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?