You told me to right click…so I wrote click. The hi-tech world of technology makes me feel ancient, so it’s time for a trip down memory lane.
With two talkative (Chatty Cathy) kids, Dad got us a bitchin’ rotary wall phone with a 20-foot spiral cord. To untangle that puppy you let the receiver dangle, then spun it like crazy. It never ran out of juice, got lost, and no lining up for a new model.
Pay phones were germ pits, white pages required alphabet skills, exact change was a crap shoot. Yuppies conversed with bricks on their ears, and flip phones were secret agent cool.
Back in the day, we memorized our friends numbers. Today, without contacts, I have no idea how to call my kids.
Our first TV was black and white with rabbit ears. We were the remote. It had to be placed exactly to hold reception. With only two channels, Hockey Night in Canada and Tommy Hunter kicked off a swinging Saturday night.
The first TV I bought was a 26-inch screen in a humongous console. Trips to VHS Village (formerly Beta Barn), was a Friday night delight. Today, universal remotes can only be operated by members of Mensa.
AM radio and road trips were a bad combination. Road queens need cassette decks, but finding that special song was a workout. Fast forward/too far/rewind/too much. Eject was like ringing a dinner bell, inevitably gobbling up the tape. Pencils came to our rescue.
The next generation doesn’t know what a matchbook cover looks like, let alone it’s value to an 8-track tape. And let’s not forget about space, the vinyl frontier. Hey little 45, whadda you say you and I go back to my turntable and get it on.
My work printer had tractor-fed paper with perforated edges, which had to be manually torn off. The Xerox copied hundred-page documents one page at a time. I called it Bob Marley because it was always jammin’.
Cryptic DOS script on 64K RAM computers. Flaccid floppy discs. Thermal fax paper that curled into ringlets, then the print disappeared. The trouble with technology today is only geek squads, and the occasional toddler, can troubleshoot this shit.
Learning new technology is hard enough yourself, but it’s agonizing teaching it to someone else. I recognize that holy fuck look when the kids troubleshoot my lost document from cyberspace. Their eyes say byte me!
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