by Thomas Wailgum

Techs for the Memories: What Did We Do Before…

Dec 01, 2010
Computers and PeripheralsConsumer ElectronicsEnterprise Applications

Take a look back at the pros and cons of life before HDTV, Facebook and Wi-Fi. You do remember life before texting, don't you?

We take so much technology for granted today, but it wasn’t that long ago that laptops, ATMs, cell phones and the Internet didn’t exist—and hold enormous sway over our day to day lives.

How ever did we manage to get by? Here’s a short list of my favorite recent technology innovations that demonstrate just how much our lives have changed.

Cell phones: So, you’re telling me that instead of nervously calling my wife at home to ensure that I buy the correct brand of children’s cough syrup while at the grocery store, I just had to guess instead?? Oh, the horror!!

Corporate Laptops: Work stayed at work.

ATMs: If you couldn’t make it down to your favorite bank teller before Friday at 4 p.m., then you were s&%t out of luck: Need cab fare at 2:30 in the morning and you got no cash, then you were hoofing it, dude.

The Internet: Let’s face it: Life was pretty darn boring.

iPods/Digital mp3s: I’ll tell you what we did, we strode down the street with our yellow Sony Walkmans playing our favorite mix cassette tapes, and we were damn impressed with ourselves!

DVRs: TV Guide was our Bible and best friend, and there was simply a lot of fortuitous timing involved in catching our favorite TV shows.

Google/Search Engines: Three nightmarish words: Library Card Catalog.

Mobile Device Connectivity/Texting: Fewer people were distributing naked photos of themselves to their friends, that’s for sure.

HDTV: We hadn’t a clue just how average-looking our news anchormen and women really were, nor what was the exact color, shape and size of the phlegm discharged from pro athletes’ mouths and nostrils.

Facebook. It was definitely easier to avoid looking at your friends’ boring photo albums of their most recent trips to the zoo, kid’s first birthday party or dinner out with their “gal pals.”

Wi-Fi-enabled PCs: When we went to Starbucks, we actually had to physically talk with another human being. How awful is that?!

Thomas Wailgum covers Enterprise Software, Data Management and Personal Productivity Apps for Follow him on Twitter @twailgum. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline. E-mail Thomas at