Were I just a few years younger, I’d be too young to have seen this technology, let alone remember it. This is a culture that’s no longer with us.
Before there were transistors, printed circuits, browsers and whatnot… there were vacuum tubes.
I can’t explain what a vacuum tube is or what it does, although my father and my uncle could. All I can tell you is that when I was a little boy, a TV set was chock-full of vacuum tubes. And there was this cool tube-testing machine at the local hardware store, where you could find out which tubes had to be replaced.
We don’t even have a hardware store anymore–to say nothing of persons who could take apart any appliance, fix what was wrong with it, and put it back together so it works. My father could do that with every appliance in his home. I can only shake my head in awe and wonderment.