Would you Go Back To Pre-computers?

Noel O'Reilly
8 min readMay 3, 2021
Our connected world. Photo by Nasa from Unsplash
Photo by Nasa from Unsplash

Would you go back to the time to when we did not have computers? I was asked this a few weeks ago and it piqued my interest. I think it’s a great question that deserves some thought. As time goes on, there are fewer of us who remember those days. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s when computers were a rare and expensive commodity. Computers were found in the corporate domain and not in every house as it is today. In fact the closest you would get to a computer at home back then was probably an Atari games console. Now they are everywhere and are involved in all aspects of our lives. I think we are in a golden age of discovery, and computer technology is helping us all to move forward faster.

Can you imagine living today without the internet? Without a computer? Computer games were once only found in arcades. Now they are in most households. Can you imagine not being able to access information via your phone? How about no access to web sites like YouTube for information and entertainment? Would life be better or worse? Are we really living a better life because of the computer? So, if you have a few minutes, please read on while I cast an eye and compare modern living with how we lived before IT and the internet came into our lives.

I remember when…

I left Ireland in the eighties to find my way in the big smoke of London City. In those days, computer technology and the internet were not freely available to all as it is today. Nor was the technology as powerful. We all know the Sinclair, the Atari and the Commodore computers of yesteryear. But they were nowhere near as comprehensive as what we have today, nor as accessible. And we have all seen the IBM with the green MSDOS type on the old 70’s films. I was a big Star Trek fan back then and I was fascinated by their communicators and how they were able to talk to each other with no wires attached. Was this where the idea came from for our mobile phones?

The technology we have today was a fantasy we saw on TV or read about in books. George Orwell predicted the “Big Brother” scenario many years before our current network of street cameras. He also wrote about a world governed by propaganda, government surveillance and manipulation of the masses. Isaac Asimov mentioned robots, machines replacing human workers, mobile phone technology…

Noel O'Reilly

Noel is a singer/songwriter/blogger originally from Dublin, now living in Southampton UK.