Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Things from My Lifetime That Already Seem Quaint

My daughter will know without me telling her that I grew up in a time before cellphones and personal computers. But it is the dozens of small, day-to-day things that people of the next generation find quaint. Here are ten off the top of my head:

1. Rotary Telephones - Someone recently told me a story about giving a rotary phone to a modern teenager, who was unable to figure out how to use it.

2. Pong, Space Invaders, Asteroids

3. Area codes covering an entire state or large metropolis.
3a. And the area codes always had a "1" or "0" in the middle.
3b. And "800" was the only toll-free prefix.
3c. And "900" and "976" prefixes didn't exist.

4. Getting up to turn the channels, and the TV only having only the Big 3 networks, PBS and 2 UHF stations.

5. Everyone actually HAD to use the Yellow Pages to get information

6. Most adults and all children didn't know how to type

7. You knew the minute you picked up a phone that the call was coming from overseas because it had horrible echoes and lots of static

8. Phones were hard-wired into the wall since there was no socket or plug for them. (This was because the phones were rented from Ma Bell and you couldn't go out and buy a phone anyway).

9. The largest retailers were Sears and Montgomery Wards. Walmart was a back water department store in some other part of the country.

10. Amazon was a jungle in South America, Ebay was piglatin for "be" and Google was a very large number.

Any others from you thirty to forty-somethings out there?

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