Stok Footage

Continually experimenting with new ideas and techniques — Reconstructing, Developing, Modernising.

Powerless Commerce

I’m still surprised at how unreliable power is in North America. Yesterday there were a couple of brief outages affecting the part of Toronto I live in. Maybe it was the past couple of days of hot weather, maybe not,

During one outage I was on an errand to get a new bike seat. It was amusing to have to negotiate with a store keeper that he could still sell me a seat as I had cash, so there was no credit card verification needed, and it was possible to calculate the 13% tax on $29.99 without a computer. Luckily someone had the key to the till, so it was possible to get the change and walk out with the bike seat and a hand written receipt saying I had paid cash.

That made me reflect on my youth when I would go to the Candy Box in Southend-on-Sea with my 3d pocket money. In those days it was normal to use cash in transactions, and anyone operating a till could do mixed base arithmetic in their heads to calculate the change – even if the cash register tallied the total.

For people unfamiliar with real British currency there were 12 pennies in a shilling, and 20 shillings in a pound.

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