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Time passes, things change.

I have been think­ing a lit­tle about be­ing rel­a­tive­ly old in IT/In­ter­net/­dog-year terms, and some things have changed. A lot.

When I was a kid (say, 8 years old?) there were on­ly two TV chan­nels where I lived. And I lived in a rather lar­gish city (350K peo­ple). In fac­t, it was more like 1.5 chan­nel­s, since one on­ly worked from 6PM to mid­night.

Now, I could have 300 chan­nel­s, if I had any time free to watch TV.

Of course, it was black and white TV, col­or TV was still 2 years in the fu­ture. Hel­l, our TV still had vac­u­um tubes. Now I can watch DVDs with Dol­by 5.1 sound. I on­ly saw my first _movie_ with Dol­by sound when I was 14.

At that time (although I had not heard of those things yet), the uni­ver­si­ty where I would lat­er study and work was buy­ing a com­put­er. That mod­ern mar­vel had 64KB of main mem­o­ry, and sup­port­ed up to three si­mul­ta­ne­ous users on tele­types (yes, tele­type­s), but at the time they on­ly had punch­card­s. My phone has more com­put­ing pow­er than that.

Even­tu­al­ly, I used that very same com­put­er to learn For­tran II­I+ us­ing a line ed­i­tor and a line print­er, al­though it on­ly had one tele­type, since it had been up­grad­ed to glass ttys (wyse60s, IIR­C). I still have some glass ttys at home (re­al wyse60s, nice toys).

Phone lines were so hard to get that a house with phone cost­ed rough­ly 50% ex­tra. To make a phone call to a town 60KM away, the pro­ce­dure in­clud­ed call­ing an op­er­a­tor, and wait­ing two or three hours for the op­er­a­tor to call back.

Now, peo­ple get mad at me be­cause I am not in MSN mes­sen­ger all the time, and I have lost 5 phones in two years, but it's on­ly a mi­nor an­noy­ance. In those days, the idea of los­ing a phone was about as bizarre as los­ing a doorstep.

Bills (pow­er, phone, wa­ter, etc.) had to be paid on spe­cif­ic banks, on spe­cif­ic dates, and usu­al­ly there were lines of a block or two on the last avail­able date. Now I have them au­to­mat­i­cal­ly paid from my bank ac­coun­t, and I get in­formed via email to au­tho­rize it.

Since I was 5 years old, I took a bus (not a school bus, a plain city bus) to school ev­ery morn­ing and noone found that too weird. Now I am the on­ly per­son I know who takes ran­dom cab­s, be­cause it's safer to call one by phone.

Ev­ery coun­try in ev­ery di­rec­tion, in­clud­ing my own, was un­der a re­pres­sive and crim­i­nal mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship, and half the world was com­mu­nist.

But... the last time a man had gone to the moon was with Apol­lo, the coolest-look­ing and fastest plane in the world was the SR-71, Ema Peel looked great in The Avenger­s, sum­mer was hot, girls on bathing suits made the heat bear­able, girls make any­thing bear­able, any­way, so _some_ things nev­er change.

I had just fin­ished read­ing The Count of Mon­te­cristo, and I thought it was a great book, and it still is, al­though I ap­pre­ci­ate all the sex and drug abuse of the book more now!

I was a chub­by kid, I am a chub­by adult. I was a skin­ny teenager, though, but that did­n't last ;-)

So, just be­cause I can now buy a re­al laser beam for the cost of a ham­burg­er (which was a nov­el­ty food when I was a kid), while it was be­fore the stuff Bond vil­lians with lots of mon­ey played with, are things re­al­ly dif­fer­en­t... well, yeah! ;-)

mg / 2006-04-03 05:21:

we still use wyse60s

Roberto Alsina / 2006-04-03 05:22:

Want some? I have 12 at home ;-)

phone number lookup / 2011-12-03 22:41:

this is really interesting viewpoint on the subject i might add

employment background check / 2011-12-27 23:33:

Well, the write-up is truly the freshest on this laudable topic. 

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