Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.


Folks, something different today: this poem was “forwarded” to me by someone with a sense of history (and nostalgia?) and I thought some of you, at least, might enjoy it. I promise that my usual fare of tech tips, advice, and How To’s will be here tomorrow! (Maybe, my review of IE 9 beta?)


A little house with three bedrooms,

one bathroom and one car on the street.

A mower that you had to push

to make the grass look neat.

In the kitchen on the wall

we only had one phone,

And no need for recording things,

someone was always home.

We only had a living room

where we would congregate,

unless it was at mealtime

in the kitchen where we ate.

We had no need for family rooms

or extra rooms to dine.

When meeting as a family

those two rooms would work out fine.

We only had one TV set

and channels maybe two,

But always there was one of them

with something worth the view.

For snacks we had potato chips

that tasted like a chip.

And if you wanted flavor

there was Lipton’s onion dip.

Store-bought snacks were rare because

my mother liked to cook

and nothing can compare to snacks

in Betty Crocker’s book.

Weekends were for family trips

or staying home to play.

We all did things together —

When we did our weekend trips

depending on the weather,

no one stayed at home because

we liked to be together.

Sometimes we would separate

to do things on our own,

but we knew where the others were

without our own cell phone.

Then there were the movies

with your favorite movie star,

and nothing can compare

to watching movies in your car.

Then there were the picnics

at the peak of summer season,

pack a lunch and find some trees

and never need a reason.

Get a baseball game together

with all the friends you know,

have real action playing ball —

and no game video.

Remember when the doctor

used to be the family friend,

and didn’t need insurance

or a lawyer to defend?

The way that he took care of you

or what he had to do,

because he took an oath and strived

to do the best for you.

Remember going to the store

and shopping casually,

and when you went to pay for it

you used your own money?

Nothing that you had to swipe

or punch in some amount,

and remember when the cashier person

had to really count?

The milkman used to go

from door to door,

And it was just a few cents more

than going to the store.

There was a time when mailed letters

came right to your door,

without a lot of junk mail ads

sent out by every store.

The mailman knew each house by name

and knew where it was sent;

there were not loads of mail addressed

to “present occupant.”

There was a time when just one glance

was all that it would take,

and you would know the kind of car,

the model and the make.

They didn’t look like turtles

trying to squeeze out every mile;

they were streamlined, white walls, fins

and really had some style.

One time the music that you played

whenever you would jive,

was from a vinyl, big-holed record

called a forty-five.

The record player had a post

to keep them all in line

and then the records would drop down

and play one at a time.

Oh sure, we had our problems then,

just like we do today

and always we were striving,

trying for a better way.

Oh, the simple life we lived

still seems like so much fun,

how can you explain a game,

just kick the can and run?

And why would boys put baseball cards

between bicycle spokes

and for a nickel, red machines

had little bottled Cokes?

This life seemed so much easier

and slower in some ways.

I love the new technology

but I sure do miss those days.

So time moves on and so do we

and nothing stays the same,

but I sure love to reminisce

and walk down memory lane.

Author and image owners unknown

Kinda sorta related: Tip: Bcc Protects Private Email Addresses

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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October 11, 2010 - Posted by | advice, tech


  1. Hey Paul, this is great! I walk down Memory Lane in bits and pieces. The big picture of ‘how it used to be” some is forgotten, some is not known … some appears to be the better ways … everyone should read this.



    Comment by Anonymous | October 11, 2010 | Reply

    • g.,
      Most of this is before my time, but I understand the sentiments expressed here.

      And I have learned enough about History to suspect that it is remembered (usually) as better than it really was. (For instance, I would not trade our current medical knowledge/tech and inoculations for then!) But, yes, times change.. and it doesn’t hurt us to look back now and again, and remember.

      (One of the first “Quotable Quotes” I ever adopted goes something like: “He who forgets the past is condemned to repeat it”.)


      Comment by techpaul | October 11, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hey Paul, Thanks for the Memories as Bob Hope would say. Often talk about the good old DOS, 64K, 5 Mb HD, 8086/8 days with my classes… even slip in a bonus question about those old days at test time. The answers astound.
    Thanks again for the stroll down memory lane…


    Comment by Rob | October 11, 2010 | Reply

    • Rob,
      Yes, the tech is one area I look ahead, and not back.

      Just today, I was down on my hands and knees seeking a thing I had accidentally dropped (on dark carpeting) out of my phone — a chip smaller than my pinkie’s nail, and I marveled at the fact the object I was squinting after held 4 GB’s of data (0.3 GB’s less than my first HHD), and if i couldn’t find it, it would be no great loss, as a replacement would be .. what, $5?

      Yesterday, I took my 486DX unit down so I could do some cleaning.

      I had forgotten how heavy those things were…!

      Moore’s Law.


      Comment by techpaul | October 11, 2010 | Reply

  3. TechPaul,

    I actually experienced the tail end of alot of this… If I could turn back time, I would; with one exception. I get to keep my computer (LOL).


    P.S. Thanks for the linkback!


    Comment by Ramblinrick | October 11, 2010 | Reply

    • Rick,
      I think there are many who join you in that. But… as a man I rather admire once told me, “you can’t put the genie back in the bottle”. So we must do the best we can in the times we have.

      Some of this I remember. In other places here I have mentioned my boyhood ‘motor tours’ – most of those took place in the back seat of one of these: (ours was green)

      What I miss most – I think – is the drive in.. it seems synonymous with my youth, I guess.

      PS — it is a pleasure and a privilege to point folks to your wonderful What’s On My PC... A daily read.


      Comment by techpaul | October 11, 2010 | Reply

  4. Nostalgia is fine, as long as one remembers that it is not the past as it was lived, but a heavily filtered version of it. I was born in 1960 and I can tell you there is very little of how life is today that I would swap for what I grew up with. When I was born discrimination on grounds of race, religion, sex or sexuality was legal (and widely practised), indeed “NO IRISH OR BLACKS” was a common sight in bed-and-breakfast windows, homosexuality was still illegal (in the UK), a woman’s place was in the home and christian prayers and hymns were said and sung in school regardless of the parent’s beliefs. “Authority” figures like the police, doctors, priests and politicians were almost unquestionable (and we all know where those attitudes led us). All that is before we even get to the advances in medicine and technology that those of us in the “developed” world enjoy.
    No, the past is a beatiful place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there,

    ps Having said all that, I have known plenty of people (white, middle-class, and male usually) who would be quite happy to return to the “better” times, when they got the respect that was due them.


    Comment by roger | October 12, 2010 | Reply

    • roger,
      In one of my earlier replies, I pointed out that people frequently are kinder in their memories of the past than the reality actually was (as the bad is forgotten [or ‘put out of mind’] or minimized, and only the happy recalled [and often exaggerated]).

      I am essentially the same age as you, and my recall is a bit different than yours, but I was raised in the San Fransisco Bay Area.. as liberal and progressive an area as there is. But yes, I do not refute your statements.

      I don’t want to subtract from your points, but I think there are more reasons why people (and not just White, middle-class males) have a fond membrance for the “simpler times of yesteryear”, than just ‘respect’. For many, our modern life is urban, hectic, over-crowded, fast-paced, instant on, instant gratification, and information overloaded surveillance society, and there’s never enough hours in the day.

      … I don’t think it is a good thing for folks to spend too much time looking backwards. But, an occasional glance back – if only to see how far we’ve traveled – helps keep perspective. We should be eager to see what tomorrow brings.


      Comment by techpaul | October 12, 2010 | Reply

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