15 Years

Just wanted to stop and reflect for a moment.

15 years ago we bought our first PC. A Pentium 100 with a 14” screen, a whopping 850MB HDD and 8MB of RAM and a 14k4 modem (soon to be replaced by a 28k8).
When I booted it up, that is, I put the plug in and pushed the power button.., nothing happened. Well something did, but all I saw was a flashing cursor on a black screen. Now I knew there had to be more to it than this. There was…, it was called Windows 95 and you had to buy it separately and install it yourself.

The modem didn’t work and the guy at the shop said just to install the drivers (the what?).., and I can say that these were the first of many, many hours of tinkering with and cursing at PC’s and Windows just to get and keep them running. The term “It worked fine and now it doesn’t and I didn’t change anything!” became standard.

Browsing took forever. Windows95 and CompuServe took all of my RAM so every image from IE had to be swapped to the HDD. 1 Mb was an enormous amount to download, so we didn’t (now we don’t blink at a files a 1000x bigger).

My MacBook now has more memory for it’s video card then the whole Pentium put together. We now browse wireless via Smartphones which are more powerful and have more storage (13486 MB’s more in my case), they only have a smaller screen, but you can touch that.

I guess it is the sign of the times and the exponential growth of technology. There are kids now who never even heard the sound of a modem connecting (how satisfying was that!).

In another 15 years.., pfff.., where will be? I’ll be 57, thinking my commands in a virtual environment where everything is connected with everything else and nothing is hidden. Information gets to you directly, instantly and personally into your brain. The hive mind will guide you.., until we hit the technological singularity and/or Facebook becomes self aware.

I hope to witness all this.., see what the future brings, however morbid it might be.  200 years ago the future meant not much more than hoping for a good crop next season, the future was always far away. Now everything moves so fast it is impossible to tell where we’ll end up or when we get there.

I can’t wait…