Saturday, October 10, 2009


One of the strangest things in my lifetime, to me, is the rapid, almost exponential growth of technology. The amount of ground covered in the last quarter century plus is astounding, and truly, the thing of novels. Sci-fi writers of years gone by dreamed of these things, yet, I believe they too would be shocked at just how quickly things have snowballed.

I recall, as a child, sitting and listening to records with my dad, and also, him shouting at me if I walked/ran too heavily about and made them skip. (Mind you, I think he was a bit nuts expecting a kid not too make a record skip, but, whatever) Then came tapes; ones that we listened to so many times on our cross-country trips, that they wore out. The Highwaymen, The Final Countdown, Dirty Dancing Soundtrack, Thriller, Bad, etc. Then CDs came along and the massive boom they created with record sales at all time highs. Now, 15 years or so after my first CD, I don't even know anyone who buys CDs anymore, most people make their own. A long way from making mix tapes by listening to the radio all day long waiting for the DJ to announce your favorite song. A mean, really, a DJ? Local radio? Pshaw.

Or how about communications? One of my many fond childhood memories is riding up front with my dad on trips while my mom sat in back with my sister. Why? Well, I got to play on the CB. Just like the Duke Boys and The Bandit. What could be cooler? I'll tell you what, a phone, that was only the size of a child's shoe box, that you could take anywhere with you and make calls to anywhere. You're kidding you say. NO, I am not; only the size of a child's shoe box. Now, my iPhone has all the info I'll ever need in the pam of my hand. Just crazy.

Nearly two-thirds of my life ago, (For those counting, that is only twenty years give or take, but the other way of putting it makes me sound like a wise old sage.) when my family was living in Germany, we would have to set times to be at the house, and make sure the family 6 hours behind us in time (back in time??) was also at their house once a week to have a chit chat. Why did we have to be around, you might wonder. Well, who had answering machines? Not us non-rich people, that's for sure. Now, I am able to look at my family and friends (at least those of you who have been paying attention and gotten Skype, ahem) while I talk to them...for free! Its amazing.

And computers? I remember getting our first computer when we lived in KY in 1985-86. It was the coolest, I could play wonderful, pixellated games that made no sense whatsoever, and it all ran from a cool thing called DOS. Or when we moved to San Antonio and got to connect to the World Wide Web and AOL. I chat and make friends with anyone from anywhere, all after using our phone line to screech and pop onto the web. Cool, huh? Well, just yesterday I finally got all the UK components and was able to link my Xbox and computer and DVD and receiver up again.

Or how about cameras? Or Cars? Or TVs? Or TV channels? Ok, some of you older folks may just appreciate the color on TV, but good for you too. And the list goes on and on. What will we be talking about 10 years from now?

Anyway, that about does it, gonna save this, then go and play games on my Coleco Vision. Just kidding.


Kelli said...

Shouldn't have gotten rid of Coleco Vision...those go for a pretty penny now. :(

mbutler said...

Amazing times indeed, Son. I remember all that...and more! But then, according to our sister when she was little, "Gee, Dad, you're almost dead!"