This post is part of a weekly series of 'link-up' Posts which reflect on life's journey, old memories and family stories (see below for more info).
When I was growing up, I can remember that my Aunt had an awe-inspiring piece of tech equipment in her house. A 'stereo' in a sideboard. Nice, eh? I thought it was a. mazing. But there was a dawn of a new era just around the corner for music. In the early 80s we packed away our record-player-in-a-suitcase and went on a family shopping trip. We were suddenly the proud and very modern owners of a 'stacking' stereo system. This little beauty would not only play our 7 and 12 inch vinyl treasures, but also had two (count them, TWO) cassette tape decks, so that we could record from one to the other. This required deft fingers and multiple attempts in order to remove the 'clicking' sounds as you pressed the 'play' and 'record' buttons down at the same time.
As for the telephone technology of this period, this was a purely static device with a large and rather cumbersome round 'dial' which would click a lot when you poked your finger in its holes and turned it. The curly wire (yes, there were once wires) was designed to entangle itself within itself, in a inextricable puzzle-like fashion. Older brothers, in my experience, would just leave it there, in a yoga-like knot, unuseable. It was always worth setting out to make a call a couple of minutes early in order to free the handset from this viper-like coil, and begin the long, slow process of dialling (especially if it was a long number).
In the early 80s, however, a new kind of 'cool' came to town in the form of the 'Brick'. Not really handbag material, and we used to laugh at the businessman who carried around a briefcase with a battery in it. That'll never catch on.
But the telephone paled into insignificance in terms of importance compared with the TV set. I can remember the day when our Rumbelow's rented TV was upgraded to a new set. It still had the same three crappy channels with very little content on any of them, but a new gadget was now in our possession. The introduction of a hand-held remote control brought a whole new kind of lazy into our lives. We now no longer had to actually get up to flick from BBC to ITV. Unbelievable. Here beginneth the downfall of the human race.
As if that wasn't enough, the world changed for good when some Dweeb at Sony brought us the 'Betamax' system. Now we could actually go and eat our tea in the dining room (snore) and still not miss Blue Peter! Things couldn't get any better than this, surely, we sighed....
But it seems our astonishment was not yet complete. This small box of talking images which sat in the corner of the Anaglypta-clad lounge would soon be playing host to the one and only Atari 2000. Video games cometh. Granted, my brother and I had to curb our enthusiasm during the necessary hour-long warm-up period, as wires were disentangled, plugged in, plugged out and back in again, and the long-awaited picture began to crystallise on screen.
But when it did, BOY did we PONG!!!
Please tell me you remember all this old paraphernalia!! If you were a child of the 60s, 70s, 80s or beyond, we'd love to hear about the technologies of your youth, so share your memories with us here.
Next week I am going tartan! Rollermania will be back in town as we cut a rug with the Bay City Roller boys and say 'Bye Bye Baby'. Post your memories of the band and join in next week!
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