Technology moving fast and furious

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The leaps and bounds of technology are amazing. For instance, I remember financing my first home computer in 1996 or ’97 (years seem to run together now) for around $2500. It was an IBM Aptiva model - a top of the line model at that time - and I stayed up all night connecting the thing together and checking out the software. I wrote all my English 101 and 102 papers on that old machine, surfed the web for the first time ever (albeit at a molasses rate of speed), and stocked it with video game after video game.

It took me two years to pay it off and by the time I did it was almost obsolete. Four years after that, it was by all purposes extinct. The processor was too slow. The memory was too low. And installing software on it sounded as if the little camera bird from the “Flintstone” cartoons was pecking out a new photograph.

Computers have gotten smaller, leaner and sleeker. And less expensive.

So have cellular telephones.

Remember the clunky bag phones?

The car was about the only place you could use those monstrosities. With today’s cell phones, you can email, take pictures, text message, play cool musical tunes and oh, by the way, make a phone call.

I have text messaging on my cell phone but to this day can’t string together an entire sentence in less than five minutes. I know people who fire off whole paragraphs in less than 30 seconds. On another level, I know people whose text messaging is more expensive than the actual call they use. That sort of defeats the purpose of actually having a phone, I think.

Video games have now gone mainstream. Those Atari video game players of old have grown up and are seeking bigger and better challenges. While once we gleefully watched a triangular spaceship shoot a cluster of graphically challenged asteroids to pieces, these days we require much more.

For example, football games used to only consist of digital X’s and O’s. Now we need to see real players and, of course, a real ball. And we need to see the crowd. And the coaches. And the cheerleaders. And we need to have mascots and fight songs and Lee Corso in the background screaming ‘Not so fast, my friend!’ as Kirk Herbstreit talks about whatever it is that Kirk Herbstreit talks about. Meanwhile, after a touchdown, Aubie or Big Al is doing a dance in the corner of the computer-generated end zone.

Hey, pick up NCAA Football 2006 for either the X-Box or the Playstation 2. It’s all there in brilliant color.

One thing’s for certain: with all the above advancements, we still are just touching the tip of a very deep iceberg. Fast-forward 10 years from now and we may be thinking how in the world we ever functioned with today’s technological masterpieces.

Kevin Pearcey is Group Managing Editor of Greenville Newspapers, LLC. He can be reached by phone at 383-9302, ext. 136 or by email at: