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Monday, 08 February 2010

How much has changed in 20 years....

Hi everyone!

Isn't technology wonderful? I was reading in a magazine last week that it is 21 years since Sir Tim Berners-Lee first had the idea of the World Wide Web. When I started working at the BBC, we had manual typewriters. Then we were given electric typewriters and after that, electronic typewriters. Then came the computer, which completely changed our lives - a machine which could remember what you had written - fantastic. I can remember when we first got internet access in the department. The first person to use it was Hamish Norbrook





- he's the man who started the BBC Learning English site in April 1996. I sat in the office next door to Hamish and at lunchtime we were allowed to go in and "play" with this exciting new invention. The first time we used a search engine we were scared that we would break the computer in some way! How things have changed! Now, at the touch of a button, we can find out anything we could possibly want to know. We "visit" places we've only dreamed of. We can communicate with people on the other side of the world within seconds. We can share information and pictures with anyone and everyone. It was very exciting when, a couple of weeks ago, after my last blog, I had an email from Adriana with a picture of her "little angel": here he is:



Cute, huh?

Anyway, soon after Adriana's photo arrived, one of my colleagues sent me a story. It went something like this:

A self-important college student was walking along the beach, when he saw an old man resting on some steps.



He saw the old man watching him and so went up to him and said "You old people will never understand our generation. You grew up in a different world." He was talking so loudly that people around him began to listen. The old man said nothing. The student continued "Young people today grew up with TV, jet planes, space travel, men walking on the moon. We have nuclear energy, cell phones, computers, internet and many more things than you ever had." The old man sat there for a moment and then said "You're right son. We didn't have all those things when we were young...so we invented them. Now what are YOU going to do for the next generation?" The applause from the people listening was amazing.

The story made me laugh...but it also made me think. Each generation invents something new. Something the previous generation wouldn't have believed was possible. And so I wondered....what would you like to see the next generation invent? Do let me know!

Take care

Carrie

PS: Hamish has retired from the BBC, but I shall be seeing him on Monday - any messages you'd like me to pass on?

self-important : someone who behaves in a way which shows they believe they are more important than other people

Comments

Hi Carrie! It has been a while. Oh well, my relationship with informatics did not start on the right foot. At first, I was a bit scared like you, but then I have become kind of addicted especially since I had the broadband. What I would like to have...it is difficult to give a straight answer. I think I would like to have some tools that improve our daily life. Some medical discoveries like the Hiv vaccine, some non invasive cancer cures, but most of all, I do not want the new generation to make the same mistakes that the past generations have made. I hope they will be more optimistic than us. Please, say thanks to Hamish for creating such a useful website. Great to hear from you again. Do not wait to much for posting. Have a good weekend!!

Hi Carrie. My son is an angel indeed with a candid heart although sometimes he likes kidding and making faces just to make you laugh as you can see in the picture. Most of the time, though, he takes the things like school and sports seriously. He says he wants to absorb all the knowledge he has the opportunity to get. Sometimes he teaches me many things. This is magical!We all are here to learn no matter you are old or young. I'd like them to invent something that could canalise the water from a place filled with heavy rains and floods to another that was needing it. Bye Adri

Hello Carrie, It's so good to read about Hamish. Give my best wishes to him and a very Big thank you for BBCLE. I came to know of BBCLE in 2003 and had joined an Learning English email discussion group (majordomo)then,ah.. all the memories are just floating in front of my eyes. I also remember when Hamish had retired and had said bye to everyone. Ever since I came to know of this wonderful site I am hooked to it and have improved my English so much and have also made really good friends here. I love BBCLE, Naheed

Hi Carrie, It's nice to read about BBCLE, and how step by step it became advance in technology like internet. Give my best wishes to Himesh Norbrook, and I wish I could read more about him. Thank him for the great BBCLE site, only his dedication made it possible to have this site. Every new invention is a bit scary in the beginning but when we get use to it we feel comfortable and start getting benefit out of it. The old generations had invented many things for us to utilize it and become a good human being. I would like the young generation to think about what the old people have given them and give them respect in return. Asma

Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.

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