Feels like: 11°F
Friday, Dec. 13, 2013
Last 15 years of technologyPosted Friday, September 23, 2011, at 4:11 PM
The excitement is building for Apple's release of the iPhone 5 on Oct. 4. It's like the wrapped Christmas present that you shake, to try to figure out what it is. Apple has remained mum on its design, although it was rumored a prototype was lost at a San Francisco bar in August.
A similar situation happened last time, before the iPhone 4 release, but the prototype was sold to a tech blog, which leaked information prior to its release, quite similar to peeking at Christmas presents before they are wrapped.
While I have never owned an iPhone and probably never will, it made me think back to how much technology has changed in the past 15 years.
Exposure to new technology may have been slower than most my age. I grew up using Commodore 64 computers at school, which compared to today's standards, could not do much of anything other than run a few games. Our MS-DOS favorite was Scorched Earth, where players control miniature tanks, and try to annihilate each other.
My family never owned a computer back then, nor do they today. Since I had developed an addiction to Neopets, back when it started in 1999, the only way to play was an hour a day at library computers.
Hello, dial-up internet. The page loads from top to bottom, one slow line at a time.
I don't really remember life without the internet, and don't really want to know how much time I have spent using it---from school project research to hours of Mad Men episodes on Netflix.
My first computer was a Power Mac, floppy disks and all, then an indigo iMac G3. I still have the iMac, and it still works, just at a slightly glacial pace. For now, it is tucked away in an upstairs closet, replaced by faster, flashier models.
I remember how cool it was to have a cd player; now I have an iPod roughly the size of a postage stamp. The first cell phone my family had was reminiscent of phones seen on the X-Files, antenna and all; now my personal phone is razor-thin.
While I still have physical copies of books, I prefer reading e-books and e-magazines, although I admit my amount of reading has lapsed since downloading Angry Birds on my tablet e-reader.
My car is even smart, too: it can "sync" with my phone via Bluetooth, providing hands-free calls, text message read-outs on the dash and turn-by-turn directions.
Now, Blu-ray and 3-D TV is starting to take over.
Where will be in 15 years? When my dad and I talk about computers and technology, his side of the conversation is usually reminiscent of Star Trek-esque items: computer screens that appear in the air, and teleportation.
Probably not too far off, in my estimation.
* Ashley Miller is a member of the Pilot-Tribune news staff. Reach her at email@example.com.