Being born in 1966 puts me in a unique position in time... technologically speaking.
I was there for the birth of computing. I was there for the birth of personal computing. And the internet. And MP3 players. And video games. And mobile phones. And smart phones. And so-on and so-on. In many ways, this is a very cool thing, because people born after me don't know of a world without the stuff we have today. It's also a bad thing because I'll be dead before the unimaginably cool stuff is ever invented.
Looking back I can remember outlandish pre-modern-technology shit that kids today would completely balk at. People existed without a mobile phone? Without internet ON your phone? That's crazy!
Recently I saw a video about the ol' PDA days and it all came rushing back to me. Personal Data Assistants were a huge deal when they debuted (computing in your pocket!) and I was an early adopter. I had the Apple Newton, the Palm Pilot, the Handspring Visor, the iPaq, the Treo, and even the Sony CLIE (my favorite of the bunch, which was PalmOS-based) and the Sony MagicLink. And the minute a new one would debut with even cooler features I would sell my old one and get it.
Eventually they didn't really go anywhere so I gave up on PDAs. I just wasn't using them.
Then the iPhone came along, and the rest is history. Bye bye PDA, hello smart phone.
Two companies that have been mostly lost in the tome of modern technology I remember fondly. And there's some cool videos on YouTube that will give you a taste why I feel that way.
The first is General Magic (the people behind the Sony MagicLink)... sorry the music trounces over the people speaking, it's annoying as fuck, but this documentary is awesome...
And the second is a new interview doc about Handspring (the people behind the Visor and Treo...
Now we're at that lull stage where technology is coasting. My iPhone gets faster and has a better camera every year, but nothing truly new is happening. But that next leap is coming soon. Maybe it will be Apple's wearable glasses? I dunno. But I hope I'm alive to see it!
Because I look forward to the generation who cannot comprehend a time before computer chip brain implants. YOU HAD TO TYPE STUFF ON A SCREEN TO ACCESS THE INTERNET?!? THAT'S CRAZY!
Indeed it was.
But I had a fun time watching all that technology happening in Real Time.
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The Texas Instruments “computer” was on back-order, so I bought a Radio Shack Color Computer 2, more money but really a better machine, I remember my PDA, my first e-calendar, with a docking station to sync to my office computer, replaced – displaced by the first Blackberry. Amazing changes over about 40 years. I am looking forward to self driving cars, I am hopeful that they will change my life in 20 years when I will be old enough that I should stop driving. Maybe less than 20 years.