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Tech Changes Through The Generations

Updated on February 13, 2015

Change happens whether we like it or not, some of us go with the flow, some to their own ways, and others excite to relive lost customs, nostalgic artifacts, and dredging old memories of a bygone era.

Blast From the Past

KABOOM!, and so the Internet was born. Right? Let's start this off with saying, you must be careful what you read and even more careful what you believe off the Internet. That said, if you are looking for an article on archaeology, you may be disappointed. However this article is an individual perspective into a small piece of societal archaeology.

As our society moves forward through time, we advance as a direct result of invention, and much of our past gets left behind as we progress. Thanks to modern technology and trendy happenings within certain industries, the past may never have to stay sequestered from those whom desire to party like it's 1959 all over again.

Rewind to Yesterday

First off, this subtitle just happens to harken back to an awesome book published by Susan Beth Pfeffer, released in 1991. Who could ever resist a VCR which can take you back in time? Even more, the second novel allowed forward time travel? Sound wonderfully crazy and unbelievable? After all, what the heck is a VCR?

As a pubescent teen, this book series stuck with me so much, I still remember it 20 some odd years later. Those were the days: 8-track tapes were fading into obscurity, consequences still meant something for insolent children, and the Internet, with all it's randomness, was still just a bunch of black screens with text. Bulletin boards we called them.

Today that era is as good as ancient history to an entire generation. However, when I received the privilege of reading this book more than 6 months before it went into publication, I felt like a god! This was all so very real. As for me getting a premature copy of the book, I will never tell.

1978 VCR-LP

For the first time ever, this machine could record a whole 2 hour movie on just one tape!
For the first time ever, this machine could record a whole 2 hour movie on just one tape!

Retrofitting Generations

With my brief stroll down memory lane, I wanted to take a look at the way in which history repeats itself. Not quite in the same way as your mother telling you every time you do something she does not approve of, how you should do things different. Rather it lies with the interests of generations. What one generation does, eventually grows tired of, and moves on to the next big thing; the next generation somehow always ends up back in the shoes of their predecessors. At least for a limited time. This is partly due to the swath of variety that is available in this world, be it good or bad.

We are inundated with so much, we are quick to move from one thing to the next, especially younger generations. This happens weather it's our taste in fashion, cars, recreational activities, media enjoyment, and even with friends and family. At least part of this is something I like to call, growing up.

Growing up is hard to do

Caption from Time magazine.
Caption from Time magazine.

Second Verse, Same as the First?

As for the second part of this equation, I feel that the ever-growing presence of the Internet in our lives, and the continued dilapidation of attention spans in emerging generations for things that are not immediately engaging to them, is cause for pause and reflection. Let us get back down to the basics. Let us rediscover who we are as a society. We could all hold hands and sing kumbaya, but I think we would lose most people after the words 'my lord'. Instead, we break out the old molds of forgotten society, and recast them with modern flair.

Why though does society revert back to the past, when we have so much cooler stuff today? Is it because of an insatiable thirst to behave like our forefathers and enjoy what they enjoyed? Can it be so simple as to be our corporations cramming the past down our throats, because they themselves are trying to recapture days gone by? Are we finding that there really are things from the past that are cooler than people originally thought they were? We may never really know, but what is known for sure, is that our world is growing ever smaller and it is getting easier to access even antiquated flavors.

The fashion industry has been the leader in this for many decades. What once was fashionable, can become so again. As people forget about it, someone then revives it (works best with famous people and models) to make it seem new and trendy. Now it is more available than ever before due to our modern methods of manufacturing and distribution.

Antiquated systems

Even something as simple as a tin can telephone continues to find it's way into the hearts of children and those who are children at heart.
Even something as simple as a tin can telephone continues to find it's way into the hearts of children and those who are children at heart.

Pixelated Past

Enough talk about clothing. My wardrobe consists of a robe, some sweat pants, and a slipper with a hole in it (the corncob pipe is on back order). Who am I to judge what's trendy? All I am pointing out is that history repeats itself in pretty much every way. From evil dictators to fingernail biting. Earth's rotation and orbit is cyclical and dependable after all, so wouldn't it make sense that everything on Earth react in a similar fashion?

So what the heck does this have anything to do with pixels? Today I ran across an article, not unlike any other article of the many throw-back attempts to the 80's, 90's or even further back still. This article held something that use to be near and dear to my heart as a child and captivates our children still to this day. In fact, they are probably downstairs playing one now; video games. If you have read this far and dislike video games, my apologies.

Those in the know realize that many games have been recreated and packaged for the newer generations. Heck, old console replicas also exist. This article however, addresses how, for the first time in history, ancient MS-DOS games (that's pre-Windows for the XBOX and Playstation generation), are being revived. There are well over 2000 titles to date available all free-to-play, free of hassle, all online using just your browser. Wait, isn't that what made the games so great, working with the frustrations of getting them to load off of a 5.25" or 3.5" floppy disk, sometimes meriting 2, 3, 4,....even 8 disks to play a single game that now can be powered by an electric toothbrush? To all the disbelievers, the disks and the toothbrush do still exist, on a high speed Internet marketplace near you.

Software Library unveils MS-DOS archive

Oregon Trail circa 1990 on MS-DOS and nearly 2400 other games have been revived by Software Library.
Oregon Trail circa 1990 on MS-DOS and nearly 2400 other games have been revived by Software Library. | Source

Saying Goodbye Doesn't Have to be Forever

No matter what it is, at some point you will probably repay homage to something you enjoy today, 50 years from now. Not because you squashed it into your underwear drawer for safe keeping, but because eventually, someone, someday will think it is just as novel of an idea, and have the resources to resurrect it from the dead. It just seems to be the way the world works: spinning around and around, ad infinitum. For now, we enjoy what we want, when we want due to the conveniences for which modern society and technology have allowed us to live.

Bring Back the Stack

Which would you rather see revived?

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    • Patrick Haymich profile image

      Patrick Haymich 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Again, I appreciate your insight. I am trying to work on that fine line between what I enjoy to write and what I would enjoy to read. Article writing has never been my strength, my writing strength is more in prose and lyrics. Thanks again.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Johnson 3 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      I want to give some good advice. Your writing style is funny, but you overdo it a little bit. I liked it at first, but humor has its place in an article--not every place.

      I suggest you tone it down. I wanted to stop reading half of the way through. I also was so caught up in the reading style that I fail to see the point of the article. Please take this in the token that it was given. I am only giving constructive advice I think will help.