persona non sequitur

a review of media by a slightly jaded baby boomer.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I can recall silent radio.

I can recall Black and White television on slightly rounded tubes. They took a few minutes to heat up before the screen began to show.

I can recall waking up at five AM after a hot restless sweaty night in the summer and turning on the television set and seeing the Indian Head test pattern. The sound that came forth was a stream of white noise.

And if I was to stay awake long enough the station I was watching would play “The Star Spangled Banner” with flags and soldiers and then sign off for the night.

I can recall Elvis Presley was considered dangerous and could only be shown on television from the waist up.

The word “sex” did not exist on television.

“Peanuts” was not in re runs.

The Sunday funnies had full page strips, and were often 12-20 pages.

There were newsreels when you were at the movies,

I can recall a 2 K computer called Altaire. You plugged it into your television set. It added it substracted and multiplied. It became an object of geek worship.

I can recall previous to this the Eniac Computer which weighed several tons and operated with vacuum tubes and relays and was the size of a trailer and frequently needed to cool down before being used.

It was estimated that a really good computer would be the size of the Empire State Building and would have to be cooled off by the equivelant of Niagra Falls.

Programming was done with punch cards.

64 K was considered fantastic.

Monitors were green with white type.

It took a special card to get graphics.

“Pong” was a milestone.
A comic book was a dime.

Candy bars were 5 cents. And were three times the size you can find today.

Movies were a quarter.

Quarters and dimes and half dollars contained silver.

You culd still find silver dollars.

The president was bald.

I can recall watching bad science fiction films on the television, and watching them to the end because you never knew when it would be shown again or if at all.

You tended to really remember some shows because you would only see them once. Sometimes a program would be canceled and you would never see it again.

There were basicly three channels after the Dumont network folded.

School bullies were there to help you get through life.

Teachers played favorites and there wasn’t much you could do about it.

(to be continued...?)


At 11:11 AM, Blogger Pagan Topologist said...

I remember most all of these things. A Xmas card cost 2 cents to mail, as long as the envelope was tucked in, not sealed. My first computer program ran on an IBM 1620 in 1964. I don't remember ENIAC; when I was a child the famous computer was UNIVAC, which was in the early 1950's. I remember arguing with one of my physics professors in 1962 or 1963 that the time would come that we could own our own computers. He did not believe me.


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