The Good Old Days!

My daughter recently complained that ‘she was bored!’… So, despite having an iPad, iPhone, Music on demand, wifi on 24×7 at home, Satellite TV, games console she still cant keep herself amused!

This got me to thinking how today’s generation would cope with the world I grew up in in the 60’s and 70’s. TV was a novelty – mostly black and white(in fact I well remember marvelling at the first transatlantic broadcast via Telstar). The space race was captivating. The moon landing was awesome and of course England won the World Cup! Transistor radio’s were cool. No FM radio, very limited choice of stations on Medium Wave. Central heating – well we did have a coal fire and one radiator fed straight from a backboiler heated by the fire(it was common in winter to have ice on the inside of the windows). Then we had the delights of the miners strike in the early 70’s – well do I remember the blackouts by area to save power – thank goodness for coal fires and candles! I had just started to drive and was distraught when the price of a gallon of petrol went up to 25p! The car would have to go.I think we were still recovering from the effects of the second world war, but then their WAS the Asian adventure that was the Vietnam war.

To get back to where I started this – the only things I had that occupied me as a child were Friends, a love of Music(I saved up the money from my paper round and bought myself a home hi-fi/radio) which I had for many years, and a lifelong love of reading(the new generation of ebook readers are fantastic). I seldom got bored.. I could always find something to keep me occupied, I am sure I was bored at times – but it was down to me to resolve. I have a feeling that the current generation would struggle.

But then we are all shaped by the environment in our formative years.



You know you have been working with Computers a LONG TIME when….

  • I caught myself explaining some of the intricacies of managing computers ‘back in the day’, in particular, the joys of managing large decks of punched-cards and paper-tape and what happened when the card-reader either ATE a card or snapped a tape! The look on the face of the student I was talking to was a sight to behold, then it made me realise how much we now take for granted where computing is concerned.
  • You find yourself extolling the virtues of COBOL program overlays
  • You was lyrical about the joys of machine code programming (anyone remember PLAN?) and how cool it was to build instructions on the fly by twiddling bits!
  • You mention any of ASCII, EBCDIC, BCD, OCTAL or HEX and watch people’s eyes glaze over.

Don’t even get me started on Magnetic Drums and Drum Plotters. Happy Days!


I cant believe its December!

I went into my local town today to find the xmas shopping frenzy in full flight. It Can’t be xmas. It doesnt seem like that long since I was away on my very relaxing holiday in Lanzarote. But I guess given the fact that we have had 2 heavy frosts, plus flooding last month it MUST be winter. Yeh well the dark mornings and evenings are a bit of a give-away. So, what to give this year? My family are getting all growed up and all of them have said ‘Dad – just gimme the money’. Now in one way this is the easy way out.. BUT.. I can do this at any time of year and xmas is supposed to be ‘special’ isnt it(for lots of reasons). So maybe I will persevere and actually buy them presents which hopefully they will like – its the thought that counts – isn’t?

Good to see common-sense prevailed in the case of jailed SAS soldier Danny Nightingale – details here