Eee, when I were young...

In no particular order...

  • We had a single telephone in the house, landline, rotary dial, and several neighbours didn't have that.
  • One TV in the house. CRT, 15 inch screen.
  • Only three TV channels.
  • They weren't on all night. They weren't even on all day.
  • Black and white, all the way - TV, camera film
  • Only two transistor radios in the house, running off 9V batteries the size of my fist.
  • Most stations were on AM & LW bands. Commercial stations broadcast from "abroad".
  • One record player in the house, which still have a position on the speed selector for playing 78rpm discs.
  • Headphones the size of scotch eggs were the norm, not a fashion statement.
  • No mobile phones at all.
  • No game systems.
  • No hand-held units.
  • No home computers (the ZX81 came out when I was 14).
  • The internet wasn't even a pipedream.
  • The largest libraries had microfiche.
  • Foreign holidays were a luxury - the only £10 trip was a one-way ticket to Australia.
  • I did not see a black man in the flesh until I was 13. Oriental later the same year.
  • Seat belts were not only optional, they were often not fitted.
  • Ladders were toys, not a risk to life and limb.
  • No speed cameras. Speed traps involved measured distances and policemen with stop-watches.
  • No central heating.
  • No double glazing.
  • No catalytic converters.
  • Petrol had lead in it, but only cost pennies a gallon.
  • If you spent an hour in London, your snot turned black. If you spent a day there, it stayed black for a week.
  • "CCTV" was just a random collection of consonants.
  • Old factories were called "derelict", not "industrial heritage", and kids called them "playgrounds".
  • The bombsites were still blamed on Hitler.
  • Russia was still Soviet, and old folk thought of them as allies.
  • Hospitals smelled of carbolic soap, and the only infections came in with the patients. Nurses had starched collars and pink-scrubbed hands.
  • I was the only child with asthma in a school of 400.
  • Nobody was allergic to anything, except powdered eggs.
  • Terrorists all had Irish accents, and telephoned the police to tell them where the bombs were.
  • Nuclear power was going to give us free electricity in only five years - just in time to power the robot maid.
  • Nuclear war was a genuine fear.
  • The Falklands War was news, not history.
  • You could hitch-hike and expect to arrive at your destination alive.
  • Alcoholism was a hobby, not a disease.
  • Lager was for poofters, cider was for girls.
  • Nobody knew how to play basketball, baseball or ice hockey, and football was only ever played with a round ball. The nearest thing to "protective clothing" in sport was a goalie's gloves.
  • Rollerskates had wheels on the corners, and strapped to your shoe.
  • Banks were as trusted as the police. The police were trusted.
  • Policemen were tall.
  • Emergency vehicles went nee nah nee nah! (except for the ones with bells).
  • Flared trousers were original.
  • Science fiction had ray guns and robots, and spacemen were spacemen.
  • You could travel ten miles and find people who spoke a different dialect (not just a different accent).
  • Kids who misbehaved in school got sent to the head for a caning, instead of to the doctor for a tablet.
  • Health and safety meant "don't do anything daft", and if you fell off a roof and broke your leg it was your own damned fault, not the fault of the roof-owner for not warning you about the drop, and nobody sued anybody.
  • Gay meant "happy", and camp meant "in tents".
  • Teachers that hit you were firm professionals, not dangerous perverts.
  • The phrase "two car family" hadn't been coined.

...and I didn't feel quite so old.

Picture of Eee, when I were young...
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ReCreate8 years ago
Yet 50 years from now...i will be saying...
When i was young... ...we didn't have hovercrafts or<insert futuristic invention here>
Mirime ReCreate6 years ago
Hey some people do have a type of hovercrafts
really nice to use to get across the swampy bits southern usa
Kiteman (author)  ReCreate8 years ago
Hovercraft? Those we had - there used to be a regular hovercraft car-ferry across the channel, faster than the chunnel, but it didn't run in high waves.
kelseymh8 years ago
Hey, Kiteman. You were old for a very long time, weren't you? The Internet began in 1968, and the Falklands War was the early 1980s.
natman kelseymh8 years ago
Yeah. the Internet has only been around for like 20 years
kelseymh natman8 years ago
Excuse me? I am interested to know on what basis you know what you're talking about.

The ARPAnet project, the direct predecessor to the modern Internet (i.e., a communications protocol to alllow interoperability between disparate networks), was put out for bid in 1968, as I wrote above.

The Internet, as such, started in 1974 with the deployment of the TCP/IP protocol suite across University-based network sites.

In 1988 (21 years ago), the by-then 15 year old Internet was opened to commercial access, and began to be recognizable to the non-University public. Of course, a large number of commercial companies (defense and academic contractors and R&D organizations, primarily) had been integrated into the Internet long before then.

Your statement above implies that you are only familiar with that last stage, and not the 20 years preceding it.
westfw kelseymh8 years ago
Transition of ARPANet from NCP protocols to the TCP/IP internet protocols happened about 1/1/83 (I have a button!); NCP lingered onwards. (Work on TCP/IP may have started in 1974, but thr arpa Core didn't switch till 83.) Lots of stuff was still running the older protocols. 88 sounds "about right" for the beginnings of commercialization, with companies implementing their own intra-nets using TCP/IP as well. For practical purposes the internet as we know it today started in 1995, when the mainstay personal computers (Macs and Windows) both started shipping an included TCP/IP software and browsers started showing up.
natman kelseymh8 years ago
yes my apologies. however I'm am not sure, weather kiteman's implications meant the commercial use or the pre-commercial use.
Kiteman (author)  natman8 years ago
I meant the one that normal-income humans can afford.
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