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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What did we do before computers, cell phones and the internet?

I don't know about you, but I actually remember those days.  My first computer was a Commodore 64, and my family used it basically for playing games.  You know, the one called "Pong" or something like that.  You had a small paddle and tried to hit a small dot before it hit the bottom of the screen.  And yes, this computer had a whopping 64 kilobytes.  Computers today don't even burp on less than a megabyte.

With the introduction of the internet, computers really took off, and started growing to the mega, giga and terabytes of today.  They have become faster with more storage and RAM, but at the same time, have become smaller.  You can now buy a cell phone that has all the capabilities of a personal computer, and contain 128 gigabytes of storage.  Amazing.

Speaking of cell phones, what did people do before their invention?  Well, believe it or not, they used real telephones that were installed in their homes permanently.  You actually had to be at home, an office, or at a pay telephone booth to make a call.  How inconvenient is that?  If you couldn't reach the person by telephone, you actually had to physically try to find them by walking, biking, driving or bussing to the location you believed they may be at.

Letters were written, not on a PC, but on a thing called a typewriter.  When I first started working in an office, we used these things all the time.  I think it was sometime in 1982 that I was first introduced to the "Fax" machine.  Prior to that we used teletypes.  They were like a typewriter, but were connected to telephone lines, and you could type a message on one machine and it was received on another machine in a different location - instantly, almost.

I'll never forget the installation of the first fax I saw.  It was in the Government Agent's Office in Nelson, BC.  Once it was installed and set up, we started to receive a message from our Headquarters in Victoria, BC.  I watched as the light moved back and forth inside the machine, and paper started to slowly inch it's way out of the front of the machine.  This entire process of transferring maybe 100 words, took about 5 minutes.  We were in shock.

Anyway, my series of books "A Time Before Facebook" describes a time before all of these gadgets.  Book 2 in the series, "Ghosts and Skeletons" has just been published online, and both books can be purchased at Smashwords.com, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and lastly, Amazon.  I am busy writing Book 3, "The Black Bridge", and will probably be working on this series for a few more years to come.  If you have an electronic book reader or a computer, please download a copy, and enjoy reading.

A Time Before Facebook

Ghosts and Skeletons