Three decades and counting….

Today is our 36th  wedding anniversary. Yikes.  I think both my husband and I are surprised! How did that happen?!  The years have gone by sooo fast, marked by the arrival of three children and the myriad special events in each of their lives.  Now two are in grad school, and all three are married.  We even have three young grandkids, and a new one on the way. Yippee!

Today I started to think about all the ways life has changed  during the past three decades.   Who ever thought, when we were kids, that there would be something like a cell phone?  That pay phones would essentially cease to exist?  That we would be able to shop without ever leaving home…or that typewriters would become something to be displayed in a museum?  Curious about some of the landmark events in technology that have become a big part of our lives, I did a search–yep, on the web–and found the following:

1981 –  IBM unveils the first personal computer.
1981 – The world’s first “portable computer,” the Osborne 1, weighs 24 pounds.
1983 – Computer student Fred Cohen creates the first computer virus as a research project.  Thanks a lot, Fred!  😦
1983 – cell phones first went into commercial service when Motorola introduced the $3,500 DynaTAC phone. Not surprisingly, at that price point, it took a while for the invention to catch on.
1984 – The first Apple Macintosh personal computer (128K,  $2495) releases as “the computer for the rest of us.” First month sales expected to be 50,000;  but 75,000 orders pour in after a novel Superbowl TV ad.
1985  – Dell begins assembling made-to-order computers.
1990 -1991 Tim Berners-Lee, finishes programming the first practical Web Browser.
1993 – The web is so popular that Berners-Lee (who could have received royalties) lets the browser go into Public Domain in 1993 to promote the growth of the World-Wide Web.  A bigger thanks to you, Tim!  🙂
1994 – The Internet “takes off” for commercial and social uses, and Junk EMail begins.  😦
1995  – The online auction community eBay starts out as “”
1999 – Broadband Internet service providers offer faster Web page downloads
1999 – The Y2K computer threat creates widespread panic.
2000 – Digital electronic books (E-Books) become a small part of the publishing industry.
2001 – Apple unveils the iPod.
2003 – Apple introduces  downloadable music via its iTunes music application.

What was your first computer?  Mine was a second-hand Packard Bell, with 5.25″ floppy disks, with DOS and Word Star.  And later, a primitive Radio Shack laptop that cost a whopping $2,700.

But beyond computer technology, there have been so many incredible tragedies during those years.  Incredible discoveries.  Strides in medical research.  I used to think that the changes during my lifetime would pale compared to what evolved during my grandparents time–from plow horses to  the age of flight. But the changes in our world are staggering.

What changes have affected you the most? What do you find the most fascinating?

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21 Responses to Three decades and counting….

  1. Congratulations! 36 years. That’s wonderful. And don’t you both look sweet in your wedding finery.

    • Thank you, Judy! It’s so nice to read your comment, because our kids just think the styles are a hoot. Bow tie, ruffled shirt, the colors we used—things have sure changed since then! 🙂

  2. Kylie Brant says:

    There’s that picture I love! What a beautiful bride you were (and still are!) I vividly recall the 80s as young newlyweds. I thought everything was cutting edge and it feels so odd to see it as dated. My first computer was an Apple IIe. As a matter of fact, I sent in my first manuscript (and second!) typed on one, with that dual sided carbon paper in the printer that I had to detach the perforated sides from before mailing it in! Our first cell phone was a ‘bag phone’…larger than what hung on the wall! I was so excited to be able to call my husband when he was in the field. My kids are all huge fans of 80s music. Strange, huh?

    • Thank you, Kylie! I’d forgotten about the printer paper with the perforated sides…and the bulky bag phone Larry had in his car. I’m still hoping for a phone I can wear on my wrist ala Dick Tracy, or on my shirt, ala Star Trek, so I don’t have to go searching for my cell. 🙂 And I do wish I would have started off with Apple as you did. I would have save soooo many thousands of dollars by now on all the troubles I had with PCs, and the expense of anti-virus and anti-spam software all these years!

  3. lois irvin says:

    Have a wonderful day celebrating!! Give my cousin our wishes also…Lois and Tim Irvin

  4. laurieg72 says:

    I didn’t get a computer until the 90’s!

    80’s- Microwave ovens and a Betamax VCR cost us over $800 in 1980. My work, a hospital started using computers in 1980 for scheduling and writing up patient orders ( ward clerks).

    Video cameras- Our first camera was expensive, heavy and big.

    • Oh, yes!! Microwaves were a fortune back then–I think our first was around $600. And our first video camera was huge! Our son now has a palm size video camera/digital camera that takes far better movies than our big one did. And my first calculator, which I had to buy in college for physics classes because of its square root function (the only special function it had) cost $99.00.

  5. leannebanks says:

    Congratulations Roxanne! LOVE that pic!:) I bought my first computer second hand and it only handled those large floppies. The next one I bought from a discount warehouse and it had two kinds of floppies. After that I was a laptop girl all the way.:)

  6. Cindy Gerard says:

    Congratulations Rox! I agree with Kim. You were and are a beautiful bride.
    My first computer was a Leading Edge. It had no hard drive so I used dual floppy disks and wow, was it a pain to do something as simple as cut and paste. LOL.
    We have come a long way.
    I’m real close to considering a MAC as I’m tired of my PC issues that I’m constantly plagued with. but, Lord, how I hate to learn a new system. So … I’ll probably wait a while longer.

    • Well….I have lived to truly regret my delay in listening to Kylie. She told me for years that Macs were the way to go, and I wish I had made the switch much, much sooner! Now, just like the old E.F. Hutton ads, when Kylie speaks, I listen. 🙂

      The tipping point was Vista (just the name send tentacles of horror down my spine) which crashed endlessly…then crashed for good when I was in the midst of an extremely tight deadline (thanks to the PC problems.) I drove to Best Buy, made it just before they closed, bought an iMac on the spot, and experienced the learning curve while writing like a madwoman. 🙂 But it was soooo worth it!

      If you make the switch, I’ll come over and help for an afternoon if you’d like!

  7. michelehauf says:

    Congrats, Roxanne!
    I’m currently thinking about all the changes over the years as well as I contemplate a time travel story. My first computer was a Mac, and I’ve never changed since. I think I still have a dinosaur cell phone though, because it’s not a smart phone, and it doesn’t do anything fancy.

    • Char & Dave Wikholm says:

      Congratulations Roxie and Larry, I remember that day well. David alsmost passing out during the ceremony. Yes, life has changed so much, I keep wondering what will be next. Hope you are having a wonderful day. Love from your Minnesota cousin’s, Char and Dave

      • Hi Char, and our Best Man David! It’s so great to see you here! You should stop back often at this blog—the others who participate here write fascinating and fun posts!

    • You were smart, starting with the best. 🙂 I just wish I had all the money back that I spent on anti-virus and anti-spam software over the years!

      I think you are wise to have a regular phone. I have a “smart phone” and it hangs up on people all the time, or goes to mute, or switches to voice mail in the middle of calls. In November I can finally replace the blasted thing and can’t wait!

  8. MaryC says:

    Congratualtions on your wedding anniversary, Roxanne and thank you for sharing the beautiful
    wedding picture!
    I don’t remember what our first computer was, but I do know it was IBM compatible as I needed to be able to log into work at times.
    I love the instant access I have to author/publisher/blog sites – so much easier to keep up to date with book releases!

  9. Thanks, MaryC. I agree with you—its wonderful to so easily be able to keep up with what is happening!

  10. Pat Birkett-Roby says:

    Congrats to you and Larry, Rox. What a cute couple! And a
    new baby—-how exciting!

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