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Old Screens and New

Some of you  may be old enough to remember the "test pattern" above.  Back in the olden days, television programming didn't run non-stop twenty-four hours a day, it ended at midnight. Most often the star-spangled banner would be played at sign off time,  or some patriotic poem or quote would be read.  The above test pattern would appear on the screen (all tv viewing was in black and white in those days), and then the image would disappear and only a screen filled with snowy static would remain until morning when broadcasting began again, usually at 6 AM.
It was a much different world back then.  We had only one TV channel available for many years, and really thought we'd hit the big time when two finally became available.  Dad made the choice about which programs were watched though, we didn't have a say in it.  My two sisters and I functioned as the "remote controls".  Dad said "Change the tv to Channel 3", and we got up and did it, no questions asked. If he wasn't home there might be a bit of "friendly negotiation" between us over which show we would watch.  Bedtime at our house came at 9 or 9:30 PM on school nights, 10 PM when we got older. On weekends I loved to stay up late to watch "The Midnight Special", but I had to keep the tv volume very low so as not to wake up Mom and Dad, or I as certain to be told to turn the tv off and get to bed... they weren't particularly fond of the music of that generation! :-)  I doubt the concept of 500 channels and round the clock programming would have impressed them much. Life was lived more simply and we didn't spend all our waking hours parked in front of the tv.  Computers that were going to occupy even more of our time in the years ahead were of course non-existent. 
 
Then along came cellphones... large and clumsy at first, and yet we were amazed at our ability to actually make and receive calls while out and about.  As children there had been one phone that hung on the kitchen wall, and no drawn-out conversation was allowed. Seven minutes was Dad's life-long limit for long-distance calls to keep phone bills reasonable. Then came two phones, meaning less running to answer the ringing phone, and eventually wireless phones that could be carried around the house, as long as one remembered to return them to the charger before they ran out of juice and put an abrupt end to conversations!
 
Cellphones brought a whole new level of communication, and how we've come to cherish them! The first ones were just phones, before long cameras and photo sharing was added, and texting quickly followed.  Now days it's barely accurate to actually describe these hand-held devices as telephones.  The are mini-computer/communication devices capable of doing an astounding variety of things from scanning barcodes to directing us thru the maze of city traffic. I remember travelling years ago and thinking how wonderful it would be if I could only take my large desktop computer and satellite dish Internet receiver with me when I was away from home.  Now, of course, we can do just, in a much easier fashion! 
 
Papa Bear would tell you that my cellphone is rarely out of my reach, awake or asleep it is next to me. It is my talking/texting/blogging/Facebooking/Words with Friends playing/weather checking/note taking best friend!  My daughter first introduced us to her iPhone, and we were quite sure we wouldn't want or need anything that complicated or fancy.  But it didn't take long for us to discover how much fun they were, and soon we were hooked.  While the debate between Android phone  and iPhone enthusiasts will likely go on forever, we are die-hard iPhone fans, having tried Android tablets and hating them.   
 
This past Wednesday we eagerly headed to the ATT store here with a small box that had arrived in the mail bearing our new iPhone 6Plus phones. They are so popular at the moment that they can't keep up with the demand, and we'd been waiting three weeks for them to arrive.  Of course it took some time to transfer all the data from our old phones to the new ones, and to clear the old ones so they could be turned in for rebate purposes.  Tired as we were after a long day of work, we couldn't wait to get home and play with them, and I have to say that both of us are in love with the brand new BIG screen size!  The regular iPhone 6 isn't all that much larger than the old iPhone 5.  The 6Plus is a much bigger deal, yet not so large that you can't hold it comfortably in your hand, slip it in your pocket, or carry it around in your purse.  It's thinner and lighter weight too! 
 
So, while I may sound like a commercial for iPhones, let me just say that if you're still using an old dinosaur phone you should really check one of these out.  Very cool toys, and so much easier on our old eyes and chubby fingers!  We're noticing that the battery power supply lasts much longer too.
I can't help but ponder how our much lives have changed in the past sixty years.  From those old, snowy television screens with their black and white displays, to these marvelous little hand-held beauties with their crystal clear technology and amazing capabilities.  Yup, we are admittedly addicted... and life is good! :-)
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I'm linking up with Brenda at BYG Adventures
where the word we are Pondering this week is "screen" 

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5 comments:

  1. I remember resisting the computer, and then conquering it. But loving the cell phone. It is funny how we made the cell phone smaller and smaller only to turn around and make it bigger and bigger! Human nature is very restless...and fickle.

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  2. I can remember getting up and changing the channel for my mom.. or on my grandparents even older set. Or the "rabbit ears" of tinfoil because they lived out in the country. To think that in my youth, having 30-50 channels (depending on how many sports only ones dad added!) was such a big deal!! And when MTV came along??? Oh my word - I didn't even want to go to school anymore. LOL
    we certainly have come a long way.
    although, I am still stuck with iPhone4 -- hubby tried to switch me to Blackberry, but I won him over and now we are iPhone house.

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  3. Yes, there was a time when TV programs were not broadcast all night.

    Technology has been developing rapidly, and we now have so many media to choose from.

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  4. Yes, i remember the TV "going off" at night and having to wait for it to start in the morning. As for a smartphone, well, i have teens, i don't need anything else in the house that's smarter than i am!

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  5. I do remember the old test pattern that came on the air when the programming went off. And my aunt and uncle had a Sylvania TV with a halo, which I thought was way cool. I guess I'll have to look into an I6 phone, but I have't had my I5 long enough!

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