Thursday, 4 October 2007

Technology changes the world

I have been thinking how technology has changed our lives over the last few years.

1. Mobile phones (or cell phones if you prefer). The technology in these has increased pretty much exponentially. I had my first mobil around 8 years ago. It didn't do much except send and receive calls. These of course weren't the very first mobiles - my dad had one of those in the Eighties, size of a brick! They were the firt explosion of popular mobiles though. I was wondering the other day, what it must be like living in Halls of Residence now that technology is so rampant and affordable. Everyone must have mobiles. When I lived in halls there were four phone phones in the building covering 5 floors and about 125 rooms! If you wanted to talk to someone you used the payphone. If they wanted to talk to you they called the payphone and whoever answered it came to find you, and if you weren't there wrote a message on the sheet of paper tacked to your door. Its quite sad to think that this doesn't happen any more!

Don't you wonder, as well, sometimes how anyone ever made arrangements for anything before the popular use of mobile phones. How did we arrange to meet friends, and then tell them we were running late, or find out we should be somewhere else where something exciting was happening... we managed for years, but it is hard to remember how!

2. Computers. When I first had a computer I knew what every file on the computer did. Actually that isn't quite true, when I first had a computer it didn't even have a hard drive... or a disc drive... it used a tape and you saved any programmes you wrote (back in Basic). The next computers got slightly more sophistacted (but never less expensive). No internet back then... and the size of their hard drives... well I have files bigger than that these days!!! When I was at Uni nobody had their own computer (well only the very lucky) we all used the computer labs... and had special 24 hour access cards. When I first started work we didn't really have PCs we had screens connected to a PICK system... and two PCs which you had to book time on! Can you imagine!

3. The internet. I first met the internet when I was at University. I took to it like a duck to water and spent obscene amounts of time in the Computer Lab surfing the net, reading email and talking to people via Telnet. When I first started work we only had one computer with email and it was dialled up twice a day to check for mail. Oh, the excitement when we first got email at our desks... which sent and received once an hour! I cannot imagine now how on earth we ever worked without computers and email!

So now, I sit here with my laptop which is miraculously connecting to the internet via our very own wireless network. My laptop and our desktop downstairs put together still cost about half the price of the first computer that Rich and I bought! It is quite amazing to imagine what might come next!!!