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Friday, January 8, 2016


In 1971 I saw my first digital watch.  It was a big clunky thing, but it was also amazing.  No hands, purely digital numbers.  It was a really cool watch.
In addition to displaying the time digitally, the watch also could tell you the date.  The date for crying out loud…how cool was that?  But wait, there’s more.  This watch also had a function that turned it into a stop watch.  A watch that could tell the time digitally, let you know what date it was, and also serve as a stop watch.  Before this watch you would need a regular watch for time, a calendar to know the date, and a separate very special stop watch to time events.                                         Frog

No wonder this fantastic watch cost over $300.
At the same time I saw this fantastic watch, someone showed me a small calculator which ran on batteries.  Not a big clunky adding machine that only added, but a calculator that added, subtracted, multiplied, divided and did other stuff that engineers used a slide ruler for (giyp).
If this wasn’t enough, a few years later the local bar had a new machine.  It replaced a pin ball machine, and for twenty five cents you could challenge someone to a game of pong.  It was like ping pong; only you paddled an electronic pulse “ball” back and forth to your opponent. You could spin it and vary the speed that you paddled it.  It was really cool.  There was always a long line waiting to play this great new game. SOON

As if “Pong” was not enough several years later they came out with a new game, “Pac Man.”  You had to move a little mouth of a man through a maze gobbling up energy pills while dodging four ghosts.
All these new technological gadgets were so cool and they were being developed and improved so fast I remember commenting as a joke that, “The next thing you know, there will be a watch that not only tells time, date, and is also a stop watch, but it will also have a calculator function and can play Pac Man!”                                                     The

A year later, Casio sold a watch that did all that and more for $29.99.

In the 1980’s, I don’t believe anyone ever envisioned a small phone that was not only cordless, but was portable, told time, date, could act as a stop watch, a flash light, a camera, a video camera, could receive and send messages, would give directions to anywhere, play really cool games, and access virtually all the information available to mankind.
We did have really cool watches.


  1. I check in on technology every few years, when something needs replaced. Feel better soon, Frog.

  2. I heard that our phone has more computer power than the astronauts had on Apollo 11 *Or 12?" Those guys were very brave.

  3. I'm one of those early adopters and paid through the nose for a TRS80 computer. My first desktop cost me $3000 and I paid it off on the installment plan :) My iPhone is infinitely more powerful that that first clunker :)
    We've come a long way baby.

  4. This seems appropriate here:

  5. Yeah, get well soon Frog. And be nice to those nurses. :)

    I have a Casio with day, date, time in every time zone in the world (I have no idea why I would need to know that), it's a stop watch, and can do a couple more things I haven't figured out yet. And it needs no batteries, ever. It's constantly being recharged by light. And it's accurate to within a nanosecond because it's re-calibrated daily via radio waves from an atomic clock in Colorado. All for <$90 at Costco. (Eat your heart out Rolex!)

  6. I do remember thinking I was so cool to have my own home version of PONG. Lordy was it simple.
    However, I can't wait for what is coming next that we really don't need but think we do.

  7. My husband loves his digital watches, like a kid loves his toys.

  8. As a kid I remember watching a British TV series about a monk from the Middle Ages somehow ending up in 1970's and the hilarious situations that ensued as he was confronted with technology that had advanced in those four or five centuries.

    Now, I'd love to encounter a scenario like that, except I would meet a person from the 1950's who ends up in 2016. Hehehehe.

  9. Sometimes, I just want to go over to the BARn and play Atari. I think my husband has it hooked up to a TV. You know. The old kind of TV. Not flat. Bulbous. With a dial, not a remote. Unless Atari doesn't work on that kind of TV. Even OLD technology is not my friend.

  10. May your friend feel better soon, and it's amazing what our toys can do now.


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