Friday, April 30, 2010

Stories in Hand - Then and Now!

So many things are different now then they were then.

Let's start with entertainment...

What is it like now...

Today entertainment comes in many ways via the computer, Internet, DVR's, Portable CD player's, Ipod's, Ipad's, Iphones, even reading by way of the Kindle and other's. Even the gaming systems have changed. Basically our world revolves around the new technology that keeps growing every year to even every month.

What was it like then...

Beta and VHS was our only way of seeing movies back then, besides the theater and drive-in. Yes we had a drive-in until it was torn down for more houses. Honestly, we didn't go right out and buy one when they first came out. They cost way to much to much $$$$ for us, which is no different then today's new technology gadgets. Seems when something new comes out, the price is way up there, then after a year or so, they come down quickly in price but is replaced with some new version taking the price back up to that higher price. It's all in the marketing.

However my hubbies parents bought one and we could go over and watch movies on theirs when able. We waited probably 2 if not 3 years before we bought our very first VHS, for like $199 or something really close to that. By then they were much smaller then the first ones. There was no other way to record shows off the TV without one back then. It gave us so much pleasure and we built a great video collection of movies when HBO or Showtime (the only 2 premiere channels back then) held the free viewing for a day or week. For mere pennies, well, actually dollars, we could get 2 to 3 movies on one tape and would record while gone for the day or during the night while we slept. It wasn't like now with a DVR where you can record one channel and watch another. Now the new way of watching movies have gone into cars and as you drive down the highway you can see movies playing, entertaining the kids.

With the VHS came video stores. Everyone belonged to some type of video store where you could rent movies. It began with the little mom and pop type shops, ours was called JP Video, before Blockbuster came to town. Now everything is on CD's and come by the way of Nexflix, Hollywood Video, Blockbuster by mail, to the $1 rentals in front of Walmart or Circle K's. There are probably more that I haven't mentioned but you get the point. Believe it or not, I still have a VHS (it's not hooked up though) and I still have a lot of the movies we bought, were gifts or recorded and made. Now, like most people, we are obtaining a collection of CD's. However, with the development of Pay Per view, we can now rent a movie right from our home. Very rarely do we go the movie theater anymore (except for a few date nights that is). We just wait for them to come to our home via DirectV or Blockbuster.


Speaking of homemade movies. For our parents it was 8mm movie camera's that were used to take movies. After the spool was full it had to be developed and then shown on a 8mm projector. Back then there was not any built in lighting so the camera had to have a light following it around or if on a stand. You always knew when you were being filmed by the bright light. My brother has taken some of those old 8mm movies and has transferred them to CD's. Each Christmas he has sent me a collection. I just love watching the old days in a new way. 


For us came the camcorder, well again not us, but the parents had one. It was huge, weighed a lot, and to get good movies one really needed a tripod, which they had. Without a tripod the weight would make you want to change how you handled it causing jerking and bumping in filming. However it would allow us to see our movie's right after filming, eliminating the processing part. Now camcorders are as small as a camera and even our digital cameras can record, not to mention our cell phones. How things have changed.

I remember our kids very first computer. Keep in mind we didn't buy anything when it first came out, so by the time computers had grown, our first one was a Apple IIC which was probably 3-4 years old by the time it made it's way into our home. There was no Internet with it and all it was used for was creating documents and homework reports for the kids. Basically it replaced the pen creating neater assignments.

By 1994 we bought our kids their very first, brand new, out of a box IBM Aptiva computer with Internet. Back then, dial up was charged by the minute. This would create high phone bills causing restrictions until the new unlimited packages were offered. I am thankful we never received such bill, (remember, we were very strict parents with enforced rules) but some neighbors and friends did.

Just like the cameras, and the computers, the gaming systems have grown right along with them. Our kids first gaming system was an Atari. Remember Pong, Asteroid's or Pitfall? Then came the plain old Nintendo with Tetris and Mario Brothers. Our boys would rather play video games then watch TV. Later came the Playstation 2, Xbox and of course the WII. In our home we stopped at the Playstation2 but our kids have either the WII or Xbox in their homes. Back then the kids had gameboy's with their rubber bumpers in case they dropped them. Now there's the DS and PSP or whatever they are called. Excuse my granny memory but when it comes to these things I let the kids direct me to which one and do not feel the need to retain it's terminology or technology in my overloaded brain.

As the times just keep a changing, part of me really likes the simpler way things were back then. I often wonder if our parents felt that way. However, I do enjoy the ability of the Internet, the searching, shopping, the communication it provides. I wonder what it will be like for our 'Grands' and how will they be comparing their - That was then-this is now!


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