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10 July 2017
CNN is running some fascinating hour-long specials based on decades. I only found this out because of the one that is coming on at 9 p.m. tonight, on the 90s, and the cultural things that we remember from the 90s.
When we got home from the show I was reviewing last night, I caught the tail end of "The 80s," which looks like something I might have enjoyed even more than the 90s, but I did manage to record not the entertainment portion of the 80s, but the technology of the 80s. If you happen to find it, I highly recommend it.
It concentrates on the development and growth of computers and cell phones and you really have to see it all together in a format like this special to really get a feeling for how far we have progressed in such a short amount of time.
I remember when Walt and I were first married in the 60s and having little kids, he was taking a Fortran class at UC Berkeley so he could learn how to use a computer. There were no personal computers then and everything was done in code. I remember being interested in what all this "computer" stuff was about, looking at his text book, and realizing that there was no way in the world I would ever be able to understand much less use a computer.
I remember sometime, probably in the 90s, going to the Smithsonian and looking at an old Cray computer, built in the 1950s. By that time I had been on Compuserve for awhile and while I hadn't yet started Funny the World, I could have if I'd thought of it I remember being amazed, looking at this machine that took up 2-3 rooms in the exhibit, this monstrous computer and then finding out that its memory was four megabytes! I probably write letters that are more than 4 mb now!
When I got my first computer, purchased second hand from the jewelry store guy in the neighborhood, it had a whopping 60 mb of memory and I thought surely I would never need more than that. I had no modem, of course, and so my time on the computer was really using it as a glorified typewriter (but with memory)
I also remember our first cell phone. It was the size of a shoe and I think we only had it to keep in the car in case of emergencies.
And now here we are in the 21st century and we have cell phones with computers built in, the whole thing so small it fits in your pocket. It used to be that very few people had these electronic gadgets and now it seems that nobody looks at anybody any more because every 3rd person you pass is busy looking at the screen they hold in their hands.
We are so accustomed to this new gadget age that we don't really realize how addicted we have all become to having the world at our fingertips 24/7.
Until one day we don't.
I couldn't sleep again last night and so was watching Meet Me in St. Louis on the local PBS station and right there as Father was letting the family know that he was moving them to New York, and Rose was about to burst into tears because she was afraid she'd never find a beau in the new city, the screen went blank. And then came that ominous message: One Moment Please. This channel should be available shortly." That was at 3;30 a.m. By 6 p.m., I had spent the better part of the afternoon just trying to find a human being to get some information about this situation.
Have you ever tried to contact ComCast? It can't be done. There used to be a page where you could check for outages in your area, but that doesn't exist any more. Over the course of the afternoon, I conferred with several other Davis people who had interactions whether either live people or animatronics trying to sound like live people.
One woman found out that they used to have that outage page, but they took it down and now they won't even let their agents know when there are outages! That's ludicrous.
While I was chatting with the first rep, who had taken 10 minutes trying to look up my record to see what my problem was, someone on Facebook said that she had just heard that things were going to be up and running "shortly." That at least confirmed that it wasn't ME, but it was a system wide outage. So I told Kara, my rep, and ended the call.
Oh how innocently optimistic I was.
Four hours later, we still have no connection, though several people have had chats with several reps during that time and one woman saw a Comcast truck with a cherry picker on it headed down Covell Blvd, which I took as a good sign.
But each of us has been given a different time frame for resolution of this problem. One woman was told it would be resolved by midnight, Walt was told it would be resolved within 24 hours. I was told by Sheila who replaced Naveen, who gave up, that they had "extended the time" for completion, but didn't ay how long they had extended it. And one woman, amazingly, was told the problem would be fixed by THURSDAY!!!!
Bottom line is they don't have a clue when it will be fixed and are just pulling dates and times out of a hat to keep us placated.
But in the meantime, there is no television coverage. This will give me a chance to catch up on the stuff already recorded that I haven't watched yet and I may make Walt sit here and watch that technology of the 80s because I think he will find it fascinating too. But how will I know if Trump does something stupid?
One good thing is that the cable may be out but our smart TV is not, so I can still get Netflix and Amazon.
Hello. My name is Bev. I'm a
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