What technology did I use when younger? for 4KM and 4KJ

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What technology did you use when younger?

Dear 4KM and 4KJ,

I just saw your post on technology. I set out to remember how much has changed over the years since I was born in 1954 in Sydney?

1954 - Australia didn’t have television, home computers or the Internet. Telephones had numbers including letters. My first phone number was UY5734. To call long distance, you would contact an operator to be connected. Overseas calls would need to be booked, the operator contacting you when they got through.

We had radios but they were much bigger than the radios of today. Rather than circuit boards and computer chips, they had large glass valves that would take some time to warm up before you heard the radio. Shopping was done at the corner store because we didn’t have supermarkets or shopping centres (malls). Big department stores weren’t in the suburbs and there were no credit cards.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

VALVE

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

1956 - Television arrived. They were very expensive to buy but my family had one, not because we were rich, because my grandfather owned the local electrical goods shop. People would come to our house from the neighbourhood to watch television. Sometimes there could be forty or fifty people there even though at first the TV only showed still pictures of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Guess what? They were black and white TVs. We didn’t have colour television. Colour wasn’t available until around 1970.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

1960 - I started school. My Kindergarten (Prep/Reception) class had 38 students. There were no photocopiers or computers but we did have slide projectors and movie projectors. We did have pencils and crayons.

I'm the student top left near the teacher. Other faces have been blanked out.

This graphic should not be copied.

1963 - I lost my job as inkwell monitor. It had been my job to make certain there was ink in each desk’s inkwell in the mornings. We were now able to use the latest writing technology in class, ballpoint pens.

1971 - I saw my first computer. It was at the Lucas Heights Atomic Energy Research Centre. It was large and had a room of its own. We didn’t have CDs, DVDs, Bluray, hard drives or disks. The computer used cards with holes punched in them. You might stack a hundred or more of the cards into the computer to run one program.

PUNCH CARD - Not a real One.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

1975 - I was in university and had use of a PDP8 computer. It was like comparing a candle to a theatre spotlight when thinking of computers today. It wasn’t very powerful by today’s standards but it started my interest. We didn’t have a computer screen or sound. The computer just had a big machine like a typewriter, a telex printer.  This is how I would type in programs. Without disks, programs were stored as holes in long tapes of thick paper.

1978 - saw me start as a casual teacher. I would arrive with an overhead projector, movie and slide projector and a cassette player. That was pretty high tech back then.

I thought I would create this little video clip to show what an 8mm movie and projector looked like.

1981 – I used a computer with a class for the first time. It had a floppy disk drive and a printer. We didn’t have many programs so I wrote some for the class. It was also this year I started using a video camera with a class. Home video cameras were very new and people thought I was from a TV station when I used it.

FLOPPY DISK

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

1983 – I introduced computers to another school. Children were now writing stories on them and printing them.

1988 – Introduced computers to a third school and the following year bought my first mobile phone. I was at that school until 2000. In that time, I showed children and teachers how to use digital cameras, video camera, scanners, modems, and the Internet. We worked with graphics children created on computers, produced a student newspaper on computers, sent emails and edited videos on computers. This was the first school where I was able to network computers in a room. I was also able to lend some of my computers to children so they could use them at home.  By 2000, our government installed a whole school network and children across the school had access to the Internet.

2000 – 2005 – I was in my final school as a full time teacher. By this time, all schools had computers so it was the first of my schools where I didn’t need to introduce computers or the Internet. I was able to spend more time exploring new things with my students and helping teachers who asked for help.

What is happening now I am retired? I now produce CDs and DVDs for schools and community groups using my equipment. I can photograph, film, record sound, edit the video, design and print covers and inserts for CDs and DVDs, order supplies over the Internet if I can’t find them locally, work on blogs, email, Skype, and research on the web. I have never been so in touch with the world as I am now.

What technology will I use in the future? I will use anything I can afford I think will be of help to others or me. How about you?

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

25 thoughts on “What technology did I use when younger? for 4KM and 4KJ

  1. Pingback:

    A Question for Parents: What technology did you use when you were younger? | 4KM and 4KJ @ Leopold Primary School

  2. Darcy (4KJ)

    Hi Ross,

    My name is Darcy and I am in 4KJ this year.I just read your comment about 1981.Great comment by the way:).

    I never knew about floppy disks till 2013.What was one of the programs you wrote if you can remember?

    When you had the homemade video camera were you popular?

    From Darcy 🙂 (4KJ)

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Darcy,

      Thanks for leaving a comment.

      One program I wrote was a treasure hunt program something like the Battleship game. The students had to enter a coordinate such as B6. They could only enter 10 in an attempt to gather the most treasure.

      Even back in 1981 when I started making videos, I was editing them to make them better to watch. I still have a 1982 video file made back then of my small one teacher school way out in western New South Wales.

      Over the Christmas/New Year break I finally converted all old videos into computer files and added them to my collection. They are now stored on my computer as nearly 300 video files from 1982 to this year. Schools and community groups ask me to film them each year.

      Ross

      Reply
  3. Yunus

    To Ross,

    Wow computers,video cameras and much more other things were really in the 1980’s?
    I didn’t know that in fact I thought they were really introduced in the 2000’s.Right now I’m using laptops,computers and other stuff.

    From Yunus

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Yunus,

      Thank you for leaving a comment.

      There were video cameras before the 1980s but they were not really made for home use. Before the 80s, home movies were mostly made on 8mm movie film. To edit, I had to cut lengths of film and splice (stick) them together to make movies. Video cameras were much easier to use.

      We have so many great pieces of technology to use today. 🙂

      Ross

      Reply
      1. Yunus

        Hello Ross,

        When did the big televisions come? Why did the video cameras have no sound at first? When my parents were younger they didn’t have televisions.

        From Yunus

        Reply
        1. rossmannell

          Post author

          Hello Yunus,

          Big screens we see today haven’t been around too long. The old TVs had what is known as cathode ray tubes. Very big TVs in those days would have been very, very expensive and would need a lot of power. Once we had LCD and LED TVs, it was much more cost effective to make large screen TVs.

          Home video cameras have had microphones from the start. In the technology post I made showing an old movie projector, the 8mm film camera didn’t have sound but some did. Adding sound was more expensive for 8mm so many didn’t have it.

          Many couldn’t afford TVs when they first came out. My family only had one because my grandfather owned a small electrical store and wanted us to have one so people could see one working in a home. Now many home have a number of TVs.

          @RossMannell

          Reply
          1. Yunus

            Hey Ross,

            Wow the video cameras were 8 mm. Do you remember how much the TVs cost? The video cameras and TVs were probably really small back then.

            From Yunus 😆

          2. rossmannell

            Post author

            Hello Yunus,

            At a time when a person in Australia might earn less than £20 ($40) per week, TVs cost hundreds of pounds (dollars) and were only black and white. The 8mm cameras used film sort of like a joined series of pictures shown one after the other. You would use a special movie projector to show the films on a screen. Until recently all movies at the cinema used reels of 35mm film to show a movie. Many now use computers and hard drives.

            To give you an idea of what happens, in May last year a class was looking at animation (cartoons). I wrote a short post and added a video clip I had drawn based on information in a cartooning book. If you watch the video, you will see it in two parts. The first shows a jumping frog and the second a walking rabbit. Being a cartoon, I didn’t film the frog and rabbit. I drew 6 frog pictures and 8 rabbit picture. By repeating the series of pictures one after the other, the frog and rabbit appear to move. Our eyes are fooled into seeing moving pictures.

            Here is the link to that post … http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/05/23/an-animation-demo-for-a-class-looking-at-animation/

            @RossMannell

          3. Yunus

            Hey Ross,

            The Video Cameras were really small but very interesting.
            How did you have to use the Hole Punchers?
            Why were the videos silent like Charlie Chaplin?

            From Yunus 😆 🙄 🙂

          4. rossmannell

            Post author

            Hello again, Yunus.

            Another post I wrote used a series of pictures to show a koala walking along the ground. While I had seen them walking, I didn’t have videos so I put together a series of photos. It’s easy to see each photo in the video. If I had many photos taken very close together, the koala would have appeared to walk normally.

            To see this post, click the link and scroll down tot he video clip…
            http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/11/30/my-learning-journey-with-battalion-hawk-bloggers-global-grade-3-continues/

            @RossMannell

          5. Yunus

            Hello Ross,

            That was very smart of you making a koala walk with a lot of pictures. 🙂
            Have you made any other movies or smart creations in the past? 🙄

            From Yunus 😆

          6. rossmannell

            Post author

            Hello Yunus,

            I have been recording videos since 1981 and still have copies of most I have done. They range from clips on animals and places to school productions. Much of what I do is free but the bigger jobs I have to see the DVDs because I couldn’t afford to give them away. I don’t make money out of what I do as it’s a hobby. At the end of the year I just hope to break even.

            Over the years, I have made animated clips. The koala is an example of what you can do if you only have still pictures. It’s sort of like making a cartoon out of photographs.

            You have an Extended Comment made for you. It is called “Cameras, Projectors and 8mm Film”. It answers the questions you raised on the “What technology did I use when younger?” extended post and includes a little information about the history of films.

            http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/03/20/cameras-projectors-and-8mm-film-for-yunus/

            Keep blogging,
            @RossMannell 🙂

          7. Yunus

            Hello Ross,

            Wow 1981 is a long time. I watched the videos of the UFO, it was pretty cool.

            I used to watch Charlie Chaplin movies at Turkish school and with my dad. My favourite was “The Circus.” I think that what it was called?

            What is your favourite video you made?

            Here is a link to my blog
            link goes here
            From Yunus

          8. rossmannell

            Post author

            Hello Yunus,

            As you can imagine, I have made many VHS videos and DVDs in over 30 years of using video cameras but I believe my favourite DVDs were of a 15 school Performing Arts Festival in my area. I see the dress rehearsals so I have an idea of what is happening and film each of the two nights. The two high schools are involved in each night whereas the primary schools perform on one of the nights, half of them each night. There is singing, dancing, musicians and even some drama in the performances. Each year I tend to have a favourite night performance but 2012 was a year I couldn’t decide. Each night was brilliant.

            Charlie Chaplin was an expert at slapstick comedy. He seemed to often be in trouble and was in “The Circus”. One advantage of the silent films was it didn’t matter what language you spoke, you could still understand the comedy. Today films are made in various language versions, including Türk. 🙂

            Like many subjects, Wikipedia has a link about the film…

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Circus_%28film%29

            @RossMannell

          9. Yunus

            Hi Ross,

            I have watched the circus at my Saturday school because we were learning about Charlie Chaplin.
            Have you watched any Charlie Chaplin movies?

            From Yunus 😆

          10. Yunus

            Hi Ross,

            Charlie Chaplin is my favourite silent movie actor and black and white film. The Circus is a great movie and I like that it has what they’re saying after the scene in subtitles.

            I’ve done a little research but I didn’t get to see what his most famous film is.

            Do you know what his most famous movie is?

            From Yunus

  4. Haille

    Hi Ross Mannel,

    My name is Haille and I am from 4KM.

    In 1981 what did the printers look like? When people thought you were from a radio station with a home video camera, was that because they were big?

    Anyway thank you for leaving a comment on the 4KM and 4KJ blog, we really liked it.

    Bye for now,
    Haille 🙂

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Haille,

      Thank you for leaving a comment.

      My class back then didn’t have a printer although I know they were around. When I did use a printer in school it had what was called tractor feed. The paper was a long folded piece with perforations for the end of each page. Holes on the sides allowed the printer to pull the paper through. When Printed, we were able to tear off each page. Now we use separate pages in the printers.

      By today’s standard, the cameras were larger than the small cameras we can now buy. The camera was plugged into a video recording machine I carried on my shoulder using a shoulder strap.

      These days I still use a larger camera, tripod, microphone and headphones when I film. Sometimes people want to know who I film for but I think many in town are use to seeing me filming in schools and community events.

      Ross

      Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Molly,

      Thanks for leaving a comment.

      Over the years, I have used many different ways of storing programs and works. What we have now is far more powerful than the first computer I used in schools with its floppy disk drive. The computer I use now has 500,000 (that’s a half a million) times the memory of the first school computer I used. 🙂

      Ross

      Reply
  5. Miles MacFarlane

    You’re awesome, Ross. Good for you for taking the time to compile this! And, I’m assuming, making the cc images for the kids to use.
    Cheers
    Miles

    Reply
    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Miles,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I decided late last year to use my own graphics and photos so I could give permission for students and schools to use them without needing to ask. The quality might not always be high but they are available. 🙂

      Reply

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