An Alphabet Of My Life: T


It is impossible to fully describe the impact of technology since I was born. I was initially brought up using an outside toilet, and a tin bath filled on Friday nights. The television had one channel, if you were lucky enough that it was working properly. There was the wireless, (radio) and records played on a ‘gramaphone’.

Cars were unreliable, and constantly broke down. Heating was a coal fire, and nobody had heard of deodorant.

By the time I was 12, there was gas-fired heating, and the first cassette recorder. Cars began to work properly, and we had three channels on the TV, which was also (amazingly) available in colour by the time I was 17. Ballpoint pens had replaced bottles of ink, labour-saving devices had replaced hand-washing and preparing food, and there was a new thing called a ‘Freezer’, which froze food for later use.

I was living in the ‘Golden Age’, undoubtedly!

Things just kept getting better. When I was 18, I had a cassette player in my car, later changed to an 8-Track. Transistor radios had replaced the old wireless sets, and the TV actually worked without being constantly adjusted. Cheap jet travel had made foreign holidays possible for almost anyone, and people who had never left Britain were holidaying in exotic-sounding places like Benidorm, and Lloret Del Mar.

By the time I was married at 25 in 1977, there were VHS video recorders. A complete marvel at the time. Watch a propgramme while you taped something on the other side. It was like a magic trick!

It didn’t end there. I received a plastic card to allow me to spend money on credit without having to carry any cash around, and in 1999, I bought my first mobile phone. I could make a call from anywhere, at anytime. No need to queue outside a phone box ever again, as long as I had enough balance left on the SIM card. By 2002, I had a laptop. It was like something from a spaceship to me, and I had to spend all day at a friend’s house so he could show me how to use it.

But I still only had ‘dial-up’ Internet, and it took 15 minutes to download a photo sent to me on an email. That didn’t matter, because to me it was like a miracle unfolding in front of my eyes.

Just 20 years ago. Hard to believe now, isn’t it?

In the meantime we got CD, DVD, Broadband, Fibre Optics, Social Media, Streaming, Internet TV with 200 stations, Netflix, even more reliable cars, and we could travel the world for a fraction of what that cost previously.

Technology is an ever-developing monster of our own creation. It can do good. But it can also do bad, as we know.

41 thoughts on “An Alphabet Of My Life: T

  1. I agree, technology can be both friend and foe. I remember when we purchased our first computer and the whole family used that same one and slowly as the kids headed out to college they got their own computers and now we can’t imagine living without these devices. And don’t get me started on phone technology. My kids used to know exactly how far the phone cord could reach and if I was talking too long they would do some dastardly deed just outside of my reach and I could have to end the call to deal with them. We all have our own technology stories, loved this post. Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done, Pete! You have spanned technology from outdoor toilets to computers and beyond. I think my grandparents saw the largest growth, from covered wagons and horses to watching a man walk on the moon. It’s mind boggling.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Everything now is run by something which is great when it works not so when it doesn’t…all this scanning to pay for things is great but what happens when it goes down and we have no cash…that’s when it’s not! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If the Internet collapses completely one day, modern life in the developed countries would be more or less impossible to continue in the same way. That’s a worry now, and even more so for the future generations.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Technology has absolutely exploded. I can recall when the Internet became accessible, and look how much has transpired since. That being said, not all of it has been for the best, and sometimes I wonder if we’ve gotten a bit over our skis and created more than we bargained for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amazon has one for £20. 🙂
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      Problem solved, Ed!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. And now we have people walking the streets with white plastic wax coming out their ears & they don’t look at each other cos that might cause a stabbing & they cross roads without looking for cars & they stay up all night & sleep in the day & buy takeaways cos they haven’t time to cook – but don’t worry, there will be an invention for automatic exercise, obesity, deafness & I’ve forgotten that other one. Pete take me back to your youth at time..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. (1) I’ve heard that the people in Bristol take a bath, and that the people in Bath bristle at the idea.
    (2) “Technology is an ever-developing monster of our own creation. It can do good. But it can also do bad, as we know.” Yes, I’ve seen what technology did to Boris Karloff in “Frankenstein.” In fact, I just watched the film last night!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sometimes seems to me to be getting out of control, mainly because life is so heavily-dependent on the Internet. If that goes down for good one day, there will be a real catastrophe.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I was born in 1948 so have seen all the same changes. Once computers came alive everything took off in so many directions, one couldn’t keep up. I was always adaptable but sometimes it seems things change just for the sake of change and I get frustrated with having to figure things out that used to be so simple. It never ceases to amaze me that I can ask my computer to find some obscure piece of music and within less than a minute, it is playing. My dad would have really enjoyed that! So do I.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Change for the sake of change is called ‘Planned Obsolescence’ by manufacturers. I remember how well Windows XP worked for me. Simple to understand, uncomplicated in use, a real delight for someone like me with little technical knowledge. But if Microsoft had not got rid of it, I would never have needed to buy a new computer.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t remember any outside toilets, but I do remember my grandmother had a bath that was underneath the kitchen table – you lifted the hinged table up and there it was. No bathroom – you had a bath while someone else was cooking the dinner, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Technology has done wonders for my writing career. Since I started composing on the computer about twenty years ago, I have been able to produce publishable work much quicker than hand-written and type-written drafts. Texting and Zoom enable my husband and me to stay in day-to-day contact and share our lives with our daughter and son-in-law in California.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I think our generation has arguably lived through the most rapid technological revolution in history, but the pace of change doesn’t seem to be slowing—what the world of technology will be like for my granddaughter, I can’t begin to imagine. As it happens, most futuristic predictions often turn out to be wrong! Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

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