For information about how we recycled some items in The Olden Days go to the Recycling page.
For a discussion about tele-communication in The Olden Days go to the Communication page.
This website would never be complete without mentioning the telephone, which was invented by Alexander Graham Bell! Not sure if they named the telephone bell after him or not. In fact, he actually
invented TWO telephones (think about it).
If you're interested in the more technical details of telephone switching, go to the Australian Telephony page.
Our choice of sound quality from the radio or tv was limited to a round speaker - the bigger it was, the better your sound, theoretically. Stereo? what's that? Surround-sound? sure, just
place three or four radios, tuned to the same station, in various parts of the room.
My first computer, which I bought in kit form for $199 back in 1982 was a Sinclair ZX81. It had 1kb but I bought the luxury version with 16kb (16384 bytes) of memory, used casette tapes
to load and save programmes and had a black and white display that was sent to a TV screen. Text mode was 22 lines of 32 characters, and graphics were restricted to solid blocks of 1/4 of
a character size. It used a programming language called Sinclair Basic, which was quite good for the time. We mostly typed in programmes from magazines, and because of all the syntax
requirements (commas, semi-colons, quotes etc.) it often took more time to debug the programme than to actually type it in. Fortunately (or cleverly) most of the keywords of the language
were available on keys as one entry. Problem was, this meant every key had up to 5 functions on it, accessed by alt, shift etc.
Back in my younger days, the Box Brownie camera was probably the most popular camera around, and typical of most cameras available. It was called a Viewfinder camera, and had a viewer next
to the main lens. This meant that what you saw through the viewer was not necessarily the picture you got, because of parallax error. This problem would have become even more severe when
zoom lenses came into use, since a viewfinder would not adjust for zoom.
For further discussion on changes in photography, go to the Photography page.
It's hard for young people to imagine life without television these days. But many of us grew up in a world where the idea was only science-fiction. Even the radio was in its infancy.
Clocks, Controllers and Timers
Once upon a time, clocks were mechanical devices with two, sometimes three hands to indicate the time, and the ability to "chime" every hour or half-hour. We could use this to control our day - to
know when it was time to go to work, take the cake out of the oven etc. They required winding up every day or so to maintain the correct time.
As an exercise, imagine this: