Monday, 26 July 2010

Bad Backs and Blinkbox. Reflection Time of a 90's Student, or Thing 13.

I was listening to the news on Radio 2 on the way home on Friday and there was this guy from Blinkbox being interviewed. Blinkbox is apparently the next big thing in home entertainment. After you join up online you can either rent a movie to stream onto your computer or TV for a limited amount of time, or you can buy a movie that will be stored in your cloud for you to access in perpetuity. A virtual DVD shelf if you will. 

This interview got me thinking on a couple of levels (doesn't happen very much, so make the most of it). Level one:  the realisation that I'm listening to the Blinkbox guy and nodding along in agreement and understanding. This doesn't usually happen so it's a bit of a Eureka! moment, maybe thanks to Cam23. And, level 2:  my, how things have changed over the last last 15 years... I feel a reflective moment coming on...

...casting my mind back to my university days, I remember  the awful strain on my poor Dad's back every beginning and end of term. From 1994-1998 my parents had an old Volvo estate that was ready for the scrap heap but they didn't let go of it. Why? because they needed a large capacity car to transport me and all my stuff to uni and back on a regular basis. By stuff I mean:  a hi-fi the size of Asia and all the cassettes and CDs that came with it; a mountainous tower computer and screen (in a faded off-white colour of course); floppy disks in various plastic containers; stacks of course notes and A4 lever arch folders; tonnes of photos in albums; text books; French novels; German dictionaries; portable (ha!) TV and video recorder plus video tapes,   etc., etc., etc...  In 1998 when I finally graduated, the car heaved a sigh of relief and finally gave up the ghost, as did my Dad's back.

If I were going to university this October in the year 2010 what would I be taking with me? Just a laptop and a smart phone perhaps. I would probably have all my music, films and photos in digital format stored on said laptop or phone, or waiting for me in the cloud somewhere like Flickr, Spotify, or Blinkbox. All  my course notes would also be digital, maybe on Evernote.  At a push I'd have an 1TB external hard drive for extra security and storage.  I could access my text books and dictionaries online, so I wouldn't need to lug those about.  Even my camera would be integrated into my phone and I would stare with bewildered eyes at the mention of the acronym VHS.  In other words, I could probably fit everything into a small suitcase, get on the train and save my Dad, his back and his poor old Volvo a lot of work!


  1. I'm moving house fairly soon, and boy do I wish that all my CDs were safely stored on some tiny device. My dad (and his Volvo replacement) probably wish so, too.

  2. Could you actually get into your room, Rachel?
    Mind you, even though in theory we could manage with far less these days, we probably still have just as much accumulated STUFF ... plus we are dragging around with us at all times that cloud of guilt over the still-festering intention that ONE DAY we will sort through it all and be organised.

  3. I love your reflection, as it all sounds very familiar. My Dad only had a Clio not a Volvo Estate so it was a good job that the journey from Durham to Newcastle was a short one!

  4. Ah, you were lucky. I didn't even have a telly (sob, deprived childhood) in my era (92-96).

    Studying literature though, I would probably still lug real books about. Can't read a novel on anything but paper.

  5. To Girl in the Moon: if you want to be un-burdened from the weight of CDs, Music Magpie is very good...

    To Miss Crail: it was touch and go sometimes...

    To Kirsty: Did you go to Durham? That's where I was trying to cram everything into my tiny little room..

    To thingblogging: I find it hard to read on a screen too. Doesn't bode well for the future!