5/16/13

Tech #26: Cracked Magazine 1983


In November 1983, Cracked magazine had a piece called "Signs that it's the Computer Age." I thought it might be fun to take a look roughly thirty years later.

In regards to the image above, there was a time when Casio and the like were putting whistles and bells on their watches, much to the amazement of consumers.  Who could have predicted that watches have more or less gone back to being what they originally were - just timepieces   Of course, who even needs a watch anymore?  People are so intimately linked to their phones, which do more than a watch could ever dream, that watches have been rendered obsolete.




My living room television has your standard cable package, plus it's connected to an XBox, a Wii, and a Roku.  Add to that, it also has a DVD player and DVR box.  But the big change isn't really the number of devices connected, it's what you can actually watch on the television that's made the big change.  Not only have the video game graphics improved, but so has the overall TV resolution.  And don't get me started about the number of options you have to watch: a million channels, Netflix instant, Amazon instant, a billion DVD's to choose from, YouTube, etc. etc.


Aside from the fact that a lot of kids elect to sit in front of a computer screen rather than play sports, there's been a huge change in athletics via technology. Watching an NFL game is about as close to science fiction as it gets - it is so ridiculously high tech.  Watch an old game on ESPN Classic and you'll see just how much things have changed. Just ask Dave Johnson...





I have kids, but they haven't quite reached the age where I can attest to whether this came true.  Somehow, I doubt it.  Some things will never change.


Probably the most important and accurate assertion of this whole Cracked article.


Don't get me started.  This picture has one thing incorrect - these people are able to make their complaints to an actual human being.




Do you have those moments at work where you wonder if this computer stuff is really speeding things up?  I hate to sound like a Luddite, but I've had many moments where I'd like to just chunk it all and go back to carbon paper.

Of course, then we wouldn't have Retrospace.  So, I guess there's reason enough to put up with this jazz.

10 comments:

  1. AnonymousMay 16, 2013

    Ahhh sweet prescience...

    Not sure about the assertion that TV resolution is better now unless you're talking about HD channels. Basic cable channels (the ones that are analogous to the stations "back in the day") look like pixelated garbage. I'll take a clean analogue signal on a good TV over that any day. It's like they're making it bad to force us to pay extra for the quality we used to have at a basic price.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 17, 2013

      Ever since the U.S. government forced us to switch from analogue to digital, I have refused to watch TV and instead I am entertained by DVDs. I'm just stubborn that way and from what I hear I'm not missing much.

      Delete
    2. That's ridiculous. There's a lot of really good things on TV these days.

      Delete
    3. 99.9% of the American people have never seen NTSC video from a clean source on a properly adjusted monitor.

      It's stunning.

      The first time I saw it, I thought it was "HD".

      Delete
    4. AnonymousMay 17, 2013

      @drjim You speak the truth. A clean analog NTSC signal on a good monitor is immeasurably better than the crap that is offered these days as basic digital cable. Like I said above, they are are now charging us a premium price for the quality we used to get at a base rate.

      Delete
  2. Kids in college pretty much only use the phone as a timepiece. It's like we went back to pocket watches.

    The first time I watched a football game on my father-in-laws 54 inch HD TV, the picture was too good. I hated it. You could see every blade of fake grass, the stitching in the the bent-over lineman's pants, etc. Some things just should be grainy and not too clear.

    No one knows how to sew anymore, the tiny sewing machine would be irrelevant. At our church, my wife is about the only woman her age who sews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 16, 2013

      Haha - that is funny; I think 1080p allows more advertising real estate on the uniforms and still be legible. Sewing, another graying hobby; I just restored my wife's sewing machine so her and my daughter can sew projects - those precious years before they move on. BTW, I -had- to learn to trace a pattern, learn a few manual stitches, and properly sew manually and machine in junior high school, way back when.
      s-a-h-d

      Delete
  3. The problem with TV (and it is an "age old" problem) is NOT the picture quality, that has improved no matter what the set, but the content. 1000 channels and 998 are off the air and into infomercials by 2 am. I just got finished browsing Netflix as was reminded, again, of the great shows that use to be on TV and the movies that use to be shown "over night." Like the watch that does everything but tell time, TVs do everything BUT entertain.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Heh, the ad that appeared at the top of the page above the watch cartoon was for Gucci watches.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dave Johnson was the original Moneyball. :)

    ReplyDelete