Saturday, July 12, 2008

Electronics Are Pheenominal

I'm an old dude, as the title of my blog implies, but what I have got to comment on today is , is the state of electronics.----we sure have come along way------.
I recall growing up as a small boy, during WWII, sitting on the floor of the living room, with my parents listening to the big floor model radio (literally the size of large chair or similar furniture). I was not allowed to touch it---in fact only my Dad was allowed to handle the radio. It was magic as far as I was concerned. Listening to people from as far away as London, New York, and waaay out in California----. Anyway that's my earliest memories of electronics. Couple years later my older brother came back from overseas and HE had a portable record player, with a whole slew of big flat 78rpm platters. I especially recall one had a song on it that my mother declared was her favorite, "Blue Skies" (I don't remember the group that sang it, the year was 1945), but I do remember the song that was on the flip side, "I Got Spurs That Jingle Jangle Jingle"---needless to say being 8yo, going on 9---THAT was my favorite---my second fav, was "I'm looking over a four-leaf Clover", but I digress----I was totally jealous of my brothers portable record player (must have weighed about 30 pounds and was the size of a small suitcase---I almost got killed as one day while playing records I accidentally knelt on one of the discs and broke it----my bro wasn't to happy----)
My next brush with electronics came a couple years later---I was given a desk top radio of my own---An RCA Victor model----oooh yeahh many an hour of entertainment there---Sunday afternoons and early evenings, listening ot one after another grea radio shows. "Sky King", The Shadow, "The Creaking Door, "The Green Hornet", "The Fibber McGee& Molly Show", "Truth or Consequences,", and "The Quiz Kids" to name but a few. All audio, no TV yet, good writing and we listeners could visualize the settings as we listened avidly minute by minute. Then a year later graduating from Jr. High school (guess PC-wise, should call it "Middle School"), I was given more electronics, this time, a plug in 45 record player that went with my radio----along with this neat gift I was given records (45's) of music my parents thought I would like (sigh, its the thought that counts right?), Les Paul & Mary Ford, and Nat King Cole---the year was 1951
I of course saved my allowance, collected empty soda bottles (aluminium cans hadn't been invented yet), anyway I collected monies, bought records, the good stuff, like Fats Domino, "I Found MY Thrill on Blueberry Hill"and you all know this was the beginning of Rock N Roll---would be five more years before Elvis was discovered. But TV was now pretty prevalent, big boxy sets, some with round screens, black and white, but ooh man, all the movies---I was so frustrated my parents wouldn't get a TV---Dad considered it just a fad, and besides it was to expensive----. So no TV for this kids, except what he got visiting with friends. My folks broke down and bought their first TV in 1955, about three months after I went up state to college.
Anyway that was about when 45's went into the trash, replaced with 33 rpms and something called Hi Fidelity ---TV's started coming out with real color, there was some kind of war going on between the movie theater operators and the Televison people---over paid TV (aka cable), The Russians launched Sputnik----and well the field of electronics went berserk. smaller, faster, cheaper, more features, , pagers, portable phones, Stereophonic sound, 8 track tapes, cassettes, (33's went into the trash), ---flip phones, picture phones, computers, electronic notebooks---digital Televisions----42" plasma in the other room as I speak----and do you have ANY IDEA what is on the drawing boards for the very near term??? ---BEAM ME UP SCOTTIE, is not as far fetched as it once use to be-----voice recognition, kids trudging off to grade school with more computing power than the first IBM Braniac computer------its gonna be wild people, its gonna be just pheeenominal.


  1. My memory of my first technology that was when my Uncle gave me a tape player as a Christmas gift. He included a Bobby Goldsboro tape. I will never forget it.

  2. The first memory I have of anything electronic was listeniong to the one AM radio station in the Colorado Springs area. They were all country, all the time. That was when I fell under the spell of Hank WIlliams, Flatt & Scruggs etc. Then we got a TV. I think it was 1956? Anyway, Howdy Doody, Pinky Lee and Capt Kangaroo ruled. The TV was a huge thing with a screen about 10 inches square. And if I sat too close, Mom would lay into me about brain damage from invisible rays emitted from the set. I sat too close anyway. She always contended that nervous twitch I get when I hear a clown squeeze a horn is from my face being pasted against the screen.

    Good post guy. Brought back some good memories.

  3. Thanks for the history of electronics. I have never really thought much about the past and how it use to be. We take electronics for granted. Look at the cell phone era.

  4. That pretty much sums up my childhood memories except I was born a few years later. I remember my first radio in the late 50s I got for Christmas a black and silver Sony the size a little bit larger than a pack of cigarettes. You might remember them. Plastic (bakelight I think) case, 7 transisters and took a 9 volt battery. Bring back memories Gary?
    Our first tv was a used Philco dad bought from a tv repair man. Weren't those times exciting. Now it seems you can't get a grasp of the new tech before it changes.
    Makes you wonder what's next. Will they just beam info directly into your head?


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