30 years of technology
I just arrived at ODTUG, and the hotel room has a floor to ceiling window which I thought was pretty neat. The view looks like this (click on the thumbnail to see the whole thing)
While travelling this morning, I was thinking about all of the technology changes that have taken place in the last 30 years. The reason this came to mind was due to how I spent the day yesterday. My 9 year old daughter Megan was in a soccer tournament (they are sweeping the tournament, they are 3 and 0 right now). She called me to say she scored the only and winning goal in their last game. Anyway, yesterday was filled with technology, stuff that didn’t exist when I was her age some 30 years ago.
The morning started by entering the destination into the navigation system. When the kids asked “are we almost there”, we were able to answer “it is 7.1 more miles, estimated time to destination is 11 minutes”. That is a far cry from when I would ask that question – then the answer was typically “if you ask that one more time, grrrr”.
So, we arrive at the soccer field and I check my email quick on the phone. Had a couple of followups to the blog but that was about it. So we find out where we are supposed to go and get setup. My wife had her camera, my son Alan was doing the video
and I was using my new camera. Now – when I was a kid, pictures were a big deal. You had a 110 camera, with a flash cube (4 flashes, throw out the cube, get a new one). You had 12 or 24 pictures, each of which was going to cost money to develop and print. You did not waste a shot. I’m sitting there with 512meg of ram in the camera, about 250 hi-res pictures or 5,000 lo-res pictures. And the cost per shot? Nothing, free. Take a bad picture? So what, either ignore it or erase it. So I was taking pictures left and right. Very different from when I was a kid, when you might have 10 shots from an event. I got some good ones – my favorite one from yesterday was this corner kick by Megan:
Now, in between games, we had some down time — over lunch. We were not in any location we knew, no idea what fast food restaurants were there, what was available. But I had my phone. Quick search on Yahoo and we saw there were lots of Subway sandwich shops nearby. It was decided we’d eat Subway for lunch. Megan and my wife Lori wanted to stay and watch some of the other matches — Alan and I went for the food (just like the caveman days, right…).
Anyway, we knew there was a Subway nearby, but didn’t know where it was or how to get there. No problem, punch up fast food restaurants on the navigation system and choose the closest ones. Turned on the satellite radio and away we go. While getting the sandwiches, my phone rings. In 2005, that is so normal – where ever you are, there you are with the phone (and now the internet on the phones and so on). Well, in 1975 – if you were not at home, you were not getting a phone call.
Imagine in 1975 being in the same situation, you are on a soccer field (it would have been baseball back then), with no idea of what is around you. I forget what we used to do to find stuff back then! Probably asked someone for an idea and directions. So, anyway the phone rang, it was Lori calling from the soccer field (imagine, calling from the baseball field in 1975, people would have laughed at the very idea). She wanted me to bring the camera bag when we returned.
After Megan and her team won the second game of the day, we got ready to leave. We needed some money so we pulled up to the automated teller machine (ATM) and got some out. There we go again. In 1975, if you wanted money out of the bank, you actually went to the bank when it was open and used a human being to withdraw money. ATM’s were just coming into vogue in the late late 70’s and early 80’s. I remember going to college in Pittsburgh – and they were not connected into the national network yet, meaning, I could not use my bank card there and this was 1983.
Anyway, put it all together and we had
- The navigation system in a car with more computing power than my first 3 or 4 computers put together
- Digital cameras/video
- Satellite Radio (listen to the same stations everywhere)
- Cell Phones
- Internet Access everywhere, anywhere
- ATM’s for instant access
And more. None of this was here 30 years ago, makes me curious to see what the next 30 will bring. (I did have to tell Alan he could not bring the laptop to the games. He is teaching himself Macromedia Flash and wanted to program on the sidelines, sometimes it is best to leave it behind…)
And thanks to Richard Byrom for suggesting flickr. That seems to work very well. I like the thumbnails and you can pick the size picture you want to see. Suggest the big size for that last shot above.