3 Best of Technological Advances


There is no doubting that technology over the past couple of decades has advanced in leaps and bounds. Here are three areas where I believe advancements in technology have made a significant impact:

 

Inexpensive to run, but… the extension cord costs a small fortune!

 

 

 

What a boon to mankind. Now people can easily take photos of…¬† themselves. I wonder where they shove the stick when it’s not being used? Be polite now!

 

 

For somewhere between $1200US and $1500US you can purchase a brand new GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. Wow, what great value. For roughly the same amount of money, you can buy two of the latest new Xbox consoles plus two of the latest new PlayStations. The mind boggles!


Okay, that was all very much tongue-in-cheek, my pitiful attempt at a little humor. Here are the genuine items… or, as we would say in Oz, the fair dinkum items:

#1 Miniaturization – Smartphones

Arguably, nothing has had more of an impact on technology’s rapid advancement than electronic miniaturization, and no device has benefited more from electronic miniaturization than mobile phones. I am old enough to remember the very first mobile phone, so heavy and large they were known colloquially as ”the brick”. Even so, back then it seemed like a minor technological miracle for someone to be able to chat with someone else on a phone that wasn’t attached to anything via wires. Who could have possibly conceived back then that, within a relatively short period of time, the brick would evolve into a comparatively tiny, pocketable device, not only capable of receiving and making phone calls but also allowing users to take photos, record video, play games, surf the web, video chat, record audio, order pizza, listen to music, send and receive emails, watch TV shows and movies, etc. etc.

I’m sure many of today’s youngsters would take the smartphone for granted. That is not meant to be in any way critical or derogatory, they have grown up with the technology. However, for this old geezer, the modern-day smartphone is nothing less than a technological marvel.

#2 Computers – The SSD

Over the past decade or so the humble PC has been the subject of a massive technological boom. I remember back in the day when frequenting help forums, if anyone reported a ”slow computer”, the stock standard response was invariably ”get more RAM”. While that still holds true to a certain extent today, in my experience, nothing improves performance on older PCs more than upgrading from a standard HDD to an SSD.


Over the past couple of years, and particularly during this past year, I have performed many of these upgrades, mostly on older machines running Pentium (or similar) processors with just 4GB of RAM and, in all cases, the results have been mega impressive. To this day, every time I see my next-door neighbor, and sometimes client, he thanks me for his ”brand new” laptop. This was an old Acer laptop running an AMD A4 CPU with 4GB RAM and the improvement in speed and responsiveness was nothing less than amazing. Older machines can be transformed by this simple, and now eminently affordable upgrade.

#3 Home Entertainment – Streaming Video

My wife and I both watch a LOT of TV. We are old and decrepit, and the recliner chair is our sanctuary. Until a few years ago we were stuck with the rubbish on free-to-air TV, plus the choice of just one quite expensive PayTV provider. Today, thanks to the advent of more and more streaming services, we are spoilt for choice. I openly admit we subscribe to Foxtel (PayTV), Netflix, and Stan. We were both gifted brand new iPads for Xmas which came with a free 1-year subscription to AppleTV+… yes please, sign me up! I have since discovered that AppleTV+ is nothing to write home about, and Apple’s more comprehensive streaming services are, comparatively, very expensive. So I’ll see out the free 12 months and, if it things don’t improve, will likely cancel that subscription.

Here in Australia, reality TV dominates free-to-air and, as far as I am concerned, reality TV is a load of crap. I thank goodness every day for the likes of Netflix and Stan. They are not perfect but, boy, they are streets ahead of free-to-air, and relatively inexpensive too.

These picks are, of course, items that have had an impact on my life. How about you, what are your favorite modern technologies?


About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

5 Comments

  1. Welcome back Jim! What about the classic p2p for tv shows (or are torrents bad form)? In this streaming age, where you pay for this and that service, I am from older age where I can access tv show torrents from around the world. The only expense is for the vpn to block prying eyes, Mindblower!

  2. The SSD is one of the best upgrades one can do for any PC. As for the selfie stick, I could care less where it is being shoved. I hope where the sun doesn’t shine.

  3. One advancement I would like to see is lower-end laptops with a slot for a discrete video card.

    One can usually upgrade the memory and hard drive/ssd on a laptop, but generally we are stuck with the inferior video built onto the motherboard.

    I wish they would come up with a new standard to insert a decent discrete video card into a laptop, much as one can insert a SDHC memory card into a card reader slot.

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