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Old 07-14-2014, 11:23 AM
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
3,443 posts, read 2,824,911 times
Reputation: 5917


Most technology shifts happen gradually, a few suddenly. Technology differences between the year I was born and today are significant (4+ decades), though not yet huge: live long enough, they will be.

What technology shifts have you seen, that strike you as interesting? My examples:

My dad was a teen in WW II, served in the Korean Conflict, was well into his career during the lunar landings, and flew prop planes when jets will still rather exotic. Jet travel was expensive when he was young, and gradually went mainstream. Last years of his life, he owned a PC, sent email, used the Internet for personal business, and owned a cell phone (though used it little) that didn't cost very much. I could never get him to give up his land-line, and his logic was solid ("Why? If they want to talk to me, nothing so pressing that I won't get home to see the message on my machine." = Not much personal business is "urgent" for the elderly).

As for me, primary example to kick off comments: money.

Checks were primary way to pay in non-cash situations when I was a kid. Credit cards were in wide use, but department stores and gas stations had special cards (Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, Sears, Chevron, much more).

In 2014, I think checks are inexorably dying out. Which is great: I wrote a check this AM for the first time in several months. Through the mid-1990s, I wrote maybe a dozen or more a month. That will trend to zero over time as all payments go online. It won't quite go to "never," though, at least on my time horizon.

My rewards programs are all on Google Wallet, past few years: grocery stores, etc. That process is incomplete, though, and still just slightly ponderous. Carrying "cards" for stupid stuff like Safeway Rewards, Avis Rentals, etc. seems silly anymore. My wallet has credit, debit, license, and very little else. Are credit "cards" next to be retired? I debit or charge almost everything.

Cash has limited uses in my personal life, but I always carry a twenty. Comes in handy occasionally. Cash and other portable wealth probably won't ever disappear; I dare say it "can't" (nor should it). But I've gone mostly cashless only the past couple years. Last straw on that was company cafes now accepting credit or debit (for lunch, in my case).
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:25 PM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,862 posts, read 51,373,474 times
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I remember when we got our first tv set. I used to deliver an afternoon newspaper. Mail was delivered twice a day, sometimes three times a day. I remember seeing Sputnik and ECHO fly overhead. I'd say that I've seen a few technology shifts.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:36 PM
Location: Someplace Wonderful
5,170 posts, read 3,730,040 times
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My father was born in 1914, and grew up in an era where half the country did not have electricity, and a fair portion of the country did not have indoor plumbing. (I may exaggerate a bit).

I grew up in the 50's and 60's. Things have changed a lot, and I adapted, even embraced those changes. But I have to say, what has happened since Y2K or so has transformed society in ways I cannot comprehend.

I can remember trying to teach my father how to dial up AOL so he could send and receive e-mail from me and my brothers and sisters. He just did not get it. My kids keep trying to convince me to get a smart phone, and I just dont get it. Nor do I get twitter or facebook or instanet. The best I can do is texting and picture messages (not for THAT reason, you perverts! )

PS a good movie to educate us oldsters on the way the new world works is Chef. Rent it!
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:57 PM
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I'm also of the "older" set here. Until I was 12 we had an outhouse and a water well. We lived on a dirt road at the edge of town with no sewers.

The first noticeable technology that impacted me (aside from a family TV) was a transistor radio. It absolutely astounded me that I could carry this radio around and listen to music wherever I was. Amazing.

Then there was a gradual growth of technology that impacted me to a lesser extent until the IBM PC. That was when I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I bought my first computer, an IBM PC-1 in 1982 when I was 34 years old. Imagine being 34 before you knew what you wanted to do with your life.

Since then I've ridden the wave with great enjoyment. In 2002 I started my own computer consulting business and loved it.

I have realized the last couple of years that I'm falling behind in the PC arena, but that's because I retired and haven't bothered to keep up. I have a smart phone (my brain, literally), and a tablet. We each have a laptop and I set up a Windows 2011 Server to store all our data.

We have a PS3 and a PS4 as well as a Wii. Did you know you can play all your music stored on your computer through the PS3, but not the PS4?

I'm posting here, playing poker on my tablet, and watching a TV show.

But for me it all started with that transistor radio...
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:12 PM
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
3,443 posts, read 2,824,911 times
Reputation: 5917
Originally Posted by chuckmann View Post
PS a good movie to educate us oldsters on the way the new world works is Chef. Rent it!
And the day will come when someone waves some new-tech at Grandpa Blondebaerde (me), and I just don't get it.

To your point, why would I want to, exactly? "The land-line works just fine (RE original post)."

Never mind that I'm in the revenue stream at one of the world's biggest tech majors, and watch billions ($$) in orders flow through our systems. That will all change, eventually, too. Logistics on software and hardware distribution are transforming rapidly. I attended internal training recently where a student (employee) was lecturing the trainer at one point, because the former worked in that group and the training couldn't keep up with latest system trends. If I look at technology X vs. Y, in two years Y has gone a different direction and what I knew prior is disturbingly obsolete.

My dad never got cloud storage. It's an abstract concept, in a sense, and I tried whiteboarding it a few times when the idea was pretty obviously in serious development, in 2010. Past year or so, it's here with a vengeance and won't be going away. He went circling back to "but I need to burn all these photos onto CD" a few times. I gave up. He burned the photos to CD. Wonder what he'd say today, if I mentioned I haven't seen a CD player in a late-model laptop in a year or two. Of course that puts me partially out of luck, too, sitting on about thirty old CDs full of dad's albums, but I'll find one somewhere. Pretty shortly, we can kiss all that goodbye permanently (physical media for anything related to software, music, much more).

And there you go. My pops stopped understanding computers thoroughly the year they went to transistors. His "debugging", or more properly "field technician work," which paid handsomely, was 99% fixing jams in the punch-card system or replacing a few burnt-out vacuum tubes. Quite literally.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:28 AM
365 posts, read 166,199 times
Reputation: 997
My dad was a Boeing engineer, and bought a little house in Tukwila - about 1000 square feet. As i got older, and more siblings arrived, my dad spent all his free time with two wooden saw horses, a hand saw, a plane, a level, a hod and trowel, a hammer, and a wheelbarrow. He hand-built extensions on two rooms in the house, plus put a room over the garage, and dug out a bull basement under the house. All with hand tools.

The invention of power tools, and the arrival of all those need Mr Fix-it stuff at the big box home improvement stores is a massive change in technology.

I have to say that the internal combustion engine, air flight, indoor plumbing, electricity, elevators which all happened about the same twenty-year period of time, were much more life-changing than free long-distance phone calls and being able to answer your phone where ever you are is.
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:40 AM
Location: Cleaning CAT VOMIT out of radiators
1,897 posts, read 629,840 times
Reputation: 1563
For me, recording audio digitally has replaced the need for cassette tapes. In terms of seeking knowledge, I rarely go to a public library, when I have one right on my tablet!

I work in the second-hand industry, and my store is inundated with three indicators of a paradigm shift: Framed art and empty picture frames by the hundreds per week, table and floor lamps and lamp shades, and finally: printers. Yes, I'm talking all-in-ones with wifi from less than 4 years ago, not those beige-only classics from 1995 or sooner.

The former are being replaced by the mobile device as a place to consume art and photography, rather than clutter up walls, and the latter are disappearing from the household, in favor of overhead and recessed lighting. Nobody - no-bah-deeee!- prints anymore, except in the work place. We end up salvaging and recycling more art, picture frames, lamps and lamp shades, and printer-fax-scanners than we sell! People are decluttering their lifestyles, and consuming art, entertainment, and media in different ways now.

Last edited by TheGrandK-Man; 07-28-2017 at 09:49 AM..
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