Tech #3: Rememberances of Electronics Past

You can always count on electronics to be hyped way beyond what they truly deliver. I don't care what the ad shows, an ape will not emerge from your television set.  Given the fact that this ad is from 1978, chances are the image will be so grainy, you'll be lucky to even tell there's an ape on television at all - your rabbit ears were a long shot from digital high definition TV.

It's astonishing how much expectations people of the 40's and 50's put in electronics. You name the problem or annoyance, the mid-century American had faith an electronic gadget would come along to fix it.  Take for instance, the image above: an electronic brain will bypass all the uncertainty and stress in finding a mate. Let's face it, mid-century dating was a bitch - a giant electronic brain would bypass all the BS, and a blinking light would signal couples to start having sex immediately!   But don't get too patronizing, today we have the same basic promises being sold via eHarmony and its ilk.

I like to think I was a pretty cool dude in my youth - but then I'm reminded of the fact that I couldn't tear myself away from The Computer Chronicles. Anyone remember this show? It should have been called Chronicles of the Socially Retarded, but I loved it anyway. Basically, by the seventies, electronics were the domain of the nerd, and any semblance of uber coolness leftover from the 50's was a long time gone.

Yes, electronics had become associated with folks like this...

This is an actual yearbook photo.  Denise and Joseph, if you're out there, I'd love to hear from ya'.  Computers and electronics were now associated with nerdy guys in glasses, while guys that looked like Ted McGinley beat them up and had sex with all the women.


  1. I remember "The Computer Chronicles". The show that sticks in my mind is one where the were talking about the future of computer software. They seemed to think business software would boom in the 80s but games and entertainment software would soon die out. Close,but no cigar.
    Computer games boomed in the late 80 and 90s creating a billion dollar industry that continues today.
    I don't recall who the commentator was but I imagine after the show was canceled he went on to work for Wall St.

  2. Hey, Joseph is wearing my pants! I owned a pair just like those bad boys.

  3. My junior high yearbook is filled with "most popular", etc. I like the pic you have - it appears the "most nerdy" are trying to change that image a bit...

  4. ryoki - The best thing about long term predictions is that no one will ever remember you were wrong.

    I remember watching Survivor and predicting that reality television was a fad that would only last a few seasons.... here we are ten years later and it's bigger than ever. God I wish I'd been right.

  5. Does anyone remember the series hosted by a woman somebody O'Brien and similar in programming to Computer Chronicles?

  6. That electronic brain is somewhat accurate prediction of e harmony,emphasis on the almost.gee I wish a monkey would shoot out of my T.V. like that.

  7. It's an ape, not a monkey.