Online Innovation August 30th, 2013
My first introduction to computers was in the original Star Trek series circa 1967 – 1969. I was seeing futuristic technology through the eyes of Gene Roddenberry. A talking computer, recording data on a rectangular disk… and all those flashing lights! To an 11 year old such things were pure futuristic science and technology fantasy.
In 1984 I was running a distribution center on a manual system. We finally decided to automate! That year we installed a mini computer. It was an M/A/I Basic 4 computer that had a whopping 120 Megabyte hard drive. It needed to be housed in an air conditioned humidity-controlled room and ran 16 dumb terminals. At the time this system was state-of-the-art, the best in computer technology. Our mini system, terminals and line printer set us back a hefty $100,000.
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At the same time I got an IBM compatible XT, actually made by Wyse computer systems (it was sleeker and had a lower profile than the IBM XT). It came standard with a 10 megabyte hard drive or optional 20 megabyte hard drive. I opted for the 20 megabytes upgrade. Connected to a phone line with a 300 baud modem, I thought life doesn’t get any better than this. This was the latest technology; information technology at its best.
Fast forward 2013…. We now all have cell phones with 32 gigabytes of memory, bandwidth exceeding our fastest expectations, hard drives the continue to get bigger faster and cheaper, cloud based computing… with no end in sight .
Cloud based computing has changed the way we do things at TechWyse. We’re a high-tech internet marketing company that doesn’t have a single server in our building. All of our information sits in the cloud and is available to our authorized staff, on any device, anywhere. All you need in an Internet connection. I can even access all my office files on my smartphone!
The more technology we have the faster the technology grows. Growth, rate of growth and miniaturization of components will only continue to escalate. Where is it all going to end? What positive effect is this having on our day-to-day lives? Are we controlling the technology or is technology driving us?
My grandfather passed away in 1986 at the age of 96. In his lifetime he went from horse and buggy to motorized vehicle to airplane travel to space travel to seeing a man on the moon. He went from radio to black and white television to colour television. He went from landlines to cell phones; from a world without computers to computers and then the Internet. Just thinking about these past changes in technology makes my head spin.
We know the more technology we have the faster the technology changes will happen. If the past 20 years of advancements are any indication of what’s to come it is truly going to be an exciting ride. I can only imagine what the next 40 years are going to be like. Here is a few predictions…..
3 dimensional transportation (love this but it will kill the trucking, airline and train industry)
synthetic food generation (will end world hunger)
the ability to shift or warp time, to allow deep space travel
Originally when technology was being introduced it promised us more leisure time. Can any of us say we actually have more leisure time now?
If you look at my parents’ generation in the 1950’s they had more leisure time than today’s generation. Technology is a great thing, but we have gone from a “when we can” to a “just in time,” to “ I expect it now” society. What was supposed to supply us with more leisure time and a better lifestyle has turned us into a fast paced, high pressured lifestyle with a lot of neat applications!
The one thing we all I agree on is technology is here to stay and it will only continue to advance at a faster rate in the years to come. We have to be mindful of advancements in the years to come so we ensure we will be better off because of the technology, and not become a slave to it.