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  1. #1
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    Default S18: Contemporary tech

    Of course there's certain tech we take for granted which either didn't exist or was fairly new 1980-81.

    Ceefax

    I remember about this time we bought our first TV with Ceefax - how exciting that was! The ability to read news as it happens - no more having to buy a newspaper.

    No more running to the newsagent for my parents and taking a sneaky look at Page 3 ... d'oh!

    Television

    Channel 4 - Didn't exist - still a year off.

    Television wasn't 24 hours either - no morning TV, no late night, no afternoon. Being a TV addict from an early age I waited with anticipation the next move in televised Naughts and Crosses ...



    [Does anyone know how the game ended?]

    Computers

    They were around. I know this as at junior school, and was doing the best to hit our school library and use the library in town to find out as much about them. Most books talked about them still using punch cards, tape, and magnetic disks were a relatively recent addition.

    I knew I definitely wanted to be involved with them, inspired by Blakes 7 and Doctor Who. And as I said spent a lot of time going to the library to find as much as I could.

    Those days if a child was going to the library from their own bat to read up about something that would interest them it'd be applauded. But this was the 1980s ... so my junior school teacher instead complained to my parents that I was living in a dream world, and should concentrate on other more educational things.

    Educations dismissal of the role computers played just kind of proves how it failed to prepare us for the world we'd eventually go to work in. I think I should give a V-sign to Mr Appleby for that!

    What did computers of the era look like? Well mainly available for the office - I'll let a couple of familiar faces fill you in ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJeu3LCo-6A

    This was the year that computers would first be available for home ...

    * Sinclair's ZX80 and later ZX81 would be the first available for home computing in the UK

    * The first IBM home computer would be available in 1981 ...



    * The BBC Micro would soon follow in the later part of 1981
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  2. #2
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    We didn't have any of them. I watched Doctor Who in black and white TV during most of Season 18! We only got a colour TV during State of Decay (I think)

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  3. #3
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    I remember our TV was upgraded from black and white to colour duing the Fantastic 4 ... and I didn't notice the difference. Ooops!

    I also remember watching snooker on our black and white upstairs ...

    At about this stage my grandad god a VHS video recorder - but they were HUGELY expensive at the time, and only the really richest families had them.

    -----------------

    Does anyone remember the AM radio they advertised in the Doctor Who magazine. Highly advance ... miniature antennae I think. But at this point, FM radio was the new BIG thing.
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  4. #4
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    We were quite lucky, in that our grandparents got us a colour TV in about 75/76? Could even have been earlier, but I definitely watched Deadly Assassin in colour.

    We were also lucky in that Dad's very handy & DIY-y, so although the TV did develop faults from time to time, Dad managed to fix it again and again. I do recall that it was a bit iffy by the time that The Five Faces of Doctor Who was on though, as we had the colour TV sat atop the old Black & White TV in the sitting-room, so that we could be quite sure we wouldn't miss it - ie, if the colour one suddenly gave up the ghost during An Unearthly Child, we wouldn't have to panic. In hindsight, we must have looked very peculiar sat there watching two TVs.

    Ah, we had to make our own entertainment in them days...

    I think Mike's right about computers though - certainly when I started at secondary school, although they had a computer room it was basically just a rapidly-converted stationary cupboard with one BBC Micro in it. Around which all the geekier kids (and I include myself in that, so don't be too insulted) would gather at lunchtimes as if it was the black monolith from 2001!!

  5. #5
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    I remember our Sony colour television with the ker-chunk buttons that you could press softly and carefully to trick it into thinking two buttons or no buttons were pressed. The picture would get confused and melt away into static after about five hilarious minutes.

    It had 8 channel buttons - BBC1, BBC2, IBA1, IBA2, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Only the first three actually worked though because there were only three channels. Any fine tuning was done by sliding a tray out with up-turned dials that would correct any signal slippage.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  6. #6
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    At one point the buttons weren't working on our colour TV, so Dad rigged up some sort of thing which basically looked like a short piece of metal sticking out the side on the end of which was a dial (and by dial, I mean one of those plastic things people sometimes put under the wheels of their furniture, bit like a coaster for chairs). To tune in a channel you had to, as it were, spin the wheel - and then very gently fine-tune it.

    In hindsight it was a bit like the russian roulette of loading a Spectrum game from tape - sometimes you'd get it, sometimes you wouldn't!

  7. #7
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    And of course it goes without saying, certainly from my point of view, that remote control TVs and certainly the VCR, were still luxury items that were the exception rather than the rule in most households.

  8. #8
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    Crap - I forgot the "getting out your seat to change the channel callisthenics ..."
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

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