You’ve come a long way, baby

As I look back, I am pretty amazed at the technological advances we have today. I remember seeing my first mobile phone around 1980. It was a real “car phone” that was permanently installed in an auto, and because it predated the cellular network, the reception was limited. Now a cell phone fits in your pocket, can be used virtually throughout the world, and costs next to nothing.

I remember my first personal computer. It had 64K of RAM and one 5.25″ floppy disk drive which held 160K per disk. I had a word processor called WordStar. There was no mouse, and you had to load a program, remove the disk, and then insert another disk to save files. Today, my cell phone has more memory than that computer. My real computer has over 30 thousand times as much memory, and I can use it to edit photos, play music, or talk to my friends for free.

I also remember our first VCR. You could record something as long as you remembered to load the tape, and program it that morning. Now I have a TiVo that stores over 100 hours of television programming. It knows when a show is a rerun, it can tell if a show has been rescheduled to a different time or date, and if I’m gone for two weeks I can return to a library of my favorite shows.

And of course there’s the internet. Before the internet, if you wanted directions you had to get a map. If you wanted stock performance data, you had to go to the library. If you wanted a distant phone number, you needed to call information. If you wanted a tax form, you needed to go to the post office. Now all of this is available to you in a split second via the internet.

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