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Anybody else ever marvel at modern technology?

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by SlickRCBD, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. SlickRCBD Gems: 27/31
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    I've just had my 33rd birthday today the 8th, and am lying in bed having trouble sleeping.

    My mind wanders, and I'm thinking about some of the amazing advances in the last 25 years or so.
    I just got a MicroSD card to let me turn my phone into an MP3 player. It holds 4GB of storage and is the size of the fingernail on my pinkie finger. I remember when 20 MEGABYTE hard drives were what most PC manufacturers included on the systems, and there was a 32MB limit.

    For that matter, when I was a kid the Walkman was just becoming popular. You could play cassette tapes and on the more expensive models listen to the radio on a small device that fit in your pocket or clipped onto your belt. Today you can have your entire music collection on a device about twice the size of a postage stamp. Heck, you can store a good chunk of your movie library on a device the size of a playing card.

    I remember the difficulty of finding a place from an address. Pouring over maps and asking for directions at gas stations. Today we just use MapQuest or use the GPS unit in our cars or even phones that figure the rout out automatically.

    I remember having to find a phone booth when away from home and how expensive and unreliable the early car phones were. Today I carry around a phone that reminds me greatly of Captain Kirk's communicator from Star Trek. I can even program it to make the same beeps when I get an incomming call.

    Computers now come with at least 4 gigabytes of memory. The computer I bought in 1997 came with a 4 gigabyte hard drive. Heck, I recall thinking a Gigabyte hard drive was huge. Now we can buy hard drives in the terabytes.

    How about the ability to send e-mails to people anywhere in the world and expect them to be read and replied to within the hour? I recall waiting days for letters to be answered. People get frustrated with me because I usually only check my mail once a day after work and I don't always check my personal e-mail if I'm not expecting anything.

    How about the ability to look things up instantly with Google instead of having to goto the library and research an answer? Especially now that many people have "smart phones" that provide internet access so they can do it from anywhere. It seems that all the world's knowledge is at your fingertips to look up obscure facts.

    Many of us of my generation, and especially the new generation take these things for granted and don't think about the wonders of what we can do. All these advances have happened in my lifetime, and I'm not that old. I just turned 33 today. The wonders of modern technology are miraculous compared to how things were when I was a kid.

    Maybe reflections like this is a sign I'm getting old. Maybe it's just because this is one of the worst birthday's I've ever had, since I'm fighting off a sinus infection and have spent most of the day in bed and had to cancel the celebrations. Maybe the fact that for some reason I've had Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful world" stuck in my head is responsible for this. In any case, perhaps everyone else should reflect as well.
     
  2. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] I remember marvelling at a computer game that took up a whole ONE HUNDRED MEGABYTES in a full install :p

    I had a desktop which couldn't run BG2 but had a brilliant sound system, I had to pay extra on its replacement as I wanted a floppy drive still :lol: And that was in a span of eight years the floppy was just made redundant. My desktop before that didn't have a CD drive but instead A: for 3 1/2" disks and B: for the 5 1/4" disks. Every so often on switching it on the error I would get was "Keyboard not found. Press F1 to continue."

    My first laptop had 4MB of RAM, and had to be restarted in DOS to play the game I had with it. I now have 6GB and still have to use some form of compatability mode to play most of the games I love ;)
     
  3. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    I remember when game demos, let alone full games, started to get as large as a full CD. That was shocking!

    Yeah it is amazing. I sometimes think about what it would be like to go back in time to show what progress we had made.

    In some ways, I think going back a decade or two would be more shocking (to the audience) than going back a hundred years. I mean, if you go back a hundred years, they will have never seen a computer, let alone a smartphone. But two decades ago, they knew what computers were and some even knew what cellphones were. So I think the sight of a jawdropping amount of performance in the palm of your hand would just about blow minds. I mean at that stage, computers ran in the tens of Megahertz. You would be carrying more computing power in your pocket than probably existed in the most powerful mainframes of the day.
     
  4. hannibal555 Gems: 9/31
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    I'm shocked on how we depend on that technology.
    Last week my mother's town had a blackout for approx. 3 hours.
    Since it was daytime she didn't notice it firsthand but wondered why the cooking took so long. After realizing it she wanted to relax and watch some TV, but no, needs electricity, too :).
     
  5. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    Believe me its worse when you have no water than when you have no electricity. I can survive without tea and TV for a while - but not being able to use the loo, shower or wash my hands makes me VERY grumpy!
     
  6. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I remember being excited in the early 90’s when we got a new computer with a 40 MB hard drive and a whopping 1 MB of RAM.

    I remember our office getting a fax machine in the mid-80’s and thinking how great it was no longer having to rely on couriers to send a few pages to a client half a mile away.

    I remember when Thog invented the wheel, and thinking how great a Frisbee it would make.
     
  7. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    It wasn't Thog, it was his brother Grog. You must finally be getting senile at 25,000 years of age. :p

    I remember when we got our first microwave as a kid. That was awesome for my lazy, never gets off her ass mother. Another excuse to do nothing. Now even cooking dinner was made easy for her.

    I remember our first computer, a TI-80. What a machine! You could do...well.. nothing with it. But then I got my IBM PC jr. 256K. Not 256 RAM, I'm talking the machine itself. It did play the awesome Infocom, text-based games of the day. Which made my year at the time. I think I was 8 yrs old.

    Oh and I think Splunge forgot to mention when sliced bread was invented as well....hehehehe
     
  8. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    I started my computer days with a Commodore 64, in school, we used Acorn computers.
     
  9. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    The first computer I owned was an Apple II +, but I worked on a mainframe terminal at school for several years before that. I think the baud rate was 110. We went through paper like you wouldn't believe. The best game of the time was Adventure (Colossal Cave). I still remember it fondly.

    http://www.rickadams.org/adventure/
     
  10. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    The first computer I ever had was an Amiga 500+, and the first game I ever played was Monkey Island. I was a child of the golden generation.
     
  11. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    We used card readers when I went to university. Stcks of cards. God forbid you drop them and they get all scrambled out of order.

    Yeah, I remember that one. Great game. We used to stay after work to play it on our secretary's word processor (a dedicated word processor, not a program on a computer; I forget the model. It might have been a Wang **). We'd have pages and pages of notes and maps. I don't think we ever finished it, though.

    ** Hehe - "Wang" :)

    No no. It was Thog. Grog was his nickname after he became groggy when he got hit in the head with the new frisbee. :)
     
  12. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    I think modern technology is pretty amazing but it's not without its drawbacks.

    Your entire lo-fi music collection, to be precise. That's one thing that irritates me about digital technology - the tendency to drive standards down. In the CD days, everyone's music was essentially delivered and carried in lossless Windows PCM format (or the equivalent). Now, in order for everybody to be able to download it quickly, it is delivered in oftentimes heavily compressed format (.mp3 128 kbps). I bet that someday, when bandwidth is dirt cheap and 100 times more effective (like maybe in 2015), people will scream in pain at the thought that they bought all their music in thrift store quality. (I just hope they're keeping the masters somewhere safe in the meantime.)

    GPS is a pet peeve of mine because it makes people dumb. I know people now who literally can't get anywhere without it. Plus, they become slaves to it in risky ways like following it into unsafe areas, etc. It's not without its uses, to be sure, but I think people should be able to navigate their way around town without it. If you don't know how to get downtown, for example, you've got bigger problems than that you don't know where an address is. Plus, some people just seem to love it to an offensive degree - any time you get into a car, it's like "time to fire up the GPS to get directions to the store!" Just ... no.

    Cell phones, computers, and modern communication (e-mail, etc.) are all great, I agree.

    The Google is great too except that most of the time you have to surf through a lot of dreck to find what you're looking for. (Search for "red paint," get links for green paint and red apples, etc. Or more appropo, search for "Windows 7 errors" and get results for "Windows XP solutions.") :rolleyes: There's lots of room for improvement here, IMO.

    But yeah, it's mostly all good.
     
  13. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Hehe... you said you were playing with her WANG....hehe
     
  14. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    I was born with modern computers and ipods and stuff so none of it really impresses me that much, although I will say the one invention I think is completely awesome is the internet. It's like a gigantic library if you use it right, I doubt I would know a quarter of all the information that I get on a daily basis without it.
     
  15. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I think toilet paper is the most awesome invention ... especially considering some of the alternatives (sand, leaves, cactus, small furry animals, etc.).
     
  16. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Don't forget Little Brothers and your hand.
     
  17. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Yeah, I admit to being guilty of that. Before, I used to learn my way around new cities by reading maps, looking for landmarks, etc. Now, I can travel the same route several times and still need to rely on the GPS because I’m too busy following what the GPS is telling me to do instead of familiarizing myself with what’s around me. But GPS is great if you’re trying to get to a place you’ve never been to before in a city you’re unfamiliar with.
     
  18. Deathmage

    Deathmage Arrr! Veteran

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    My first computer had 8 gigabytes, and that was considered massive at the time. I was the envy of all my friends, and remained so when I upgraded to 60 gigs (!), and again to 160 (!!!) Now I'm still on the 160 and my friends probably mock me for it.

    I constantly marvel at technology - especially the tablet. In fact, just the other day I was reading a Jules Verne short story on my tablet, wherein he describes a device, a screen, by which you can see the other side of the world instantly. Makes me feel like I'm living in the future...
     
  19. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    That's for you American savages scared of bidets... the more advanced nations (at least in that respect) have been using water for the same purpose for a long time. The Japanese are especially progressive in that area.
     
  20. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Modern technology is hopeless.

    When I was a kid, my "2000 AD" type books promised that we would have flying cars, robots to do our housework, holidays on the moon, and starships capable of reaching other solar systems about 12 years ago. We're supposed to be closing in on teleportation and real cryogenics.

    NONE of that stuff has happened. I feel ripped off and want my money back.
     
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