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Saturday, 3 May 2014

The Times They Are A Changin'

Not even Bob Dylan could have imagined the changes technology would bring to ordinary households, when he recorded that song.

There was the miracle of the cordless phone. ~


The convenience of being able to take the phone anywhere in the house was only slightly diminished by the kids that never put it back on the cradle to recharge.  Hard wiring was replaced by phone jacks in every room and you could have the base unit wherever you wanted. There were answering machines, then voice mail, caller display and call waiting.  You never missed a call.

The monopoly Ma Bell had on phone service was broken when wireless hubs brought new service providers.  This hub handled my home phone and Internet.  And, I had a cell phone that travelled with me wherever I went! ~


Let me interject a little warning here for folks who will be away from home a few weeks on holiday.  When I switched to wireless, I kept my Bell system for a month in case wireless didn't work out. For four weeks I never used the old phone system, but left it plugged into the wall sockets.

It was the usual transformer type of plug. ~


I noticed  a buzzing sound and pulled the plug out.  What a shock to see scorch marks from where it was about to catch fire! ~


A check of the second unit showed the same thing.  It appears they overcharge and overheat when the phone isn't used.  So, be sure to unplug those things when you are away!

The old cell phone was replaced by a smartphone. ~


Which brings me to last week, when all of this ~

 

 was replaced by these two, little units.  That's it folks. That's all there is. ~


No wires and no finding a good reception spot in the house.  Those two units and a laptop and I'm never, never out of touch with everyone and everything.

Sometimes I wish we still just had one of these. ~


If it rang when you weren't in the house, you never knew.  No one was offended that you didn't return their call.  The caller just let the phone ring and ring until they got tired of waiting for you to answer and called back later. How would you know they had called you?  It was wired into the wall and you had the perfect excuse for ending the call because you had to go check on dinner, the crying baby or the dog whining to go out.  The world kept right on turning if you missed a call while you sat out in the yard.  There was no need to check it for weather reports, facebook updates or breaking news.  What a time saver that old darling was!

Best of all, when it wasn't working you called the phone company and they sent a man out to fix it. They didn't ask if the problem was inside the house or outside.  You weren't expected to know. You didn't take it to a superstore and try to decipher what someone the age of your grandkids was telling you to do to fix it.

Heck, you could even fix the cord yourself with a little electrical tape. ~


"The present now will soon be the past", Dylan tells us and I really hope the next phase isn't a wireless chip embedded in my ear!