Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Remember When . . .

I’m not that old, but my little-bitty home town in Texas was quite behind-the-times when it came to new technology.

We didn’t have push-button phones when I grew up there. As a matter of fact, I can recall dialing only three numbers for a local call. (Ours was 191, my grandmother’s workplace was 175.) Soon, we had to dial five numbers which remained that way even up until I left for college.

Now, I can take pictures on my cell phone and send them.

A long distance call was a HUGE DEAL back then and they sure cost a lot, too. A long distance call was a pretty serious event. I remember my grandmother shooshing us:
“This is long distance!”

Oh my god!

I took typing in 1973 during my Freshman year of high school. We only had two electric typewriters in the class of 30 students on which we all got to take turns for two weeks during the year. The rest of the time, we used ancient, clunky manual typewriters. You had to strike the keys extra hard if you were making carbon copies. Try typing 70 wpm on one of those babies! These kids nowadays are wimps when it comes to typing. Carpal tunnel syndrome hadn’t even been invented yet.

Spell check? Ha!

One day, my algebra teacher brought one of the first pocket calculators to class for us to play with. He knew it was the wave of the future, so we weren’t required to become experts at extracting square and cube roots. I had some rudimentary skills at the slide rule.

I wonder if anyone knows how to extract a square root anymore. Do they even teach long division in school these days?

Slide rule???

I remember sending my first fax. It was in 1985, I think. Now, we don’t even use faxes at all. They’ve come and gone the way of the IBM Selectric. Documents are scanned, PDF’d and emailed.

Trees are saved.

I remember working at the bank over 20 years ago when EFTs first came out (Electronic Funds Transfer). We were told that someday, we wouldn’t be writing checks at all and we were all, “Yeah, right.”

Now, I have postage stamps in my desk drawer that have been there for over a year. I don’t write checks at all or mail anything.

Online banking rules.

About that time, the bank I worked for was really promoting the use of ATMs. We had one cranky old customer that swore he would never use one of those “tit-less tellers.”

Charming, huh?

I remember helping the ATM department with a backlog of customer applications. The customers could select their own PINs back then.

Do you know what the most-used PINs were?

For women, it was L-O-V-E.
For men, it was F-U-C-K.

That really gives some pretty clear insights on how men and women think.

I swear, I’m not making this up. We’d all be sitting there, entering in the applications and one of us would announce, “I got another ‘LOVE’ one here!” We’d all groan and stick our fingers down our throats.

All this reflection on how technology has advanced makes me sound older than I really am.
I’m not old

I’m just “chronologically gifted.”


At 12:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's cool that we grew up when we did so that we can have a bigger appreciation for all this stuff we have now.

I'm quite partial to the DVR and my MP3's.

At 12:45 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Mimeograph. Party line. Full service gas stations. Real toys in Crackerjack. Good times.

At 2:06 PM , Blogger Buck said...

JP: You're so right. And I can't go a day without my Tivo.

Lorraine: Party lines! Yeah! Auditory voyeurism was such fun.


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