Archives for : Nostalgia

Bowie Rickman

This week we’ve seen the passing of two legends; David Bowie and Alan Rickman, both aged 69, and a little earlier, Lemmy. While the world prays we don’t lose another highly acclaimed, much loved celebrity, the cold truth is the odds aren’t in our favour.

So many of their era will have lost relatives in WWII. They’ll have experienced the 40’s rationing, 50’s rock and roll, the flower power 60’s, the hippy 70’s and the new romantic 80’s. Five decades of very strong influence. A combination that we’ll never see again.

When it comes to talent, the experience that could be drawn upon would be immense. It’s no wonder that those who lived through those five decades and worked internationally would be so very talented.

Unfortunately for those born later we live through the pain of losing such greatness. It’s a fact of life, “Man, who is born of woman, is short-lived and full of turmoil”. However painful it may be, it’s only human to think we’ll never again be exposed to the wonderful talent they shared with us. We think of the family and loved ones left behind. We are naturally saddened by their loss.

But we’re also blessed by the artistry they left. We’re privileged to be able to listen to, and watch their great work. The people for whom we mourn achieved so much. Their legacies will continue to entertain us, bringing with them so much emotion. We may look at their work from a new perspective but we’ll love it as we always have.

I hate to face that for more of the people we’ve admired all this time have fewer days ahead than behind them, but it is of course true. We all are here for a finite time. Not one of us is immortal. We’ll have to face more losses as time passes.

For me though, I get to introduce these great works to my son. Ill share with him the great works of Robin Williams, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and everyone else who’s made such an impact on my life. We get to say we remember when this was released. We remember how we felt watching or listening to this for the first time. We share their works with a new generation, our favourite track or film.
I’ll continue to play Space Oddity, Labyrinth, Dogma, Die Hard and Snow Cake. I’ll watch associated footage on Youtube.
I consider myself fortunate to live in a time when these great works impacted so much on so many. Although I’ve never personally met them, they’ll always be part of me.

Police Station

Lost balance.
Crutch went out to regain balance.
Crutch hit son’s Lego Police Station at full force.
20 minutes trying to work out which piece belongs to the Police Station and which bricks are standard (non kit) Lego, where they go and if it will all fit afterwards.
All this so an eight year old won’t come downstairs in the morning, see his work in pieces and have a bad day at school.

In hindsight I should’ve told him the Lego criminals broke out and blew the place up.
That would’ve been much cooler!


2014 has been an odd year.

  • Google made contact lenses with Google Glass tech.
  • Samsung and Cisco agreed to share patents (or at least not sue over them).
  • We learned a quarter of Americans think the Sun orbits the Earth.
  • The world’s first Braille mobile phone became available.
  • One of my Billy Connolly audio tapes got snapped, shredded and spat out.
  • Iain Duncan Smith was called to account for using misleading ‘statistics’ to justify his actions.
  • We visited Cragside, and I had the chance to tick “ride in Lord Armstrong’s lift” off my bucket list.
  • Vegan friendly cheese was grown in a lab.
  • Gaza disgusted the world with its unrelenting attack on Palestine.
  • The 3Doodler (3D printing pen) went on sale.
  • Vapes are exempt from the indoor smoking ban.
  • Workfare schemes were deemed illegal.
  • George Takei got slammed for his bullying of the disabled.
  • Skellow and Greggs made the headlines following their publicity on Google.
  • The iPhone 6 followed LG and Samsung’s curved screen approach.
  • Scotland’s referendum voted to remain part of the UK.
  • Apple’s proved their patents are more secure than your data when their iCloud got hacked.
  • Australia proved solar power could replace fossil fuels.
  • @CassetteBoy’s David Cameron video went viral just as David Cameron was criticised for holding a £25,000 champagne party immediately before announcing benefit cuts.
  • Sainsbury’s launched the best Christmas advert I’ve ever seen, while Famous Grouse went mainstream.
  • Ghostbusters reached 30.
  • Three years to the day after we met, we got engaged.
  • And after nearly 20 years, I’m giving up smoking.

Let’s hope that 2015 will be just as interesting. Hopefully in a good way. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hoverboard.

Happy New Year!

Processing nostalgia

It should come as no surprise that processing power over the years has changed.  Today my BBC model B with a full 32KB of RAM (a computer’s short term memory) was taken out for one of Carole’s 365’s.  For a little fun I’ve placed one of my Raspberry Pi’s (512MB RAM) on it as a comparison.

Both are single core.  (No sh!t) But while the Pi is a £25 700MHz the BBC-B set my family back several hundred pounds and managed a paltry 4MHz.  If you include the 5¼” disk drive, the BBC-B weighs quite a bit.  The Pi and its SD card are so light you have to check to ensure you definitely put it in your pocket.

Compare each of these with what’s probably in your pocket – a quad core phone boasting double the Pi’s RAM – and it isn’t hard to see how far we’ve come.  Nowadays kids grow up with touch screen phones and tablets, helping their hand-eye coordination by playing Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, Bad Piggies, Minion Rush, various versions of Sonic the Hedgehog and Hill Climb Racing.   We had Chucky Egg and Manic Miner.  I’m not bitter about it, far from it, I’m happy my son has the opportunity to play these games but I’m tempted now and then to set up the BBC-B and see how he fares with the games we grew up with.

Thirty years ago the BBC-B pretty much took up all of my free time, especially when the weather turned nasty.  Nowadays I can recall only a handful of the commands I once spent hours typing in.  Anyway, here’s a photo for nostalgia’s sake.  Enjoy.

BBC Model B with Raspberry Pi

BBC-B Manual

BBC-B Manual