Digital Nostalgia

Posted on Wed 30 September 2009 in geek

Now we have a working* broadband link to the outside world the house is almost fully commissioned. There are a few final cabling/routing details to be sorted once the microwave up-link is installed and the house will be fully armed and operational. Now all I need to do is finishing unpacking my room before I move again!

We sat down to enjoy BBC Four's Electric Revolution season last night. The first episode of Electric Dreams was entertaining fun, especially watching the parents realise the impact of the loss of home mod-cons while looking forward to their kids disappearing PSPs and iPods.

On the tech side the 70s was a little too early for me to remember much. I certainly remember my grandparents had a Teasmade and we owned an old-school Pong game. The ritual of swapping aerial leads at the back of the TV is one that I'd almost forgotten in this world of auto-sensing multi-input TVs we have now. A quick check of my TV revealed 4 SCART, 2 HDMI, 1 UHF and 1 VGA port, no need for external switch boxes these days. The family in the show had all sorts of trouble with their TV along with commentary about shoddy UK manufacturing standards. It's not something I remember but then again the colour TV we had was a Panasonic (or possibly Phillips) which my Dad had the full schematics for. It managed 20-30 years before finally giving up the ghost.

I'm suspecting the show on the 80s will stimulate more memories, partly because I was older and partly because we moved back to the UK in 1980. Of course I was still incredibly lucky with the amount of computers I had access to when I was younger but I still remember the thrill when we finally got a games capable Sinclair Spectrum.

Following on from Electric Dreams was a one off Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe. In the usual *wipe style he deconstructed the history and culture of computer games. However he's obviously a games player himself and was more than sympathetic to the bad press games have gotten over their history (computer games are the new TV when it comes to threats to our kids). If you like Charlie's semi-ranting style and acerbic style then it's worth a watch. Unfortunately it's a one-off but if the commissioning gods are listening hopefully it will get picked up for a series.

* There are a few kinks to work out to get Fliss' work VPN connection working. Apparently the VPN needs a higher MTU than the Netgear DG834G can provide. However I can telnet into it so I may be able to work around that.