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Remember the 80s?

  • Published at 07:12 pm July 7th, 2017
Remember the 80s?
I was born in the early 80s. I remember that the remote control was the biggest technological innovation during the late 80s, but that was pretty much it. I didn’t grow up in a dynamic age when a new technology comes up everyday and becomes obsolete even faster.

The catch with cassettes

From my childhood till high school, all of my friends and I used cassettes to listen to music. This meant we always had to listen to a full album, and in case you wanted to listen to your favourite song over and over again, you had to rewind and forward with absolute accuracy, or take the trial and error path until you had come to the right point. Some of my richer friends had this groundbreaking button called the APS with which you could just forward to the next song without checking in intermittently. We were perhaps the last generation that grew up without technology. However, we were the first ones to use Internet relay chat, social media sites like Hi5 and the likes. [caption id="attachment_72988" align="alignleft" width="300"]Bigstock Bigstock[/caption] In our teens, we could do a whole trip with 36 photos, just because that was how much a reel of film would have. Each of the photos took nine taka to be developed, and then you needed to buy a “real album” to store them in.

Is that a walkie-talkie?

The cell phones that we started with are in museums now. My two and a half year old son thinksthese old phones are a remote control with some sort of display. We all fondly remember the good old days of phones with proper batteries, ones that lasted days and the buttons were a good workout for our thumbs. Back then, each minute cost us seven whole taka and yes, it didn’t have any data or Internet. We used to make good use of the missed call option. Things like “get down”, “I am home”, “I am waiting” and “call me back because I don’t have credit on my phone” could be expressed simply through a missed call. Cell phones were not a part of our body, and hence we forgot to take them when we left the house now and again.

When the magic box wasn't all that magical

111By the way, we also watched games live on TV, from beginning to end, and not just follow the numerical scorecard on a five inch screen. Radio Foorti didn't exist and BTV was like a 60 year old uncle talking to his friend that you still kept going back to listen in on, especially if cricket was involved. Of course, if Bangladesh was playing cricket in South Africa or somewhere it won't be live on TV, we would tune into Bangladesh Betar instead. I also remember bits and pieces of the Ershad regime, when a lot of people took to the streets, not for a few days but for months and months to ultimately bring in democracy. It was very different from creating an online petition and momentarily engaging with a cause. For many of us, during the late 90s-ish and before the Internet reached millions, McGyver was the real technology hero, it wasn’t Bill or Steve. I am also from the generation that hugged each other, and didn't just take a selfie! Things change.