Your own personal year zero

 by Martin Belam, 28 January 2005

The was a great post on The Shifted Librarian this week proving again that the time you are born is year zero for the technology around you. Jenny had been reading a humorous [sic] article in the New Yorker about how it was a confusing and difficult time in 1992 to live in the USA because of the lack of cell phones and the internet. As she was reading the article:

the kids came home and Kailee excitedly told me how today her class had watched a video of President Bush's inauguration. We talked about it for a while, and then I asked how they had watched the video, wondering if the teacher had grabbed a webcast. But no, Kailee said a relative of her teacher had recorded it on video and lent it to her, which really surprised Kailee. She didn't know you could record onto videotape, because she has grown up with digital video recorders (DVRs) in the house. She then proceeded to tell me her theory that the relative must have set up a video camera in front of the TV and pointed it at the screen in order to capture the video, even though the whole setup sounded rather silly. She laughed and laughed and laughed at that thought.

Having said that, my colleagues at BBC Four kindly lent me a couple of videotape copies of the "Death On The Staircase" documentary the channel showed, of which I only caught the first two episodes before I went on holiday. The funny thing is, as they don't appear on the "Now playing..." screen of my TiVo, it didn't occur to us that they were actually available to watch when we were at home the other night.

And this evening on the journey home it dawned on me with dread that I haven't used my VCR for so long that I have to work out how to re-wire it back to the television in order to be able to watch them.

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