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Eee, when I were young... Answered

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.

Discussions

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ReCreate

8 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>

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MirimeReCreate

Reply 7 years ago

Hey some people do have a type of hovercrafts
really nice to use to get across the swampy bits southern usa

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KitemanReCreate

Reply 8 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.

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kelseymh

9 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.

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natmankelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

Yeah. the Internet has only been around for like 20 years

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kelseymhnatman

Reply 9 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.

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westfwkelseymh

Reply 8 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.

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natmankelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

yes my apologies. however I'm am not sure, weather kiteman's implications meant the commercial use or the pre-commercial use.

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Kitemannatman

Reply 8 years ago

I meant the one that normal-income humans can afford.

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GoodhartKiteman

Reply 8 years ago

Whereas we stumbled upon the BBS's (those of us Geeks that kept up with such things) quite a few years before the Net became known to the public.

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Kitemankelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

The internet didn't impact on the man on the Clapham omnibus until many years later (I didn't get a PC until I was in my early twenties), and in 1982, I turned 15.

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kelseymhKiteman

Reply 9 years ago

True enough about the common deployment of the Internet. You, unfortunately, chose to claim it "wasn't even a pipedream" :-)

As a user since I was twelve (I had a "super fast" 1200 baud modem and a CompuServe account), and as a member of the community which gave you the Worldwide Web, this is just one of my "common misperception" soapboxes.

It's important that I provide facts and evidence to refute you YICs Young Internet Creationists :-D

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Kitemankelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

Remember, I'm posting from the UK. 20 years ago, you needed special permission to use the "messaging computers" in my university library. It's only ten years ago that we only had one internet-capable computer in my school (which then had 625 kids), and it wasn't networked.

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Rock Soldier

8 years ago

LOL!
Terrorists all had Irish accents, and telephoned the police to tell them where the bombs were.

Teachers that hit you were firm professionals, not dangerous perverts.

Science fiction had ray guns and robots, and spacemen were spacemen.

Gay meant "happy", and camp meant "in tents". Wait, what does camp mean now...?

You could hitch-hike and expect to arrive at your destination alive.

I did not see a black man in the flesh until I was 13. Oriental later the same year. Where did you live?

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lemonieRock Soldier

Reply 8 years ago

Camp can be defined in many ways, but if you see someone acting very obviously "gay" that would probably be a good explanation. Cumbria is a bit remote. L

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Plasmana

8 years ago

Wow, the old times is very different from now times, I thought they was not much differences.. :P

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Lithium Rain

8 years ago

Wait, what's a pooftie?

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KitemanLithium Rain

Reply 8 years ago

Poofter is a derogatory term for the, er, less than masculine. Typically used by non-commissioned officers and Australians.

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KryptoniteKiteman

Reply 8 years ago

What poofter says that Australians say that?

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KryptonitePKM

Reply 8 years ago

And now to get latest flash. Curse you admin!

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undescriptive

9 years ago

"You could travel ten miles and find people who spoke a different dialect (not just a different accent)"

You can do that now in the UK can't you? Well, in Luton, I know you can... ;-)

you also missed that people didn't constantly miss vowels when writing or typing documents!

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Kitemanundescriptive

Reply 9 years ago

"Different dialect" is effectively "different language".

There were valleys near here where the local speech had more in common with rural German than the nearest town, and the next town to us (5 miles away) has an area called Bangla, short for Bangladesh, because that's how incomprehensible the residents were to other locals,

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undescriptiveKiteman

Reply 8 years ago

I know that feeling! I'm originally from Wisbech (Cambs), so by the time you had gotten to King's Lynn (Norfolk) some of the old locals were almost incomprehensible!

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PKMundescriptive

Reply 8 years ago

Yeah, but... Norfolk :P The expression "Normal for Norfolk" didn't come from nowhere...

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Goodhartundescriptive

Reply 8 years ago

Right now (where I live in the USA), I can walk 3 blocks to where most of the residents speak a kind of corrupted Spanish (a mix of Cuban, Mexican, and Puerto Rican Spanish), and less than a mile away, many of the local farmers speak a corrupted Germanic language known to the area as Pennsylvania Dutch (the Dutch, comes from a misunderstanding of the pronunciation of the the term: Deutsch).

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jessyratfink

9 years ago

I lived kinda like this for years in the 1980s, but only because my family had very little money and so did the school system. And Western Kentucky for that matter. I've only been using the internet for 10 years. :P My grandmother also still used a rotary phone in her house before she died - I love that thing. It makes great noises!

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Kryptonitejessyratfink

Reply 8 years ago

I used to have one and when I was three I would keep dialing numbers (not knowing what a phone was for) because it made funny noises.

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lemonie

8 years ago

You missed what you could buy for a shilling and still have change left for... L

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Goodhart

9 years ago

From a slightly older but also slightly different area:

  • We had a single telephone in the house, landline, rotary dial, and several neighbours shared that line.
  • One TV in the house, when I turned 8. CRT, 12 inch screen console model.
  • Only 6 TV channels (we had a good antenna).
  • They weren't on all night. They weren't even on all day.
  • Black and white, all the way - TV, Camera film. Bought my first color camera in my mid teens
  • Only one transistor radio in the house, running off 6 D cell batteries, and this radio was considered portable

* All radio stations were on AM bands. For TV, UHF and VHF were just in their infancy.

  • One record player in the house, which played 33 1/3, 45, and 78 rpm's.

* Headphones the size of half cantaloupes were the norm.

  • No mobile phones at all. Nor cordless phones.
  • No game systems.
  • No hand-held units.
  • No home computers ( I got a Co-Co when I was in my early 20's)
  • The internet wasn't even a pipedream. BBS's in my 30's.
  • The largest libraries had microfiche, for newspapers.
  • Foreign holidays were a luxury - the only trip I was ever on was a drive to Canada.
  • My small community was fairly well integrated. We were somewhat surprised by the race riots, etc.
  • Seat belts were not only optional, they were often not fitted, were more uncomfortable than a corset, and were distracting (and therefor almost as dangerous to use, as to not use them)
  • No speed cameras. Speed traps involved measured distances and policemen with stop-watches.
  • No central heating.
  • No double glazing. No Biggie size for that matter
  • No catalytic converters.
  • Petrol had lead in it, but only cost pennies a gallon. I remember when My Dad complained that it went up to 30 cents a gallon; and a first class postage stamp was a whopping 5 cents.
  • "CCTV" was just a random collection of consonants.
  • Old factories were called "derelict", not "industrial heritage", and kids called them "playgrounds".
  • 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.

* Parents were encouraged to get their children infected with Chicken Pox early one.

  • Nobody was allergic to anything, except pollen.
  • 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. Especially in the Kennedy year
  • 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 (except the hard cider, which Gramps always had quite a keg of in the back)
  • 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, (plans for the ray gun could be bought from the ad in the back of a comic book, for $1.99).
  • Kids who misbehaved in school got sent to the head (principal) for a paddling, 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 (except movie stars).
  • 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.

* The family car could STOP a runnaway cattle truck and sustain only minor damage (my Dad's DeSoto did just that).

* I remember seeing an ad on TV for the first hand held calculator; it could add, subtract, multiply and divide, and accepted up to 6 digits and cost nearly $2,000.

...and I didn't feel quite so old as I do now.
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rimar2000

9 years ago

When I was a child: No TV (I lived far from cities), no voice recorders, no scotch tape, no detergent, no polyethylene bags, no expanded polystyrene, no vinylic glue, no silicone sealant, no fiberglass, no epoxy adhesives or putty, no AC!, nothing electronic, etc. etc. But my childhood was very happy, however! A piece of wood was a powerful gun, another was a delivery truck, a disused bottle was a enemy frigate, a broomstick was a spaceship or a horse. If the teacher scolded me, my mom and dad scolded me doubly. My duty (among others) was to keep polished and shiny dad's shoes.

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PKM

9 years ago

For the slightly younger generation:

  • When you wanted to know what was on TV that night you used Teletext; when you wanted to record a program you used Video+
  • Computer games had two dimensions and 16 colours; Doom looked high-tech, Wipeout looked like the future incarnate
  • The suffix "2000" still denoted being futuristic
  • The only TV programs manufacturing pop stars were Aussie soaps
  • Having a corrupted floppy disc was a viable excuse for not having your homework :)
  • You can trace what year of school you were in by the progression of toy fads (rollerblades, yo-yos and Pokemon) and games consoles
  • The cool kids at school had David Beckham "curtains"
  • Minidiscs were a pretty cool idea, a mix tape was a tape
  • You remember going for a week without hearing any news about the environment, renewable energy and sustainable development
  • You could wear a hoodie without arousing instant suspicion, you could wear a sideways baseball cap without being laughed at

(P.S. Kiteman, buddy, where you been? The term is "asian")
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Bartboy

9 years ago

You missed The Beatles! You're not that old.... My dad's 59....

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The Ideanator

9 years ago

So you're around 42? That's not that old, my dad's a decade older than that. If only some things were still that way. Oh well, its too late now.

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KentsOkay

9 years ago

Geeee England's a bit off. My dad is a fair amount older and lived by comparatively more modern standards...

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bounty1012

9 years ago

Haha, I just got what you meant by saying "...and camp meant 'in tents'"

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Matt21497

9 years ago

Wow before mistakes where exploited for laughs and money on national television.

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kelseymhMatt21497

Reply 9 years ago

You never saw Candid Camera did you? We've been exploiting the misfortunes of others nearly since inception of TV (and vaudevillian slapstick comedy is 150 years old).

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KitemanMatt21497

Reply 9 years ago

We couldn't - no home video cameras. No home VCRs either - the Betamax/Philips/VHS conflict was still in the future. No CD players. Cassette players were mono, with a speaker (no Walkmans). No digital-format music at all.

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Matt21497Kiteman

Reply 9 years ago

I know that I was just simply stating that the world is a sad place now.

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KitemanMatt21497

Reply 9 years ago

And I was just adding a few things I missed...