Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's 2013

IT'S 2013
                                                                     By Randy Rawls

        Hard to believe it's 2013. Who could believe I'd live to see it? Certainly not I, if I'd been asked some years ago. I'm not saying I'm the oldest guy around, but I can safely say that many of my contemporaries have traveled on.
        It's times like this I remember some of the events that have taken place in my lifetime.
        The assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
        The first space flights, both ours and Sputnik.
        Walking on the moon.
        The invention of the desktop computer.
        Using DOS (Direct Operating System) to drive those early desktop computers. (About the time, I got the basic commands memorized, Microsoft came out with Windows.)
        The MacIntosh, then the Fat Mac.
        The eight (8) megabyte barrier that could never be breached. (Ha!)
        The early versions of Windows—filled with bugs, causing the PC to lock up. We used to say the first trouble shooting technique is Reboot. Actually, it still is--just takes longer today.
        Technicolor, Cinemascope, and the many other changes in movies. Using miniature sets to create catastrophes.
        LP's, 45's, cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, MP3s. What's next?
        Sony Walkman. Big, hung around my shoulder. Now, I have a Sony Walkman that holds several hundred songs (MP3s) and fits around my head, smaller than headphones. No cords except the ear to ear connection. Couple of ounces.
        Battery radios. The biggest and heaviest thing about them was the battery, about 5 pounds. Do they still make battery radios?
        Speed Graphic Cameras. Mine used 4 inches x 5 inches film sheets and had to be loaded and unloaded in the darkroom. Now I have a palm-sized digital camera with 5x zoom lens that shoots many times faster and better than the old Speed Graphic and cost a whole lot less. But, the Speed Graphic was one heck of a camera.
        Black and white TVs. BIG box, tiny picture filled mostly with snow. Climbing on top the house to "adjust" the antenna.
        "Armstrong" steering in a car. Power steering cost extra. No air conditioning in the car—cost too much. The advent of power brakes. In fact, about everything about an automobile has changed during my lifetime except the steering wheel and the accelerator.
        Refrigerators with small frozen areas. Ice trays with handles to pop the ice out. Someone always "forgot" to refill the trays.
        Typewriters. First, the old manual uprights that weighed a ton, then portables with their own case—not much lighter. You had to pound the keys. When electrics came along, we thought folks were just too lazy to strike the keys properly. Then IBM came out with its IBM Mag Card "Selectric" Typewriter, and the age of computerization was upon us. However, one thing that has not changed—the QWERTY keyboard. Experiments were tried, but they didn't take.
        Telephones. No, I won't venture there. Before I could finish typing, the newest changes would be coming off the production line.
        I've only scratched the surface of changes that have occurred during my lifetime. Yet, those born today will undoubtedly see many more changes that I did. How about an implanted microchip that handles all your personal communications, video, and gaming?
        I bet you have seen and see other changes.


Chester Campbell said...

Going back a little further, Randy, among my early recollections were Wrong Way Corrigan's flight from New York to Ireland when he was supposed to be flying to Long Beach, CA; the Lindbergh kidnapping; John Dillinger being gunned down; and listening to Adolph Hitler on the Atwater Kent radio.

Randy Rawls said...

Chester, I know the future holds many wonderful and exciting changes, but I'm doubting they will match what you and I have lived through. Such a great and enjoyable ride.

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

Gosh, Randy, you told me you were 30!!! Now, I learn you're ancient! MUCH older than me!

Morgan Mandel said...

Oh, dear, I remember all those things! I'm old, too!

Still, I'm glad we've been around for all the marvelous new inventions, especially all this Internet stuff!

Morgan Mandel

Earl Staggs said...

Randy, I don't remember any of those things. Not that I'm too young, just that I'm so old my memory fails.