End User fun stuff

It was 25 years ago last week

Had my Silver Wedding Anniversary Bash over the Bank Holiday weekend. A great time was had by all. Lots of people turned up to find out how Anne has managed to put up with me for all that time.

It’s made me think of what technology was available in 1988. Mobile phones existed. They were analogue and for the most part had to be plumbed in to the car battery to work. I had one when I was working as a Field Applications Engineer. I recall turning up outside Anne’s house in London and calling her from the car. It was an uber impressive thing to be able to do in those days (from my red Cavalier SRi).

When we got married her Uncle Harry did the wedding video. We watched it again for the first time in 25 years last week. Had to convert it from VHS to mp4 which we did after an appeal on twitter resulted in @ClivePetty bringing the kit around to the house the weekend before. Thanks Clive. There was no such thing as editing a video in those days, at least not by a layman. It came out raw and unexpurgated.

None of the guests would have had a mobile phone, an email address or an internet connection. Internet? Wossat? All the invitations would have been sent out in the post and the venue for the bash selected after physically driving around all the options to find out which dates were available.

The map telling people how to get from the Church to the Hotel was printed out on sheets of A4 with handwritten instructions. No Sat Nav.

The wedding photos are kept in an Album in the cupboard. We don’t have the negatives. Probably many of the guests have never seen them.  I’m not sure we have seen any other photos from our wedding. Sharing was too difficult. The inventor of Facebook might have been born, but only just.

We had typists at work and I once remember faxing a large US Government Contract proposal to our New York office and having to refax individual pages once they had been amended. It took too long to fax the whole contract again.

Moore’s Law was first described in 1965. By 1988 whilst people would be able to use it to forecast things like the memory size on a computer it isn’t something that would have been in the minds of most. Even businesses would have very few PCs around. Certainly the average household wouldn’t have had one. They were too expensive and there wasn’t much you could do with them.

I’m going to stop here. I’m not sure all this “showing my age” business fits with my life philosophy – and after all I’m only a kid.

Having seen all the developments in tech in the interim 25 years it’s quite exciting to think about what might be coming along over the next quarter of a century. Read all about it on 🙂