Today is my sons (twins) 19th birthday. When they were born, I was working for Microsoft (the good old days) in Cincinnati Ohio. Why then talk about personal stuff on my technical blog? Because I thought it would be fun to roll back the technology clock and talk about 19 years ago and what we thought was state of the art in tech, then!
First off, laptops were a lot bigger, and a whole lot slower. 19 years ago, in 1998 I had moved from Macintosh and PC to PC only in our house. We had finished the long time basement project and now had a state of the art 48-inch rear projection TV (an RCA – top of the line to boot!). We took our old Sony rear projection TV to the basement (that would later move to Chicago with Becca. The Sony was the original Bigger Barney TV. Jakki and I went TV shopping, and we were looking at TVs. She picked the one we got, simply because it had a “bigger Barney”). I had my original stereo that I had gotten by then nearly eight years before. It was setup in the living room with a CD and a record player. We were state of the art, with the outputs from the TV plugged into the stereo so we could do the home theater experience. With no subwoofer, it wasn’t much of a home teacher!
We had two computers then, one was a work computer, and the other two were home computers. Barb was home as the primary child caregiver and used the computer to wander around the internet. The internet, which was young then, was connected to via AOL and a modem. We didn’t have either broadband or ISDN, just a single phone line. We did have dish network as our primary television, but if you wanted to watch a show that you wouldn’t be home for, you had to setup the VCR. Of course, that meant the VCR could not be flashing 12:00 for you to program it to record the show!
ISDN wandered into our house around 2000. There were no cable models yet; we would move to that about 2002. In between ISDN, we did move to DSL for a year. In all cases, we only had Ethernet in our house in the basement. The rest of the house was on various wireless connections that were not wi-fi. Wi-Fi had begun to appear, and I added it to the house. We also wired three jacks in the house by running Ethernet wires.
We had a Sony TV in the living room, and we got a new Samsung HD TV for the basement. We replaced the TV in the basement with the new Samsung Flat Screen TV in roughly 2005. We moved that Samsung TV moved to Maryland, and is now Jakki’s TV in her apartment. We had bought a nice Sony TV in Cincinnati when we moved to Willowcove, that was our primary TV for ten years. When we moved to Maryland, we got a new Samsung Flat screen, and that is now our bedroom TV.
While in Greenwood the number of computers in our house grew. We ended up with one computer for the boys and one for Jakki. We gave one to Becca (along with the Sony 35 inch TV) for her to take to college. But downstairs we grew to 11 PC’s in my office area running various things. I do not miss those electric bills!
Fast forward to Maryland. All put two TV’s in the house now are wall mounted. All of them are flat screens, but the boys don’t have TVs on their walls. We are down from the high of 15 PC’s in the house. As far as Stereos, we now officially have a media room. That room can broadcast LP’s, CDs and internet radio anywhere in the house. We can also play music throughout the house from the Mini-Disc player and the Tape Recorder, although the number of times we aren’t using Internet radio is much smaller now.
All of that in 19 years. What a change. Now, if you want to record a show, you simply select it in the DVR and watch it whenever you want. We have fiber optic to the home network and wi-fi in every room. We also have Ethernet on every level of the house. When you have Netflix and Games being played, being able to push that to the Ethernet rather than saturating your home wi-fi, it is useful!
The best thing, is just how technically savvy all three kids have become. They know, understand and use technology extremely well. Even my wife is learning tech. Although there are times she doesn’t much like it!
the time flies…