Friday 20 July 2012: The Sci-fi Cupboard
It's perhaps an obvious statement to say that without the internet my life would have taken a radically different course. But I am still of a generation which clearly remembers a time before its existence.
A time when, if you phoned them and they weren't in, you'd have to leave your house and search all your normal hang-out spots until you found your mates. When disagreements couldn't be settled by grabbing your smartphone from your pocket, and photos were physical things you shared in person or through the post.
A few years ago my brother built himself a house, which is where we're staying this week. In its centre, in a room under the stairs, live racks of routers, servers, disc drives and wi-fi base stations, which provide internet connections and what's watched on the TV, serve music and store all the family memories.
It's a brave new world my nephew Otis is entering, where this sort of thing will become as normal as the washing machine and central heating controls it's wedged between. But it's also an exciting one, where new ideas spread quickly and opportunities exist that have never before.
And once he's figured out how to connect his new mobile to the home network without his Uncle's help, he'll be well on his way.