Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Wonders of Modern Technology

My first computer was a 386.  I bought it in the mid 80's.  In those days Windows wasn't installed you just had DOS which was fine because I was programming in C at the time for laptop computers.  Yes I said laptops.  They were heavy suckers with 4 inch high screens that would suck up a battery in 30 minutes to an hour if you switched to a back lit display.  They had no hard drive, just dual 3.5" diskette drives.  One would hold a diskette with the operating system (DOS) and the other would hold the program diskette.

I remember how cool I thought I was when I got a sound card, installed it and then went out hunting for the sound package for my favorite game Wing Commander.  For those too young to know what I'm talking about most PC games didn't have sound.  You could, however, purchase for about $10 more or so the sound package.  Many a night I sat with my joy stick listening to what constiuted music as I flew through space killing Kilrathi.  I was in awe that when my joy stick pulled to the left the hand of my pilot on the screen would pull to the left as well.  Yeah I'm a geek.

I remember getting a PS2 at the office and being bowled over by it's speed - I think it had a 486 processor and size...I would SO not need a MEG of space!  I mean come on that's a whole MEG!  And 256 memory was more then enough for any computing job.

In my 20+ years in the computer business I have seen a lot of changes in the world of computers.  We've moved from hulking mainframes to blade servers.  From clunky old 286 processor PCs to intel dual core, from Dos to windows Vista (ok maybe we shouldn't have gone there), we now have desktop computers that have can store a terrabyte of data.  Modems are replaced by DSL and cable modems and every starbucks has wifi.

Why do I talk about this, because at my side I have something that will make these high powered PC's seem like my old 386 from the 1980's.  I'm talking about my smart phone.  My iPhone has 8 gig of memory on it, can access the internet via a wireless or a 3G connection. Allows me to do everything I could do on my PC or Mac PLUS make phone calls. 

Already companies are feverishly working to get "apps" built.  Chipoltle Grill has an Ap where you can make your burrito and transmit the order to the closest location.  It's there waiting for you.  Starbucks is piloting an Ap where you can order your coffee, pay for it via your phone (and a credit card or starbucks card), and then put your phone in front of a scanner.  The scanner will read a barcode your phone is displaying and POOF you've bought your Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte with extra foam.

And best yet - I can play Rock Band on my iPhone!  Oops gotta go, my drum solo is coming up.

1 comment:

  1. Oh how I envy you the knowledge to be able to operate all that equipment. My mother knew how to email before I did. That is so out-of-touch with technology I am.

    But I do remember how fun monochrome monitors were.