Back in 1969 I went to Shudhill in Manchester to find a Christmas present with my Dad. We walked around this incredible area of Manchester where every shop was selling new and used electronic stuff. Literally buckets of components and ex gov. stuff! One of my favourite places was Newcross Radio just around the corner from Shudhill. An Aladdin’s cave of ex. gov. radio gear piled to the roof!
At the end of the day I decided to choose a Sinclair Micromatic AM Radio Kit. My Dad bought it for me and put it away for Christmas. At Christmas I built this tiny radio with a soldering iron that was much too big and almost made a complete mess out it! The radio worked perfectly, tiny battery and earphone, the quality was superb.
When I went back to school after Christmas I took it with me every day and carefully wired the earphone lead through my blazer with the Micromatic in my pocket, I could listen to Radio 1 all day long. I had long hair at the time you understand, so no teacher could see the wires! Great for triple period Tech. Drawing lesson on Friday afternoons, trouble was that I had to sit near a window to get the best reception.
Weblogs have been around now for a few years and I already run a ‘Blog’ that focuses on my present hobby which is Astro-Imaging. My G4AQB Astro-Blog has lots of up to date images taken by myself and Robotic Telescopes together with regular updates of my activities and thoughts.
Although I am still active as a Radio Amateur the ‘Magic’ of the past seems to have faded. Mobile Phones have taken over, the young today find it difficult to understand how talking to another Radio Amateur half a mile away on a home build piece of equipment with a huge aerial could possibly ‘excite’ a person. How can this be a hobby? I can talk to all my friends anywhere in the world by pressing a couple of buttons on my mobile phone! I can send high quality photographs, sound clips, music, videos and even have a video phones!
In October I went to our annual ICT Conference at the ‘Last Drop Village’ in Bolton. The conference was excellent and one of our speakers was a guy from America called Will Richardson, a ‘Blog Evangelist’ giving loads of info about using Blogs in the classroom with children. Will ‘invented’ the terms ‘Digital Natives’ and ‘Digital Imigrants’ The children of today are ‘Digital Natives’ brought up and immersed in the digital technological society. Digital Technology is part of their lives and they accept it as a normal way of life. X-Box, Internet, Play Stations, Mobile Phones, Satelite and Cable TV, Computers, MSN Messenger, iPods…the list goes on! The older generation are ‘Digital Imigrants’ trying desperately to understand and keep up with the ever changing digital technology.
As part of the conference two teepees were erected to house the Year 6 children who exploited the digital technology using iLife and Apple Laptops to produce some wonderful innovative stuff!
I’m a Digital Imigrant…my hobby gave me a wealth of knowledge and understanding about technology back in the 70’s and 80’s…Analogue Technology, Am I an Analogue Native? Yes…I think I am! Radio, Colour Television, Hi-FI, Valves, Transistors, Silicon Chips, Resistors, Capacitors…that was the technology!
I harnessed this technology in the 70’s and 80’s as part of my hobby and my job, what a wonderful time…a time of discovery, investigation, experimentation, constructing, testing!
I’m proud to be an ‘Analogue Native!’
My weblog will give me the opportunity to reflect on the ‘Good Old Days’ of Analogue Technology as well as my current role as a ‘Digital Imigrant’.