So That's Where I Get It From

February 25, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Week #8 – Technology

Week #8 – Technology

This is the challenge we should write about this week:

Week 8: Technology.  What are some of the technological advances that happened during your childhood? What types of technology do you enjoy using today, and which do you avoid?

 I’m leaving this very late to do, just had a busy week, but hopefully it will be ready just in time to be included for this week’s challenge results.

 I suppose the first technological thing I can remember as a child was a television.  My parents bought it so that they could watch the Queen’s Coronation.  (My memory does not serve me well but I suppose this was about 1952 or thereabouts and I was about three or so years old).  I remember the TV was a big box like thing with a tiny little screen.  And I do remember watching all the events unfold and I also remember that I just loved the carriages and horses.

 For someone who is really not at all technically-minded this is a difficult item to write about as I maybe didn’t notice other technological advances as time went on.  I remember what a great thing it was that men went into space for the first time – now there’s technological advancement!!  Yuri Gagarin was a Russian cosmonaut and was the first man ever in space.   (Ooooh gosh, this is making me think back to things I haven’t thought about for so long)!!   I remember when Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon and I bought a keyring with his photograph and the moon and the date on it, as a reminder because I thought this was so wonderful at the time.

 When I left school I worked as a secretary for a few years and had wonderful typewriters to type with, so modern at that time.   As jobs changed and time advanced it was thrilling to type with an electric typewriter.  What joy, no more flinging the carriage back at the end of each typed line to start the next!!

Original photograph taken at LWT offices in London years ago - copyright 2011

I was working at London Weekend Television in London (hence the actors’ photographs on the wall where I sat) and this was my typewriter.  When the original photo was taken it was mainly of the photos on the wall, so the bit of me you see is as it was in the original photo.  I have cropped it to show the electric typewriter on my desk!

Another thing we had at London Weekend TV was a thing called a Telex Machine.  I used to enjoy working that, it was super, sending typed information immediately to wherever was receiving it.  We used to send the programme scheduling details to the TV Times in time for them to publish for the current week.

Original photograph taken at LWT offices in London many years ago - copyright 2011

This is me leaning on the Telex machine.  I think it must have been the forerunner to computers!

Ooooh, and what about dictaphones!  I was never great at taking shorthand but I loved it when my bosses used a dictaphone instead.  I just popped on the earphones and listened to what they said and typed it as they dictated.  Wonderful.

 For a non-techie gal I’m not doing too bad here am I?

 On to modern times.  Well, again, I seem to be so behind with all the techie things.  I’ve managed to work out how a computer works and can potter about with that as much as I like, and don’t get too daunted when there is a spanner in the works sometimes!!  I know how to use CDs, DVDs, and so on and can download, upload, and do goodness knows what else on a computer.  I can even digitally graphically design things, wow, wonderful for me!!!!

Original photograph taken by me today 25 February 2011 - copyright 2011

This was my first computer from twelve years ago.  It had 1gb of space, a place to put a floppy disc and a place to put a cassette.  No space at all for CD’s, DVDs, and so on.  The moniter had a small screen but it jutted out the back about two feet!  I can’t believe how I managed with so little space!!  (This pic is also being used today for my Project 365 Photo Journal – one photo a day for a year).  It’s just amazing how technology has changed in a fairly short time. 

Now my computer moniter is very thin, it has 290 gb space and I also have two external hard drives, one is 250gb and the other 1TB  (I’ll never fill that one up)!!  And of course there are endless things I can do on it, not to mention the internet!

Since joining Geneabloggers though and seeing all the newfangled things that my fellow researchers use does leave me a bit flabbergasted I must say.  I see on Facebook (now there’s a newfangled, technological thingy in itself) all my friends talk of their different mobile telephones they use and use them for the internet, taking pics, uploading, downloading pics and all sorts.  Well, we have just a fairly basic mobile phone and all I want to do on it is make phone calls or receive them, so I don’t actually use it much and certainly don’t use the other things it does.  And for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what it is!!  To me it’s a mobile phone.

 I see my genealogy friends are all delighted with their Flip Pal handheld scanner things.  I want one!  I have no idea how it works, but think if it’s handheld, that must mean I can take it to places and scan stuff there and then!!  That’s on my Christmas wishlist for 2011!   As is the Kindle.  I keep reading how great it is.  I keep hearing how my friends who have one think it is wonderful.  I want one.  Another thing for my Christmas 2011  wishlist.  And there you will see that that is almost a year away, so when I do get withit technology-wise, I’m always waaaaaay behind.

 I think I’m not so keen on the things like PlayStation (are they still going), Wii things and other machines like that.  That’s probably because I’m not so fit and it looks from the TV adverts for these things, especially the Wii-thingy, that you have to be a bit active to use them!  I’m sure they are wonderful, but really not for me, so I can’t see me adding any of those things to my Christmas wishlist for 2011 or even later.

 You can tell that I am getting into techie-type things though – I’m going to my very first Webinar in March!!

 Perhaps the reason I am not at all technology-minded is because I love history and family history research so much.  Everything for that is back in time, so technological advances don’t sort of fit with the timeframe I like to play in.  One technological thing I would love, and hope it gets invented in my lifetime is a real, proper, timemachine!  There, that’s one technology thing that would appeal to me very much.  🙂


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