You are either reading this on a computer, mobile phone, laptop or some kind of tablet device.
Therefore, you probably understand computers. You probably use them every day. They are probably as familiar to you as bread and milk.
But it was not always this way. When the Information Revolution was in its infancy, computers caused untold bafflement.
Thankfully, the Tele was there to smooth the painful and painstaking process of entering the digital age.
On this day 33 years ago our feature ‘Confused by Computers?’ highlighted just how far we have since travelled.
The article, on December 16 1983, is beautifully quaint. ‘Well, confused or not, the next decade could see them become home as washing machines or vacuum cleaners are today.
‘We’re talking about the home computer, the “in”-gift that nine out of ten school-age children have been clamouring for this Christmas.
‘But while today’s youngsters grow accustomed to computing almost as soon as they’ve started primary school, it’s their parents who can feel not just left out in the d, but utterly confused by computer jargon.
‘It’s difficult not to be dazzled by the amount of computer hardware in city shops.’
The feature goes on to offer some valuable advice from Ian Colligan, senior lecturer in computer studies at Dundee’s College of Technology.
It recommends the best computers of the era: ‘Two models from the Sinclair Spectrum range cost £99.95 for a 16K computer— and £129.93 for 48K computer.
‘Slightly more expensive, but still attractive to Christmas¬time buyers is the Commodore Vic 20 at £150.’
In 1983, that was serious money.
The article continues: ‘Computer buffs will tell you that a “micro” in the home can help you sort out the household budget, play bridge, or solve the kids’ maths problems.
‘It can also keep a record of your stamp collection or mother’s recipe board – just as soon as you put that information on tape and store it.’
So there you have it. Forget the fact that computers ensure you can visually and verbally communicate with people almost anywhere in the world instantly, or that you can pinpoint virtually all locations on this planet of ours with a few clicks of a button.
Because the greatest achievement of the Information Revolution has been to keep tabs on your stamp collection. And don’t you forget it.
Superstar needs no hype
Do you remember a time when Michael Jackson wasn’t a huge superstar?
Seven years after his death, the King of Pop’s legacy still endures, and will continue to do so for decades to come.
In 1983, he was at his peak. His album Thriller, released the previous year, was still selling by the bucketload and he was one of the Earth’s hottest properties.
Therefore, the Tele’s music reviews section of December 16 1983 is a beautifully understated and brief assessment of Jackson’s ‘9 Single Pack’.
It reads: ‘Few can fault the output of the little Motown protege of Diana Ross who has grown into one of the most consistent writer/singers on the disco- soul market.
‘This set of nine picture-bag singles gives you his most recent hits for your party season.
‘The top sides are: “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough,” “Off The Wall.” “She’s Out Of My Life.” “The Girl is Mine (with Paul).” “Billie Jean.” “Beat It.” “Wanna Be Startin’ Some¬thing.” “Thriller” and “Rock With Me”.’
Hype? Nope, we didn’t do that.