Things no-one has thought about for ages

This just made me look up what he’s been doing lately

Having a normal one, it seems


normal progression from dating one of the Cheeky Girls to writing for GB News.






The Designers Republic.

Used to be everywhere in the early 00s after their Wipeout success. Every other album cover was designed by them.


…which has reminded me of Tomato.

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Squid Game


Ice Knife Game!


When Marks & Spencer and John Lewis didn’t accept credit cards.


Wasn’t there a time when some shops might take Visa but not Mastercard, and vice versa? I think for a while HSBC gave me two credit cards to get around this (and subsequently I got into lots of debt)

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Can’t remember exactly, myself, but it sounds familiar.

When in Singapore in about 2016, it was apparently an entirely MasterCard only zone. Wasn’t prepared for that.

Can definitely remember when UK cash machines weren’t universal (for free withdrawals, at least). Barclays & Lloyds were free with Visa Debit/Delta/Electron, and NatWest & Midland/HSBC were free with MasterCard Maestro/Switch/Solo, iirc. And there were Link cards - mainly from building societies?

And, yeah, definitely remember being given the option of a Visa or MasterCard from the same bank in the late 90s.

Found a good timeline, via Wikipedia here:

Some surprising stuff in there:

1996: The average UK cash machine withdrawal exceeds £50 for the first time.

I think I’d be surprised if you told me the average withdrawal had ever reached £50!

2003: More than half of all UK adults regularly use debit cards.

As late as that?

2003: The average number of credit cards per adult exceeds two for the first time.

More than two, on average! What could possibly go wrong? :upside_down_face::grimacing:

And all this has reminded me of Access - your flexible friend.

Slightly sinister in retrospect.

Also: Mondex. A MasterCard prepay card that was heavily promoted on campus when I went to uni.

Diners Card. I remember it existing, but :person_shrugging:t3::person_shrugging:t3::person_shrugging:t3:. Is it still a thing? Why? How?

I’ve got some pals who have an American Express. Why? Dunno. I remember their Blue Monday advert though. 1998, apparently.

On that note, I don’t remember this

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Those sweet sweet airmiles.

As part of my job I look at customer satisfaction data for a load of banks and AmEx always has the highest score in the UK. There’s a fair old interest rate, sure, but the customer service and the rewards do wonders for them.


As of last year I work in the “payments” space and there has a been a huge amount to learn. I basically used to think that when I tapped my card on a machine the money just kind of hopped from one to the other, like trading Pokémon on a Gameboy, rather than what it actually happening which is a complicated dance between me, the merchant, our respective issuing and acquiring banks and a network in the middle regulating it all.

Basically it’s all massively complicated and only getting more so as more payments becoming digitised and cross-border, and it’s kind of impressive that things are as joined up as they are, with surprisingly few outages / issues.


A mate of mine loves his Amex card for this very reason. And what with AMEX head office being in Brighton a lot more places take it than in other parts of the world


Yeah, when I still did a load of business travel I had an air miles card to pay for everything that had both a Visa and an Amex as part of the deal. The rewards with the Amex were literally double the Visa but the Visa came in handy because so many places don’t accept Amex due to the exorbitant merchant fees.


ICQ, the geekier but streamlined msn messager/aol chat.


It was good, you could just random-dial strangers and talk to them.

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I made some really fun internet friends out of that for a while


Got a cassette deck recently and have been reliving this whenever I leave my phone too close to it for a bit.