have seatbelts, nor airbags or deformable zones. The two people in front got seatbelts, and that was it.

Back in our day, if you showed us a cassette tape and a pencil, we knew exactly what to do. Kids nowadays would have a big question mark on their face.

Back in our day, we could hear when the batteries of our cassette tape player, called a "Walkman", were running low.

Back in our day, we could record "software" from a radio station onto cassette tape and load it up onto our computer. Because we didn't have Internet.

Back in our day, if we wanted to see the pictures we took with our cameras, we'd have to bring something called "a negative" to a "photo development shop" and he'd have the pictures ready "on paper" the next week. And if some of the pictures were crap, that's too bad, because we had to pay for those too!


For All Those Born in the 70's and 80's!

We are the last generation that learned to play in the street, we are the first who've played video games, see cartoons in color and went to amusement parks. We were the last to record songs of the radio on cassettes and we are the pioneers of walk-mans and chat-rooms... We learned how to program the VCR before anyone else, play with the Atari, Super... Nintendo and believed that the Internet would be a free world all on a 56kbit modem. Traveled in cars without seat belts or air-bags & lived without cell phones. Rode our bicycles down the road without brakes. We never had phones but still kept in touch. We did not have Play stations, 99 television stations, flat screens, surround sound, mp3s IPods computers and broadband...

but nevertheless we had a GREAT Time

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