Friday, 28th September

28th September

Keyword for the day: Technology

I have my new IPhone 5 at long last.  I synced it, transferred all my contacts, registered my new nano sim card and waited … and waited ….All day it said: ‘No service’ on both my old and new phones. To be fair, Orange did say it would take between one and 24 hours for the new sim card to be switched on.  I was so impatient – I checked my new phone every few minutes all day to see if it had fired up. It finally sparked into life at six o’clock this evening.

I am a bit of a junkie for new technology.  I could have upgraded my IPhone 3GS six months ago, but wanted to wait until the new model came out. Holding the sleek and ultra-light new gadget in the palm of my hand, I thought back to my first mobile phone – I think I got it in 1995. It was an analogue model and all it did was make phone calls and send text messages. The screen was green and the text was black. I can’t remember the model, but I know not many other people in my circle of friends and acquaintances had one.

Way back in 1972, Rob had a conversation with my grandad, who was an engineer.  He held up a box of Swan matches and said to Grandad, ‘one day people will be able to speak to each other all over the world on a phone only this big.’  To which my grandad replied, ‘not in my lifetime, lad, and probably not in yours, either.’

Anyway, this is the extent of gadgets available to a technology junkie just 40 years ago:

  • A hand held Texas Instrument calculator. These cost an absolute fortune, as I recall.
  • An eight-track car stereo player. We did have one of these and a David Bowie cassette. Ziggy Stardust rocked in our little red Morris 1100 car, which was always breaking down.
  • A digital watch (you were really cool if you had one of these, which I did – a man’s black one)
  • A Polaroid Camera. We didn’t have one of these, but my parents in-law did. I hated it. I didn’t like having my photograph taken in those days, due to a distinct lack of hair, which is another story altogether!
  • A Fidelity Transistor Radio in a wooden case (this is exactly the model Rob bought me. We both had one.)
  • A reel to reel tape recorder. We have still got this up in the roof. We get it out periodically and laugh our heads of at at 17 year-old Rob singing ‘Hold your Head Up’ in a very drunken state.
  • A record player – or better still, a music centre – in your living room. We didn’t have a music centre until 1975. Mum and dad had a radiogram in the front room which played records.
  • A black and white portable TV in your bedroom.

I wonder what my grandad would have made of the IPhone 5?  What extraordinary leaps have been made in technology since 1972.

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