Sunday, July 13, 2008

technology then

There was an interesting post from Chile about how people use the blogs and I thought about just how technology has affected the way I view things.

I am old enough to remember a time when there was no TV to say nothing about computers and the like. We listened to the radio in the early evening for a childrens programme and that was about it. My mother, being a very musical person, had a stereo system and a heap of classical music. She also got us a variety of stories on record. These were mostly fairy tales and Winnie the Pooh with the occasional cartoon recording. We wore those records out repeating them on
Saturday mornings. (My dad's favourite trick was to wake us up by playing a brass band record very loudly on Saturday morning.)

Then when I was about 5 one of the neighbours got a black and white TV. It was very fuzzy because we were so far from the translator but it was fascinating. We thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. I can still remember the programme. It was an early Gerry Anderson called Supercar.

It was about a year after that and I was 6 when we got our own TV. Now I knew what our recorded cartoons looked like. That was wierd to start with. My imagination was forced to change to fit in with what was on the screen. I never really liked those cartoons that we already had in recorded form. They just didn't fit. I've had an aversion to filmed versions of favourite books and recordings ever since.

However, the rest was magical and it was perhaps lucky that there were only a few programs per day and that we were sent to bed early or we wouldn't have done anything else. (transmission time was 4.30 in the afternoon until about 11 at night and only one channel)

I was nine when I first remember seeing a film. I believe I had seen one as an infant but these are the first I really recall. One was The Sound of Music which was one of the highlights of that holiday and the other was The Incredible Journey which scared me witless and gave me nightmares for a week much to the consternation of my Grandmother. I have never forgotten the wonder of the first film, but by the same token, I am unable to forget the second. It is too easy to forget just what an impact a film can have on an inexperienced child. (My sister had this problem too. She was 4 when she saw her first movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and she screamed so loud Dad had to take her out. He did manage to get her back for the end of it.)

The next thing was getting a day off school to watch the first landing on the moon. My grandfather made a recording of that on his tape machine. He also made a heap of family recordings some of which are now on cd and are hilarious. (especially the one where he taped my aunt and my mother doing a run through of a piano duet when he wasn't supposed to be taping yet!)

Colour TV didn't happen until I was beginning my teens. Now we take it for granted but it was really something at the time. That almost brings me up to the first pocket calculators but I'll save that for part two.


Claire said...

What a fascinating post. Thank you for sharing!


knutty knitter said...

you're welcome :) Just wanted to explain something of where I come from.

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