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October 26th, 2007

The Old Ways of Doing Things

Yet another in the “Gosh, I’m old!” series. (Soon to be a category here at the Ping.)

As I’m sure you’re aware, any kid born in or after 1995 will have The Complete Internet experience in his or her life forever. They won’t know a time without it. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. Worse, I started thinking about explaining how we Used To have to do stuff before the internet (and you know, I’ll just assume BBSes got swept under the rug.) And it sounds archaic. Join in:

In order to contact someone far away, one had a couple of options. One could call them long distance and pay through the nose. Or, one could get out a pen and paper, write down one’s thoughts, toss that in an envelope, address it (heaven forbid you don’t know the ZIP code), buy a stamp, lick it, put it on the envelope, seal the envelope, and then take it down to the mailbox.

In order to get directions, one had to take out a map and either highlight the desired route or take out a map and write down step by step directions.

What else you got? The whole “mail versus email” thing was painful to think about.

Posted in Technology

Monica October 26, 2007, 4:01 pm

shopping by catalog (or the mall). I bet trip planning was a lot different too, but I don’t have pre-internet experience with trip planning, just trip-going 🙂

COD October 26, 2007, 4:02 pm

You know, map reading skills are still important. GPS based directions from the navigation system or maps.google.com are not perfect. In fact, they are frequently a little bit off, and often somewhat confusing as they tell you to stay left at an exit to merge onto the road you are presently on.

The false sense of security provided by GPS is going to get somebody killed when they drive off a cliff because the car said to. It’s only a matter of time.

My kids can’t fathom only having 4 or 5 TV channels to pick from, or actually having to get up and walk to the TV to turn the channel.

Aanen October 26, 2007, 7:15 pm

Computer games came on several 5.25 “floppy” drives and you had to swap drives every so often to continue playing.

When you made a purchase with a credit card, the clerk used the hand machine with carbon paper ( I forget what it is called.)

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