Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Electronic Messages/Voices and Remembering Car Phones

“Daddy, when you are you going to be done talking to your computer?” – this was what my daughter asked me last night when I hosted a meeting with people in Singapore, Sydney, and Hong Kong while I sat in our home in Seattle.  And I did this by talking into an invisible microphone somewhere inside my computer.  This seems normal enough to me, cuz I do it regularly, but I paused for a minute this morning to think about that.  Guess it’s gotta seem kinda funny to my 4 year old.

I remember the first “electronic message” I sent in like 1993 to a girl I liked.  It was super-amazing!  (though I think the written notes at school were more fun – I wonder if kids do that anymore…doubt it)  It was a few years later before the term “e-mail” showed up.  Today I spend most of my day sending and receiving e-mails (or so it seems) – it’s significantly less fun now than it was in 1993.  I actually asked the Mrs. HTF out on our 2nd official date via e-mail when we kept missing each other on the telephone – nobody had cell phones back then (though I think people had “car phones,” which is a funny term now.  Can you imagine a phone that only worked in your car?!).  She teases me about that now, though I’m guessing that there are roughly 4 million dates set up every day now with text messaging.  I think sending an e-mail back then showed a lot of dedication because it was at least a 10 minute proposition to “log-on” to the dial-up network that made that awesome modem noise, and then each screen took at least a decade to load.  walkman

My kids won’t get any of this fun.  Of course the list of technology fun they’ll never get to have is really long.  My wife showed me an 80s photo of a friend of hers on FB last night where she had a HUGE Walkman strapped to her belt and big foam earphones on her head.  People used to JOG like that and listen to 10-12 whole songs WITHOUT SKIPPING.  Ouch.  Anyway, I think I’ll revisit this topic, cuz I think it’s fun.  But I’d love to hear your reminiscing as well – maybe even some fodder for the usually empty HTF mailbag…

As for me I need to get back to talking to the voices in my computer.


Yes MSG said...

No need to reminisce. Just look at Randy Moss' postgame press conference to remember Hi-Fi equipment for your head

agm said...

LOL - I can totally relate to Allison- I am thinking about me shouting to the left, to the right, & behind my computer a few weeks ago trying to figure out where the microphone is. Helloo! Hellooo! Helloooo!

Somewhat related (okay, not really), but can I just say that I love old skool window A/C units? Thanks! I love old skool window A/C units. I have one in my living room. I wrote on it in red lipstick: AGM + HER OLD SKOOL WINDOW UNIT... 4-EVER. Boy, I sure hope they never stop making those bad boys. My grandmother had one installed over her kitchen table, which always made me laugh because we were either sweating to death (but enjoying hot food) or eating cold food with possible nose frostbite (but in a cool climate). Ahhh... good times.

Oooh, you totally reminded me - I have a letter for the ole HTF mailbag that I had forgotten to send in! Will get on that pronto, Boss!

rlsecor said...

It is awesome to think about the stuff we used to use and that our kids will never see or comprehend. We've been with out a landline for almost 2 years now (and I still hate it) but it is long enough that my 5 year old doesn't understand what I'm talking about when I say I miss our old house phone.

In college we had pagers that was pretty big.

They will never have a box of old notes folded all funky to look back at and giggle.

No one gets grounded from the phone any more - they just get it taken away.

And they all seem to want their own cell phone by the time that they are 6.


Good thoughts.

julianna said...

Some fine examples of long obsolete technology that came to mind:
--Using a super secret code of numbers representing letters to send love messages to my boyfriend on his "beeper."
--Listening to OMD on my cassette walkman (jogging in the HFAC because it was scary jogging around campus for some reason...)
Good times.

Now excuse me. I have to go type some totally obscure word into a box below in order to post this, because there are computeres out there smart enough to fill your empty mailbox, if only they could spell obscure words. :0)

The Next Dave Barry said...

Back before walkmans I remember people walking around with their "boombox" on their shoulder.

My daughter asked me if to email something to her and I told her I'd carbon copy her. What's that she said.

I also don't know if my kids know what cassette tapes are. Remember pusing Record and Play at the same time?

Anonymous said...

I sure love that you persisted even with a slow computer to ask me out. It was worth it on my end! :) Funny how you still think the computer connection is slow and look how far we've come.

agm said...

Along the same lines of the play & record thought, I just remembered in the middle of the night what my friends & I used to do when we borrowed a record - we would put the record on the record player, & then shove the tape recorder (I didn't even have a boom box at that point) next to the speaker & record that way.

You had to turn the sound waaaay up to even hear the music because you would end up with these tapes with all this random background noise on them - coughing, dogs parking, my sister laughing, etc. Taping my older neighbor's records like that was totally how I got into rap. LOL.

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