Alex at Stillettos and Sneakers has a list of things that have changed during her lifetime. For this post I’m stealing her list of items and writing my own comments:
The Remote Control
All that fancy technology just to avoid getting up and walking across the room? It seemed extravagent. Nice to have, but not worth the expense when I could just get up and press the buttons on the front panel. That worked until remotes got so cheap that television makers provided them with every television. Then they started saving space and money by leaving most of the buttons off the front panel. My Tivo box doesn’t even have a front panel, and I have two remotes so I don’t lose control if one of them fails.
The Death Of Disco
I ignored it all at the time, but now some of the music has that nostalgic feeling to it.
The Answering Machine
I used to hate to get them, because I didn’t have all my thoughts gathered in to a single paragraph for the message. Now, they seem completely normal. When someone calls me, I always let the machine get it if I don’t recognize the number.
Remember when if you were in your car and you wanted to make a call you had to find a pay phone and pull over? Wasn’t that weird?
The Home Computer
As a computer programmer, it seems like I should have bought one right away. I didn’t need to though, because I lived only two blocks from my office, and I had lots of powerful computers there which I could use whenever I wanted to. I didn’t need to buy one until I moved further away and wanted to play more video games.
I can remember when I first started hearing about this sexually transmitted disease that gay people were getting. It was 100% fatal, it wasn’t going to stay confined to a few well-defined groups, and it had a long incubation period which meant an infected person could spread it for years before they knew they were infected. This was very, very bad. Still, at a time when only a few thousand people had it, the World Health Organization’s predictions that millions would die seemed unreal.
The CD (The Death Of The Album)
Great idea. Loved it from day one and never looked back.
I first saw this when one of the girls in high school got it at her house. A bunch of us hung out in her living room one evening watching the new channels. It seemed like a good idea. As it happens, I am literally 10 feet from that living room. I’ve been married to that girl for 15 years. We have a lot more cable channels now.
The Death Of Lucille Ball
Just wasn’t a fan.
The Debit Card
Remember when you used to have to visit the bank to do your banking? Then they put these machines outside so you could get money after the bank closed. That was cool. Then a lot of banks got them and you could get your money from the machines at other banks, and later from the service counters at grocery stores. When ATM owners started charging for using ATMs, a lot of people were upset with what they saw as greediness. I knew enough economics, however, to be thrilled: If you could make money by installing an ATM, people would put them everywhere!
I’ve written a lot about this already.
The Death Of The Variety Show
Didn’t really notice they were gone until now.
Johnny Carson Retiring
It was kind of amazing that he was leaving, but really I hadn’t seen his show in years.
Yet another way to store digital music. I don’t need it to play music, I just need the storage. I’ll probably get one when I can plug it into my car radio and control it through the dashboard.