Ah, technology!

I’ve been mystified by this THING that I’ve been seeing in the paper recently. What IS it???

Ah! So that’s what it is- a code for your mobile to take you to a website???? Obviously I’m not alone in my bemusement: there’s a website QRious.com.au

It really is strange seeing a new technology being ‘born’, and being puzzled by what it is at first. More often, technologies build on other pre-existing technologies and there’s not that same sense of ‘I just don’t get it’.

I can though, from my 50plus vantage spot, remember a few technologies being born.  Dad used to have a mobile telephone in his car in the late 60s/early 70s.  You had to call an operator, who would then connect you. I can even remember the phone number 0172 21522!!!  He also had one that he could take out of the car, but it was VERY heavy, and was literally the size and weight of a brick.

I remember our neighbours across the road, who were international travellers (unusual then) and early adopters (also unusual) who had the first microwave oven I had ever seen.  We all stood around it, watching as Uncle Eric boiled a cup of water.  They also had the first reel-to-reel tape recorder that I had ever seen, and we had great fun round the table listening to it and recording our voices.

And my first personal computer? A little Macintosh- a squat, oblong thing higher than it was broad. Until then, my only contact with computers had been pushing out the chads on a card with a pin in mathematics, aware that it was going off to ‘the university’ to a computer kept in a specially controlled room. To this day I don’t really know what it was all about- push out bits of cardboard with a pin? Hey, even I can do that!

I’ve always been a television child- Mum and Dad bought one for the Olympics when I was a year old. But colour television was something else again.  We lined up at the Royal Melbourne Show to shuffle in a queue into a tent to see colour television- coming soon!! And when Mum and Dad bought one, I can remember sitting just LOOKING at it- even looking at the test pattern once programs had finished for the night. I don’t know if  television even stops anymore- do they still have a test pattern??

And so to this little code-thingie.  I don’t know what it’s called. I don’t know what it’s FOR.  It might be dead in the water in a year’s time: on the other hand,  we might forget that we ever didn’t know what it was!

2 responses to “Ah, technology!

  1. I just noticed that similar barcodes are printed on mail that goes through the franking machine.

    It must be a way for Australia Post to record how much postage has been paid on a letter.

    Hmmmm

    Any; first post!

  2. Surely I meant ‘and – first post!’

    When future generations of historians are combing through the huge databases of blogs in an attempt to understand our soceity they will look at my comment and think ‘what an idiot’.

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