The meh-ness of then versus now/childhood verses adulthood.

When I was a kid I was utterly fascinated that you could, with some work, get onto a ‘bulletin board’ and many clicks and an hour or two later you have downloaded a photo that has more than sixteen colours and has a whole 64000 pixels in it - OMFG THIS IS SO COOL!

As an adult - eight million pixels, sixteen million colours, ten seconds, meh, you’ll have to do much much better than that to impress me.

So, what kind of stuff were you very geekily impressed with when you were a kid, that is now feeble and pathetic by today’s standards.

When I got to use the computer at school with the color monitor! This would be circa 1985.

Pong. “Oooh, look, you can move greenish white paddles around and bounce a square dot !”

That computers existed at all.

I recall being very, very impressed when I got a computer with HALF A MEGABYTE of memory :eek: ! !

I was also impressed when I got a tape drive for one.

Along the same lines, when I was about seven, my parents got me some kind of used video game system, an Atari something or other. The graphics were mostly just a bunch of squares. It was the coolest thing ever, at the time.

Also, color printers, and those huge “portable” phones.

After several years at my first job, we got a Wang word processing system.

Whaddaya mean, I don’t need carbon paper any more?

I still had to use the typewriter for envelopes and labels and mimeograph/ditto stencils and so forth, but wow, just the idea of word processing blew my mind, man.

When I was a kid, I used to be totally impressed that my parents could drive. Driving seemed like it was such an incredibly confusing task, and I wasn’t sure if I could ever do it myself.

Definitely “meh” now :slight_smile:

When I was about seven, I remember being tremendously impressed at the way my dad knew which side of the road to drive down after he’d turned a corner. I even asked him, “How do you know which side of the road to drive on after you turn a corner?” and he said, “Um, well…you just keep to the right…”

I nodded, “Ah. Uh huh”, but still totally did not get it, for some reason. I could only marvel at his intuitive-ness, or genius, or something. He was Dad. He knew how to turn corners and not crash into the people coming down the street the other way.

So, of course, when I was 16, it was suddenly something quite mundane, even laughably simple.

I used to be fascinated that my dad could juggle. Then I got older and got into juggling a bit, realized he couldn’t do any tricks, and that I used to be enthralled by the 3-ball cascade every time. But at the time it was so cool that 3 balls were going around and around and he knew how to keep them going. Sometimes he would even do eggs.

Color television, when my cousins got one about 1962. Only a few programs were in color, though.

An electronic calculator. It was so much easier than a slide rule.

My first electric typewriter with a correctable ribbon. What a miracle!

I guess I wasn’t a kid for the last two, though.

Remote controls. I was very impressed visiting my cousin’s house as a kid to see that they had a remote control.

I saved up for six months so I could pay for half of a brand new 14.4kbps modem. (My mom paid for the other half for my birthday.)

When I finally got my own computer, I set up a nice little LocalTalk network in the house. I could copy a file directly from one machine to the other, without using a floppy! :eek:

I remember being really impressed with my friend’s laser printer. At my house we just had a dot matrix printer, which would take forever to print something and it’d come out pixelated. But his laser printer was an amazing piece of work! When I visited I’d often ask him to print out an image for me so I could take it home.

I remember getting our first colour TV, calculator, record player, push-button phone, and digital watch. This was the mid-to-late 70s.

After that, technological leaps didn’t really make me get excitable in that same way any more, instead it just seemed like reasonable levels of expected progress. I look back at the early examples of: 3D graphics; digital cameras; video editing; dial-up internet; etc, and marvel at how we now don’t have to deal with those primitive inconveniences any more, but in my view it’s all just what ought to have developed in that intervening time.

I remember a neighbor who introduced me to the wonders of the World Wide Web. It was free internet. I already had a computer to play games and stuff, but had no internet connection. She hooked me up. :wink:

It was the year 2000. I remember being so excited and running next door and saying ’ do you realize you could get flowers delivered, newspapers, order pizza - all from your computer!’.

.com bomb and y2k.

I was fascinated with VCRs from the first time I saw a Betamax offered as prize on Wheel of Fortune (about $2000 in 1976). When I was in high school (ca 1979), they had a U-Matic deck in the library. I was memserized by the ability to record and re-watch TV shows.

Now I make DVD-Rs all the time.

I remember telling people that my buddy’s Mac getting 24 megs of RAM instead of 8 just opened that puppy right up for getting around on the internet.

Our next-door neighbor was a colonel in the Medical Corps. He flew to Japan fairly often. My brother was a bit of a math prodigy, so my father gave the guy some money. He returned with a very advanced calculator. It had blue readout thingees, not LEDs, the sort where wires light up under glass. But the kicker was this, it had a memory!

This was about 1970.

My dad used that to do his checkbook to the day he died.


When I was a kid, we had radio and (primitive) computers. Radio impressed me.

Now, we have radio and (relatively advanced) computers. Radio impresses me.

Take your message boards, your Google Earth, your Youtube and all the rest. They are shiny trinkets. But I can tune in a little box to a person speaking in another city - like magic voices on the wind… that’s pretty cool.