What Ever Happened To Hearing Aid Beige?

The show Database aired on the UK’s Thames Television in the 1980’s.

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I stumbled across this clip recently from 1984.

The show Database aired on the UK’s Thames Television in the 80’s. It doesn’t have a wikipedia page unfortunately – which seems like a great shame.

In the clip they demonstrate plugging in a modem, connecting to a network online, looking at a ‘magazine’ like home page with all the comings and goings on the network. Mrs Pat Green explains that she keeps records like ‘whats in the freezer, and names and addresses’ etc, extolls the virtues of word processing, sends an email to the show live on air, then they print it out on a Dot matrix printer, and finally the show distributes some free software to the nation.

Looking back from 2020 all the electronic screeches and bleeps coming from the screen as the credits roll feel like some Avant Garde noise art you’d fine in a Peckham gallery.

This aired before I was even born. But watching it last night I was struck with how futuristic it feels still. I think this might have something to do with the aesthetics of the clip. All the hardware look like industrial objects built to last and be operated in a labs or something. Plus the big blocky boxy fonts that are still used now to signal / scream ‘future’..

We got the logical future that this clip was pointing towards. But how did we allow our lives to become dominated by flat black monoliths smooth as glass? Also, what ever happened to hearing aid beige?

I’m glad that the new Xbox has an interesting form factor. Unlike the Playstation 5, the Series X hardware looks like its a fricking super computer that you keep in your living room. And I really do mean super computer. One of the things that people don’t seem to think about is that the Xbox Series X has a peak power consumption of 300W! Playing the next Call of Duty or whatever will be like running a microwave all evening.

I also tweeted yesterday related to the end credits:

One of the things I miss about the internet now it’s so deeply enmeshed in our daily lives are the dial up sounds. Not to get too ‘back in my day’ about it – but it was the sound of the future. It still is tbh. That sound of dialling up or loading software from a tape deck (for me) was always some kind of incantation. A sonic ritual that worked and felt like you were passing a threshold on/in to another world.

The Internt has such a powerful effect on our lives today that I think perhaps UX design should think about/with just how seriousness of a business the internet is. What it means and what its possibilities are. Onboarding is not good enough. They should instead be thought of as rituals of welcome

Here’s are some semi related videos for you to enjoy:

Lockdown Week 16

I spent the week watching the rain fall from our back door:

In other news my e-cigarette juice oder is lost in the post somewhere. EEK πŸ™

Update From The Island

We’ve been excited for the summer update. The new swimming mechanic is very ‘relaxing’ to play. This week has been busy on the island terraforming wise. Eve finished up ‘Wedding Season’ by pushing Cyrus out the way and snapping this great photo:

I added some more stuff to my bedroom. Really like how everything is looking atm (Also – LOOK AT MY MEME SHIRT):

Permanently Moved

The Tenth Man


Toxic Sediment, 20th Century Media, and spelunking for gems amongst it.

Craving Canon: https://www.thejaymo.net/2020/04/10/136-craving-canon/
Episode 1815 – Speed Gibson: https://permanentlymoved.libsyn.com/301-1815-speed-gibson
The 10th Man: https://archive.org/details/OTRR_The_Tenth_Man_Singles

Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded in one hour by @thejaymo

Website: https://www.thejaymo.net/
Podcast: http://permanentlymoved.online
Zine: http://startselectreset.com

Enjoyed making this episode, and sharing the radio show about mental health from the 1940’s. I highly recommend you check it out.

The Ministry Of My Own Labour

I finished my cultural fracking essay and now I’m about to start splitting my time between a long essay that i’m going to release here on my blog, and another essay / memoir-y type piece about conspiracy theories for a book.

Also about to start working on some spreadsheets for a mates company. Looking froward to sinking my teeth in.

If anyone wants to work with me: ops or strategy etc for any kind of project you’re working on get in touch. I have some room later in June and July for new projects.

Dipping the Stacks

How We Lost Our Attention | Minding Our Minds | Issues | The Hedgehog Review

Canadian sparrows ditch their old song for catchier tune | Environment | The Guardian

Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole’s Iconic Performance at 1996 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. – YouTube

Kittie’s Mercedes Lander Swaps Drum Sticks for Listings | RISMedia’s Housecall


Honestly I haven’t picked up a book all week. (With the exception of a reference guide book where I wanted to check out what the deal is the the spots and yellowing leaves on my cucumbers)


Alessandro Cortini and Daniel Avery have released a full length Collab album called Illusion of Time. It’s an hour of sweeping soundscapes and pulses. wonderful.

Remember Kids:

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2 responses to “What Ever Happened To Hearing Aid Beige?”

  1. […] our allotted two hours. We would sit at the hearing aid beige 286 computer and share the experience together. One of us would drive the mouse, the other work the […]

  2. […] of my earliest computing memories is the arrival of a strange beige box with keyboard. An BBC […]

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