The Price of Old Technology

I do actually have one of those brick analogue “mobile” phones. Mostly workmen and bus drivers had them. By the time they got to the general public the smaller mobile phones where you could just call and text came in. The text was one line at a time. The 8 track cassettes didn’t really take off here in Australia. Some people had them in their cars but most people had a cassette player which they fitted after purchasing the car.The 8 tracks were too big and clunky. It was the Sony walkmans which were the big technology breakthrough for mobile technology, closely followed by the discmans. I loved my walkman. It went everywhere with me because it was so small!! It is a good idea to look at where we have been. We can take so much for granted and a video like this reminds us we have achieved so much in terms of technology. The tech developers have worked long and hard and we have a very creative world where we can now print 3D ribcages for people and save their lives. We have to constantly adapt but when you look back I think you can say it was worth it. I love older technology, though. It was solid and you had your own copies of everything and you tended to interact with it in a more complex fashion. You could learn to install your own cassette deck in a car and album art was in a league of its own. Was it better? No, it was there. Like what we have now is here. Tomorrow it will be there. It always amazes me how some things hold their price and other things just vanish into oblivion. Why would that mobile brick be worth $4000? We run on digital carriers now.

Old technology meets the new generation

This is funny but it is interesting in so many ways. The old gadgets are so familiar to me but so is the new way of doing things. I have mastered the old skills and the new ones. These children are looking to do that too but you can hear how in charge of the new technology they are. They seem to be modest, balanced, interested and full of good humour. These children have a good way of engaging with learning. Not just good. It’s impressive. In the typewriter scene you hear about how the  young boy creating his own story, The Lost Island. His ideas are complex and well thought out. In the mean time you watch the young girl become totally entranced with the typewriter and she is watching it all very closely. Ellen engages the children by talking to them, asking some natural questions and then using humour. We then watch a generational exchange of ideas and had the video gone on for longer some real learning and creativity would have occurred. It was connecting everyone’s knowledge and it was about collaborating. This video also demonstrates clearly that being on familiar ground makes you feel confident. The young boy exclaims how complicated an answering machine is but now he is ready to learn something new and the potential of it. Finding ways of generating curiosity and teaching content at the same time has been mastered well in this video. Everyone is learning and everyone is teaching. That’s how it works!

Trip down memory lane – Tecra 500CDT

Tecra 500CDT 1996 was a good year for business technology. Toshiba brought out the Tecra 500 CDT with 1.26GB hard drive and 48 Mb of memory. I am surprised it goes!! They were using them in primary education in South Australia at the time. I picked this one up second hand in 2001. It is still going 17 years later on Windows 98. The video shows how neatly made it is and how easy it was to replace parts. Laptops then were designed so that a failed part was easily removed and replaced. Not any more . The Tecra is very solid. It hardly rates as portable these days. Pretty heavy and virtually a furniture item rather than a business machine. It was top of the range in 1996. 17 years later it is hard to imagine how cool it was at the time. It seems so clunky and solid. I can still use it. I have things on there which I can do and I guess I do it to remind myself that the world changes and that technology will become something we cannot even imagine and that it is pointless clinging onto “new” technology. The video demonstrates very clearly how well it was made and how it had so many connections. How many devices these days will cater to all your needs connection-wise and when are we going to get to the stage where either we can dispense with connections or have a one size fits all? Ditto laptop cables. One cable for all laptops. One transformer and preferably none at all. My Tecra is also living proof that no matter how old the technology – you can find a use for it. I have plenty of things I can do on that ancient Tecra and for the modest things I do I don’t actually feel limited. It is in a little world of its own, far from the madding crowd where I can use software and type away or set up my diary. It comes from the before USB and social media days where we computed in our own personal world and shared by email. We were still master of our cyber universe. Blogs didn’t really take off until about 5 years later. It is important to get the old gadgets out now and again to remind ourselves we have to keep moving with technology. We have to keep updating and we have to keep passing on our skills. My Tecra isn’t something to cart around. Why we thought that is beyond me. These days I cart around my smart phone and my tablet. Today was a good example. While I was visiting friends I was using my phone to show them things and get a picture of their beautiful show dog and they were showing me things on their iPad. 17 years down the track we’ll look at iPads and wonder what on earth we were thinking, so stay flexible when you are teaching. Enjoy what is there and value the trips back down memory lane but keep those tech skills current.

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