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social, health, political imagery through the lens of George J Huba PhD © 2012-2017

1976. No PCs or Macs. Not even a Sun workstation. NO Internet. No email. No fax machines. No handheld device more powerful than a simple HP calculator with a few math keys (for $300 in 1976 dollars; $19.99 today). No online bibliographic searching. No laser printers (dot matrix printers had just started to be available). It cost about $3/MINUTE to call from the East to California: everybody wrote letters. No C, no Starbucks, no handheld phones (most people did not even have the landline cordless phones). Color TV was not available in the majority of homes but Monday Night Football was (on B/W TVs).

I used to spend 12 hours a day in the Yale (later UCLA) computer center punching cards to access primitive versions of statistical programs (the now defunct BMDP and Datatext and the first version of SPSS). I was totally delighted in 1976 to get an IBM selectric (pineapple) typewriter for my office. Very few people had access to CRT terminals, so most used punch cards.

It cost $3000 a year to save as much data as my iPhone holds using the 1976 technology of hard disks (monsters about the size of my home heating units which can keep 25,000 cubic feet warm in the winter).

Hard to believe we made it to the moon with less technology. Or supported medical centers, the IRS, and the Library of Congress with the technology of the mid 1970s.

Yup, it was hard to be a technology worker in the 70s and 80s. On the other hand, the bridges and roadways were in fine condition, there was a working rail system, schools were better and actually taught students to read, and people would pick up the phone when they wanted something and communicate with the other party in an interactive way. And your boss did not expect you to be working 2 extra hours every night for the company on your PC, smartphone, or tablet.

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a HubaMap™ by g j huba phd

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