Flashback Friday: Technology

My family was a curious blend of old and new.

I’ve written before about how our family didn’t really watch television when I was growing up–and only sporadically owned a TV, which was kept in a closet. We didn’t have TV, didn’t watch movies, didn’t play video games.

But we were by no means Luddites. In fact, my family was an early adopter of a few of the (now) most ubiquitous technologies.

Flashback Friday buttonToday Linda asks… What new inventions or technology came out when you were growing up that you remember being amazed at? Were your parents “early adopters”–did they get the “latest and greatest” pretty quickly or did they stick with the “tried and true”? What are some things that you remember being a big deal when your family got them?

My dad is a “techno-nerd”, has always been. His degrees are in physics math (my brother corrects my faulty memory) and computer science, and he’s worked in computers since graduating from college.

We had a computer, probably one of dad’s work computers, sitting at a desk in our basement, and I remember one time, when I was five or six (1990 or so), having Dad show us this neat little thing he was doing on his computer.

All I saw was bright green text scrolling across the screen–but Dad explained to me that this was the INTERNET. He was connecting to other computers, far away, sharing information with them and receiving information from them.

I didn’t know the significance of the internet at that time, could not have comprehended how much the internet would shape my life.

At that point, the World Wide Web, the application that would make the internet mainstream, was in beta stage.

The internet would not enter the vernacular until five years later, when free America Online CD-Roms started showing up in supermarket checkouts and elementary schools were routinely teaching “computer skills” rather than just typing.

We led the pack.

Another bit of technology we had before all the rest was Compact Discs. I’ve also written about this before.

Compact Discs were, from their inception, shortened down to “CDs”–but when we first started using “CDs”, the term more commonly referred to Certificates of Deposit.

I remember being quite young and asking a babysitter from down the street if we could listen to a CD.

She was rather confused.

“Don’t you know what a CD is? Don’t you have CDs?” I asked her.

“Yes, I have CDs at the bank, but…” (She was a smart teenager who invested wisely–I wish I’d have followed her example!)

Yep, that’s right. Compact Discs were as normal as breathing to me, but the rest of the world hadn’t a clue.

Oh, how times have changed!

Read more at Mocha with Linda’s Flashback Friday Meme

8 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Technology”

    • Gracias hermano. Here I thought he’d switched from chem to physics–but really it was chem to MATH? Ah, well, should have known from his excitement about that class on imaginary numbers.

  1. I love your playful writing here about the CDs. I envy your dad. Can he program animated video? I would like to learn animation.

    Computer technology grew fast, didn’t it! I’ve worked with computers since 1958 in the Army. They were analog back then.

  2. Good to hear a younger perspective.
    I watched the computer age progress through the eyes of my hubby, who much like your father, started out way back and has continued as a computer systems engineer.
    And, of course, we have an accumulation of obsolete equipment around. Arghhhh…

  3. I went to a home visit with one of the children that I am student teaching last night. I had a bit of a shock at the technology that the next generation is growing up with! She said she had “video taped” her dolly doing something or other and wanted to “show” it to me. I assumed that she would point to the t.v. right across the room and pretend to watch something that had been video taped with a camcorder. Instead, she pulled out her play cell phone, flipped it open and shoved it in my face saying, “Look!!” It amazed me that she would jump to that instead of a camcorder!Crazy…

  4. I can imagine what his computer looked like back then. I remember my first one and it was nothing to brag about. I remember mine had a 526mb hard drive! And ya I thought that was HUGE! ROTFL.


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