Looking around me, I’m reminded of the lines “The old order changeth yielding place to new …” in Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem “The Passing of Arthur” and yes folks, much has changed since the first wheel rolled off the assembly line in Mesopotamia, back in 3,200 BC!

When I first came across that poem – which wasn’t out of literary curiosity I might add – I was at boarding school and as group punishment for not remembering all the names of our 1st cricket team’s players, myself and my fellow dormitory inmates were required to learn and recite of few verses of Tennyson’s famous work, on a Saturday night, just to appease a grumpy and socially challenged school master. In fairness, these are the only few lines of poetry I can still remember, so all is forgiven Mr Hofmeyer.

Back then, we thought we were tech savvy. We had just celebrated the launch of analogue TV in South Africa and were able to port our music around on cassette tapes. I remember lying in bed at night, falling asleep to “The Who – Live at Leeds”, playing sweet sounds through my mono earphone (that looked like a hearing aid), plugged into my nifty, Sanyo, battery-powered, cassette player, which was no bigger than a small suitcase. Eveready (our local battery supplier) was happy and we were satisfied customers. Incidentally, cassette tapes were available in 30 mins, 60 mins and 120 mins units, so there were practical limitations on how much music you could consume. Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Who, Santana, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Uriah Heep were my closest friends … until the tapes got stretched! That’s old school nano technology for you.

Fast forward to today and what have we got? How about the Apple iPod Classic, with 160GB hard drive – This baby (which is no bigger than a cassette tape) can store up to 40,000 songs which, based on an average of 3 mins per song, translates into 83,3 days of music! That’s a far cry from where we were back in the 70s.

Looking back I can safely say that the way we work and play has changed dramatically over the past 20 years and we can be grateful to those talented, bright people who brought us ATMs, the internet, cell phones, Velcro and non-invasive surgery.

So, while King Arthur wisely welcomed in change, there are are few things that I would like to hang on to until I shuffle off this mortal coil.