Jeremy fulfilled the great dream of his life yesterday by purchasing an iPhone. I haven't had a lot of time to look at it yet, but so far that thing is like magic to me. Pure magic. I don't understand how it is possible for it to exist and do all the things that it can do. I better stick with my predictive text Nokia flip-phone until I do.
It got me thinking: as amazing as the iPhone is right here, right now, wouldn't it have been even more mind-boggling ten years ago? Here are some technologies from my childhood and young adult years that seemed so cutting edge at the time but have since become commonplace or even obsolete.
Computers. We had a computer in my house growing up for as long as I can remember. It was one of those really boxy computers with a small black screen that could only show green pixellated text. It ran MS-DOS and you had to type in stuff like C: and chk dsk and Run and all kinds of jibberish. Still, I thought it was super high tech (and for its time, I'm sure it was) because it had a touch-sensitive screen. Interesting that while the touch-screen thing went passé for a while, it's back now in a big way with these fancy smartphones.
And don't even get me started on laptops. I got my first laptop when I left for the BYU in 1999 and I thought it was the sleekest, trimmest computing machine there was. I got another look at it about five years after I stopped using it and then it seemed like a hunk of thick plastic with a tiny screen.
Texting. When I was in Japan in 2000, my host sister had a cell phone. No big deal; we had those in America, too. But she could do this fancy thing where she pressed the keys to generate text and then sent that text - almost like an email!! - to the recipient. I thought it was soooo neat. It was called texting, and it hit the States a year or two later. And now you're behind the times if you're still doing the key-pressing thing. It's all about QWERTY keyboards. Sigh.
Cell phones. Remember what they used to look like?
Speaking of cell phones, remember car phones? Somewhere on I-90 near Syracuse there was an old road sign saying you that to report an accident, you could dial a certain number on your CAR PHONE. What is this, 1991?
Finally, when I was in kindergarten I remember my older brothers having a watch that you could play Super Mario Brothers on. Did this really exist? It seems too strange for me to have made up.
Hooray for obsolete and now useless technology!