Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When I was a kid...

The other night as I was ordering some highly processed, low nutrition fast food. I was looking at the LED order screen -- the one that helps ensure accuracy -- and remembering how McDonalds rolled these out probably 10 years ago, followed by every other major fast food restaurant. What was life like before we could see our fatty-sugary order pop up on a screen right before our eyes?

This quickly prompted a flood of other technologies that I have seen become commonplace, even in my lifetime.

When I was a kid...
1 - We could hardly hear our fast food order, let alone see it pop up on a screen.
2 - Most people didn't even have cell phones.
3 - Let alone phones with color screens.
4 - and cameras
5 - and downloadable polyphonic musical personalized musical ringtones
6- That could access the whole internet
7 - And tell us where we were

Note: (3-7 basically tells the story of the evolution of phones I've owned. Nowhere else is the progress of tech so evident, in my opinion)

8 - We were impressed that we could fit an hour of music on a 3" piece of plastic.
8.25 - Let alone a 2 hour movie. (DVD)
8.5 - In High Definition (BluRay)
8.75 - That we could rent from a vending machine (RedBox) at McDonalds.
9 - All flashlights sucked.
10 - As did all rechargeable batteries
11 - We had to use paper Maps
12 - Then GPS units -- that didn't talk
13 - To do email you had to dial into a bulletin board.
14 - And we were impressed with 56k modems -- speeds so fast the phone lines couldn't even handle it!
15 - You had to unlock (and start) your car with a key.
16 - Sometimes separate keys. (I had a key to unlock my mom's car, but not to start it).
17 - High security meant a GM PassLock 2 key. 11 different possible resistor combinations meant nobody could start your car but you! (To contrast, modern transponder keys have billions of code combinations, and the code changes each time you start the car)
18 - Minivans only had 1 sliding door
19 - Driver Airbag. Passenger Airbag. Side Airbag. Side Curtain Airbag. Need I say more?
20 - Compact Fluorescent light bulbs were a total novelty...and they stunk.
21 - All flashlights sucked too. White LEDs? What's that?

What else? Add technological revolutions you've seen in your lifetime to the list.


Megs said...

Computers. I remember while growing up people were amazed at how many computers we had in our house. When they didn't even own one. Plus laptops have come a long way too.

So did you intentionally put "all flashlights sucked" on there twice? :)

orangemily said...

I remember what a novelty it was to "chat" with someone on AOL (AIM), then cell phones became all the rage and now you can "chat" on them too!
When I was a kid we had to fold our jeans and roll them up to get the "skinny" jeans look, now they come that way (not that you'll ever see me wearing them).

Ryan said...

We didn't have self-checkout at stores. (I love self checkout! It's coming to fast food counters now too)