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Gadget Evolution

By Grim Reaper

Times were very different when our dads were our age. They did things differently, they thought differently, and the whole country was different. I could go on and on about these differences, but the second I heard the word 'gadgets' my train of thought crashed through a hole in the bridge and fell to the canyon bottom in a massive mushroom of fire.

Gadgets in our dad's time? Did they even have gadgets back then? Many of us in the RS office make a blank face and blink a few times.

Then it comes to me. The 50's and 60's were the technological boom. All the gadgets from microwaves to James Bond cars were conceptualized and created then. A smile just begins to cross my face and then Mood Dude says "keeping Bangladesh in context"

Suddenly I'm regretting I raised my over enthusiastic hand on the first day of RS. Now what do I write on?

We could start with, of course, entertainment. I could go into a dream state and describe my endless on my Satin Silver Prestige Line Sony PlayStation 2. But, unfortunately, our dad's were born too early to have a counterpart. So I'll shift to DVD players. Ah yes, the couch, the TV, the Lays and Coke, and the DVD player. An evening well spent. A direct counterpart would be the theatre (and yes, they showed English movies, and good ones). Ignoring the bitter irony, our dads did have the first tape recorders; crate-sized, ton weighing video cameras; and of course the record player (the gramophone would be too old school). So where our metal bands and our La-Z-Boy, they had a canvas or leather recliner and the Bee Gees. Where we have our vast choice of mp3 players, they had the Walkman.

As if having portable music isn't enough, specifications of said appliance is a big issue (is that being ungrateful?). We compare storage capacity and resolution/picture quality for our Cyber Shots and cell phones even. Our dads compared lighting, angle and the real artistry of the photograph. There was a time when a photo was something special and waiting for the prints was part of the fun. Now everyone has an electronic album in their pockets which doubles as an electronic leash to our parents. I would think our parents used to get out more in their time. What happened to all the trust? They didn't cell-phones to keep in touch, why should we? And let's not even get into the SMS craze. Thank God GPRS is only very new.

Just the other day I ogled at my uncle's new cell phone (one that's practically a computer with its loads of features) and asked a technical specification. As a reply, my uncle gave a blank face and smiled. "I only use the phone book, dial numbers and press the green button. There was a time, you know, when having a phone was more than enough"

So think about that and be grateful. AS for you TV junkies, your dads had them too. Sure they weren't flat screen or plasma or with surround sound, but back then a TV program meant something. It was something you waited all week for and watched with the whole family. Of course back then, nothing went beyond a PG-13 rating (half the reason they had theatre).

They also had the first electric ovens (to our microwaves, which took a while to get here), the first computers, for a lucky few (ones which would be way beyond us to use nowadays), vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, electric shavers, dish washers and a whole range of random other stuff to make us more lazy.

Cars. We get our Toyotas and Hondas and spend no time thinking about ways to 'upgrade' it. Back then anyone who owned a car owned a Mercedes, or Aston Martin, or Chevrolet, or BMW, or Volkswagen or Cadillac or some other manufacturer's car most of us have only driven in video games. They may not have had auto steering and GPS, but they were classics, and many of them were soft-top, which alone makes them cool.

Unable, being a gamer, to keep out my precious PS2 or my PC, I can still find comparisons, although they aren't exactly gadgets. We have EA Sports; they had rEAl Sports. We have Medal of Honor; they had 1971, to name just two. Also, the things we find 'kewl' nowadays were set in motion by them. Jeans and spikes represent the west for us, but the slickest, sharpest mafia/James Bond-esque suits and bryl-creamed back brushes did so for them. The damp Marlboros (should I be mentioning this?) we smoke took over imported Cartiers and Cuban Havanas from their time. Think that nightly call to your significant other is daring? Well you'd be surprised what some of your uncles had the daring to do (although they go berserk at the thought of us having a girlfriend nowadays). So no, they didn't live in the Stone Age, like some of you may think. In many ways they were way better off than us, in a several more ways I'm happy I was born in the late eighties. Thank God for computers, and the Internet, and TV, and PS2 and everything else that makes me the lazy couch potato that I am.


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