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View Full Version : Let discuss technology changes during the last 20 years.



Inclusa
2015-Jul-25, 03:24 AM
Ok, I may be in my late 30s, but my look may pass for someone in the late teen or early 20s.
Let's consider what have developed in the last 20 years or so.
Some may mention high speed Internet; I have experienced dial-up Internet; while it was better than nothing, it is not enjoyable at all.
Before that, I considered the various forms of "computer encyclopedia" pretty informative.
Viagra? It just works against physiology, so I prefer bashing it rather than praising it.
Fax machines have went from cutting edge to obsolete. (Due to scanners and emails.)
Others may mention wifi and smart phones that render Internet universally available.
64-bit systems? I just found many 64-bit programs unstable.....

Hlafordlaes
2015-Jul-25, 01:38 PM
If you are baffled now, just wait until forums are superseded by online virtual worlds. Soon enough we will have mental conditions stemming from the contrast between real and the virtual identities, methinks.

The hubris of each age looking back seems to be a constant in history. I think the best thing that can be observed about the ubiquitous use of advanced technology is the mistaken perception that it may provide that people living in such an age are automatically 'modern.' Modern thought takes hard work, and does not come from knowing how to push buttons. That said, no fiber in my local village makes me feel like I am in the stone age.

By the way, according to a recent report, faxes are still a primary means of communication in Japan, and are still used by the majority for online shopping.

Inclusa
2015-Jul-26, 05:19 AM
If you are baffled now, just wait until forums are superseded by online virtual worlds. Soon enough we will have mental conditions stemming from the contrast between real and the virtual identities, methinks.

The hubris of each age looking back seems to be a constant in history. I think the best thing that can be observed about the ubiquitous use of advanced technology is the mistaken perception that it may provide that people living in such an age are automatically 'modern.' Modern thought takes hard work, and does not come from knowing how to push buttons. That said, no fiber in my local village makes me feel like I am in the stone age.

By the way, according to a recent report, faxes are still a primary means of communication in Japan, and are still used by the majority for online shopping.

People keep talking about the small niche LP (Vinyl disks) market going up, but I still won't get to this audiophile extreme.
I can understand why faxes are still widely in use, though.
Telephones are old enough (and both Canada and the USA claim to be the inventing state of the telephone), but they are still used for distance shopping A LOT.

Noclevername
2015-Jul-26, 08:26 AM
20 years ago my first cell phone did not come with pictures or a camera; it was just a mobile phone.

grant hutchison
2015-Jul-26, 12:34 PM
20 years ago my first cell phone did not come with pictures or a camera; it was just a mobile phone.My mobile phone is still like that.
It does have a built-in torch, though.

Grant Hutchison

Hornblower
2015-Jul-26, 01:58 PM
People keep talking about the small niche LP (Vinyl disks) market going up, but I still won't get to this audiophile extreme.
I can understand why faxes are still widely in use, though.
Telephones are old enough (and both Canada and the USA claim to be the inventing state of the telephone), but they are still used for distance shopping A LOT.
I think there is some power of suggestion here. My hunch is that in many cases the extremist audiophiles hear what they expect to hear, and describe it verbally in terms that don't tell me one iota about what to listen for.

Solfe
2015-Jul-26, 02:33 PM
My opinion on the LP thing is, the product is extremely durable and therefore has value. I mocked my friends last record player way back in 1988, claiming CD's were better. Between 1990 and now, I cannot tell you how many CDs and CD Players I have thrown away because they broke. In fact, I can tell you that my last CD purchase was 6 years ago and I do not have a freestanding CD player anywhere in my house. My friend still has that exact same record player. Longevity=value.

One change that I find amazing is the ability to communicate with people world wide. In high school, this would have seemed like magic.

Noclevername
2015-Jul-26, 03:11 PM
What used to require an office full of computer and audio-visual equipment now fits in your pocket. Anyone with a smartphone, tablet or computer is now their own de facto publisher, news outlet, and TV station. My 10 year old nephew makes his own movie trailers for fun, and composes his own music at times.

Noclevername
2015-Jul-26, 03:14 PM
20 years ago social media was in its infancy, and limited to a few forward-thinking nerds. An application of technology that few foresaw.

Inclusa
2015-Jul-26, 11:57 PM
My opinion on the LP thing is, the product is extremely durable and therefore has value. I mocked my friends last record player way back in 1988, claiming CD's were better. Between 1990 and now, I cannot tell you how many CDs and CD Players I have thrown away because they broke. In fact, I can tell you that my last CD purchase was 6 years ago and I do not have a freestanding CD player anywhere in my house. My friend still has that exact same record player. Longevity=value.

One change that I find amazing is the ability to communicate with people world wide. In high school, this would have seemed like magic.

Ok, I use a very old DVD player, a vacuum tube headphone amplifier (OK, the only purpose it serves is the input and output to another amplifier) for this purpose.
By the way, this DVD player is proven extremely durable.
Hey, I'm a moderate audiophile both by the standard of collection size and the stereo quality.
I just recently got a few CDs of Floraleda Sacchi (for those who doesn't know who she is, she is an Italian harpist and composer, but I have YET to listen her own compositions, and these have disappeared from youtube earlier.)

Hornblower
2015-Jul-27, 04:10 PM
My opinion on the LP thing is, the product is extremely durable and therefore has value. I mocked my friends last record player way back in 1988, claiming CD's were better. Between 1990 and now, I cannot tell you how many CDs and CD Players I have thrown away because they broke. In fact, I can tell you that my last CD purchase was 6 years ago and I do not have a freestanding CD player anywhere in my house. My friend still has that exact same record player. Longevity=value.

One change that I find amazing is the ability to communicate with people world wide. In high school, this would have seemed like magic.

Lack of physical durability is something I can understand perfectly. The manufacturers appear to be building them cheap at the expense of ruggedness. One telltale sign is how much lighter typical machines are now compared with when CD players first hit the market. My remarks concerned alleged systematic differences in the character of the sound, which I have never been able to recognize despite being an experienced musician, and the audiophiles' vocabulary in describing it, using words such as ambience, presence, warmth, etc., in which a good vinyl LP is supposedly superior.

grant hutchison
2015-Jul-27, 04:44 PM
In 2013, I had to write an introduction to a collection of stories I'd written in 1993. Here are (some of) the things I thought I had to explain to new readers about the early nineties:
... when mobile phones were large and scarce and had no function except to make telephone calls; when cameras contained rolls of delicate light-sensitive stuff that you had to send away to have 'developed' before you could see your pictures; ... when personal computers were beige boxes that ran a command-prompt operating system called 'DOS', on top of which a new-fangled thing called 'Windows' sat uneasily and unstably; when people smoked indoors with impunity ...As I recall, I typed the original documents for these stories on a PC with a 20MB hard drive.

Grant Hutchison

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2015-Jul-27, 06:03 PM
The thing that bugs me about technological change is that while we are moving ahead quickly in some areas; we seen to be standing still in others. Space exploration is a mixed example. We have sent probes to what was once considered the traditional 9 planets of the solar system. We have landed 4 very sucessful rovers on Mars and a stationery lander on Titan. We have visited comets and asteroids. Yet; we are still stuck in LEO when it comes to human exploration. In 1969 when we landed on the moon; people were quite optimistic about a human mission to Mars before centuries end. It is very expensive and dangerous to pull off such a mission; could we have done it? Probably. Why hasn't it happened is something that we shouldn't discuss due to forum rules. Mars is still a distant dream.

Noclevername
2015-Jul-27, 06:41 PM
The thing that bugs me about technological change is that while we are moving ahead quickly in some areas; we seen to be standing still in others. Space exploration is a mixed example. We have sent probes to what was once considered the traditional 9 planets of the solar system. We have landed 4 very sucessful rovers on Mars and a stationery lander on Titan. We have visited comets and asteroids. Yet; we are still stuck in LEO when it comes to human exploration. In 1969 when we landed on the moon; people were quite optimistic about a human mission to Mars before centuries end. It is very expensive and dangerous to pull off such a mission; could we have done it? Probably. Why hasn't it happened is something that we shouldn't discuss due to forum rules. Mars is still a distant dream.

In 1995 the Shuttles or Russian government space programs were the only manned game in town. Now, there are private flights servicing the ISS, manned spacecraft are on the verge of a renaissance, and re-usable stages are becoming a reality.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2015-Jul-27, 06:52 PM
In 1995 the Shuttles or Russian government space programs were the only manned game in town. Now, there are private flights servicing the ISS, manned spacecraft are on the verge of a renaissance, and re-usable stages are becoming a reality.

I agree that commercializtion will be a game changer, but will it get us closer to Mars in a quicker time frame than the estimated 2030s-40s?

Noclevername
2015-Jul-27, 06:58 PM
I agree that commercializtion will be a game changer, but will it get us closer to Mars in a quicker time frame than the estimated 2030s-40s?

No, if Mars is all you're interested in it must be a long wait. But the path we were on in the 90s IMO did not lead to Mars at all; no one then was acting on anything that would lead to interplanetary travel. There was a lot of talk, no commitments. A strong, sustained presence in space is what will get us there.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2015-Jul-27, 07:08 PM
Oh well, guess I'll get to see it in the common room at the nursing home...circa 2035. Hopefully....

John Mendenhall
2015-Jul-27, 07:30 PM
In 2013, I had to write an introduction to a collection of stories I'd written in 1993. Here are (some of) the things I thought I had to explain to new readers about the early nineties:As I recall, I typed the original documents for these stories on a PC with a 20MB hard drive.

Grant Hutchison

My partner Donna and I deal in a lot of retro and collectibles. The business is 30% vinyl (records), 30% books, and 30% license plates. The last 10% is the most astonishing assortment of deja vu stuff ever. We love it, the customers are great, and we get to see so many slightly out of date things. Best summary was the lady who walked in, looked around the shop, and said "With this much junk, you gotta have 8-track tapes." She left with a dozen and a player.

Solfe
2015-Jul-27, 09:58 PM
I used to have an uncanny ability to take apart a Rubik's Cube and put it back together with no scratches or dings. I actually pried the pieces off and didn't mess with the stickers.

Several years ago, my son solved a Rubik's Cube in about 10 minutes while watching TV. I asked how he knew to do that and he answered "Algorithm". When I asked him to explain, he started muttering "Front, Right, Invert-front, Upper-invert..." I stopped him and asked if he knew what an algorithm was and he answered. "My Rules." (I swear I hear the upper case in that one.)

Second graders are smarty pants now.

John Mendenhall
2015-Jul-28, 12:59 AM
The thing that bugs me about technological change is that while we are moving ahead quickly in some areas; we seen to be standing still in others. Space exploration is a mixed example. We have sent probes to what was once considered the traditional 9 planets of the solar system. We have landed 4 very sucessful rovers on Mars and a stationery lander on Titan. We have visited comets and asteroids. Yet; we are still stuck in LEO when it comes to human exploration. In 1969 when we landed on the moon; people were quite optimistic about a human mission to Mars before centuries end. It is very expensive and dangerous to pull off such a mission; could we have done it? Probably. Why hasn't it happened is something that we shouldn't discuss due to forum rules. Mars is still a distant dream.

Too bad the Russian moon program flopped. Responding to competition, we might be on Mares by now.

Noclevername
2015-Jul-28, 01:39 AM
we might be on Mares by now.

I see what you did there.

John Mendenhall
2015-Jul-28, 03:19 AM
I see what you did there.

Hah! Unintentional, but we'll leave it alone.

Inclusa
2015-Jul-30, 03:29 AM
I can see that many previous posters are disappointed with the progress of our space program.
On the other hand, I'm somehow disappointed with the progress of regeneration medicine.

Jens
2015-Jul-30, 04:06 AM
I can see that many previous posters are disappointed with the progress of our space program.
On the other hand, I'm somehow disappointed with the progress of regeneration medicine.

More than that, I'm disappointed by the lack of technology to enable people to live longer (meaning the longest-lived people living longer). 114 or so still seems to be an upward boundary that is very hard to break.

primummobile
2015-Jul-30, 12:17 PM
When I was a senior in high school in 1991-1992 I took what the school called Advanced Computer Programming. But all we really did was set up and maintain the school's computer network (they actually let students crawl above ceiling tiles to lay cable back then) and spend hours on the BBS system dialing into various bulletin boards. That was cutting edge at the time, and it blew my mind that I could do that. I bought my first cell phone right after finishing college in 1996, and it was a three watt bag phone with a battery that was about a third of the size of a standard brick. For about $30 a month (voice mail was $10 extra) I got twenty free minutes, excluding long distance and roaming charges, and free weekends also excluding long distance and roaming charges. And again, I thought it couldn't get better than that.

Meanwhile, I have two medical disorders, both probably genetic, that are almost as big a mystery now as they were in 1992 and 1996.

plant
2015-Jul-31, 01:13 AM
things seem to hv ethankfully come 'full circle' now..
when i was in high school, we were programming in basic, writing games ... because there was nothing else to do except play "Zork".
finally after 20yrs kids at school now seem to be learning how to code again- esp Lego Mindstorms, Scratch etc etc... it's great to see.

by the way - IMHO Lego Mindstorms is THE BEST THING ANYONE CAN BUY A 9 YR OLD... (i don't work for lego).