I have been hearing several songs on the radio, mostly country, that talk about the way things have changed in the world in the singers lifetime and that got me thinking all of the changes that have happened in my short lifetime. Computers have come a long way, they now have color screens. I remember having a green screen computer or my dad's laptop for work which had a purple screen. The computers had like 256Kb or if you were really advanced 512Kb and now you can get memory sticks that you can fit in your pocket that have that much memory if not much much more and they are like $20. The printers were dot matrix printers and they took forever. I even kind of remember mimeograph paper for handouts in school. The internet was just a government tool and most of us had never heard of it. In sixth grade I remember a friend of mine talking about how he could get on these things called bulletin boards and talk to people across the nation. He had a 56k modem and that was really advanced, most people only had a 28k or 36.6k (i think i am remembering the speeds correctly). They talked about how a 56K modem was not really practical as you could never get to that speed anyway on the telephone lines, but people wanted them because they sounded faster. I am sitting here using my Mac and really up untill recently Macs or Apples seemed to only really be in the schools, I can remeber using one in my school, but it wasn't always good because we also had PC in school and you couldn't save stuff on one and then use the other. I have Microsoft Office and can use it on both computers, my Mac and my PC.
Cellphones were not even really cell phones they were called mobile phones. My dad had one becuase he was an insurance salesman at the time (same reason he had a laptop) and it was this phone in a big case that you had to plug into the cigarette lighter for power. It is amazing to see phones that are smaller than our hands now with better capacity than those old phones. We also had phones that had to be plugged into the wall, it was a big deal when we got a cordless phone and the range sucked on it, but still there was no cord.
Microwave ovens were a big deal. My mom didn't understand why my father bought her one, she figured she would never use it and now I am not sure she uses the conventional oven that much, it is just easier to nuke most anything. When we got cable that was a big deal, I know some of you are saying I remeber black and white TVs, well I don't and so cable is a big deal for me. We had one of those set top boxes that were brown and had th buttons on the top that you had to press down. There was no remote, you still ahd to get up to change channels, but now we had HBO. I also remember when MTV showed music and it was a lot of different music. There was the pop rock stuff that was on a lot, but if you wanted heavy metal there was the Headbangers Ball late at night or if you wanted rap there was Yo, MTV raps! I also rember the first few seasons of the Real World, the father of all reality TV, where this was still a novelty and people were actually surprised that it was on TV. Nintendo was brand new and was a big deal. I didn't have it as my parents didn't feel it was necessary, but I had fiends who did and it was awesome when I got to play on their Nintendo. It was great when Mario Brothers or Duck Hunt were considered great graphics. I even rembemer the brief period of laser discs and how they were considered the future of movie watching. I had records although not too many, but I owned a lot of tapes. It was a big deal for me when I was able to get a mucis system with two tapes players and CD player on it with my Bar Mitzvah money, it cost like $500. Now you can get a smaller system for like $50, mine was actaully pretty big. I also remeber making mix tapes where you had to time it just right and make sure the silences weren't too long between putting one tape in to play and the other to record. I am not sure you can even buy music on tapes anymore, I think you have to buy CDs.
I will be curious to see what the next ten years bring in term of technology let alone the rest of my life.