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View Poll Results: When did the Digital Age begin?
1945 3 25.00%
1965 0 0%
1975 2 16.67%
1980 1 8.33%
1990 2 16.67%
1995 4 33.33%
2000 0 0%
2005 0 0%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 07-31-2012, 01:50 AM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
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I'd say in the First World it began about 1980, in the rest of the world probably not until about 2005 when mobile phones flooded the whole world.
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:06 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
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1971 when I got a "digital" clock.
It was a trick though since it was really a "flip" clock using digits.




I didn't reconsider digital in my life again until the first Macintosh.
Attached Thumbnails
When did the Digital Age start in your opinion?-exposed-flip-clock.jpg  
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Texas
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I would say the 90's because that's when personal computers were more available to consumers. I was born in 85 so my opinion may be skewed by my age.
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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It began with the handheld calculators which were introduced in the mid '70's. Calculators may not have been the first digital
item introduced, but they became the first digital item viewed as a necessity rather than a luxury.

The first one I saw was in 1975, my then landlady got one. It cost 99 bucks, was the size of a half brick, weighed three pounds and was run by a nine volt battery. It became hot during operations. Less than a week after she got this marvel, it was destroyed by her German Shepard.

They got better and cheaper in a bug hurry.
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:10 PM
 
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I answered 1945, because in 1946 the RAND Corporation was formed as a subsidiary of Douglass Aircraft to assist the military in planning. By 1953 RAND had created one of the first digital computers, JOHNNIAC. I picked that moment, because from then on planning in; economics, social systems, military strategy, etc. was all done via qualitative analysis on RAND computers using evolutions of game theory that were only possible with the advent of digital computers to handle the calculations. While the average American was living in a very non-digital age in the late 1950's and early 1960's the government was being heavily influenced in planning and decision making by the qualitative analysis provided by digital computers. Even if the average person did not have anything digital, their lives were certainly being shaped by digital computers playing with game theory.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,571 posts, read 20,546,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I answered 1945, because in 1946 the RAND Corporation was formed as a subsidiary of Douglass Aircraft to assist the military in planning. By 1953 RAND had created one of the first digital computers, JOHNNIAC. I picked that moment, because from then on planning in; economics, social systems, military strategy, etc. was all done via qualitative analysis on RAND computers using evolutions of game theory that were only possible with the advent of digital computers to handle the calculations. While the average American was living in a very non-digital age in the late 1950's and early 1960's the government was being heavily influenced in planning and decision making by the qualitative analysis provided by digital computers. Even if the average person did not have anything digital, their lives were certainly being shaped by digital computers playing with game theory.
I suppose the answer here depends upon how you decide to define an "age." Did the age of aviation begin when the Wright Brothers flew their first aircraft 120 feet at Kitty Hawk? Did it begin when the nations involved in WW 1 started putting a lot of money into research and development? Did it begin when the post war barnstormers and ocean hoppers became public heroes? Or did it begin when safe commercial travel was first introduced and aviation became available to the masses?
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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I chose 1975 because that year approximates the earliest use of the term "digital" I can remember. In this case, it applied to digital recordings of music. A few years before the compact disc came on the market, LPs were made using digital, as opposed to analog, recording techniques. This was a huge advancement for audiophiles.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
I suppose the answer here depends upon how you decide to define an "age." Did the age of aviation begin when the Wright Brothers flew their first aircraft 120 feet at Kitty Hawk? Did it begin when the nations involved in WW 1 started putting a lot of money into research and development? Did it begin when the post war barnstormers and ocean hoppers became public heroes? Or did it begin when safe commercial travel was first introduced and aviation became available to the masses?
It's a good question. I guess my answer would be that the "age" began when it had widespread impact or influence on peoples lives and that can be either directly or indirectly depending on what we are talking about. Flying had little impact on peoples lives outside of a curiosity until WW1 and I suppose one could argue that the "Age of Flight" really took hold in the 1911 Italian-Turkish War when planes were first extensively used for military purposes. From that point on flight began to shape and determine the battlefield and confer an edge to those who possessed it.

This also fits into my example of the work of RAND in the 1940's and 1950's. Even if it didn't have a direct impact on the average American, it certainly had a large impact on the policies and thinking of our national leaders. It was the moment that conferred an edge to one group that forced the others to respond and this drove development and then the transferrence of technology to the business sector and then for public consumption. Just as the edge of the integration of aircraft forced each power in WW1 to respond in kind that led to development and advances in that area.

Culturally though, I don't think it is relevant to pick these more obscure moments. In terms of digital devices hitting mainstream that didn't really happen until the 1970's and 1980's, decades after it became a dominant and influencing force in the government and military. It was the same thing with airplanes. It took decades before their use really had a real impact on peoples lives and became "normal". One can pretty much say the "Age of Flight" from a cultural perspective really began in the 1920's when mail service was being done via the air or in the 1930's when commercial flights became more regular.

If we want to narrow it down to when it hit the mainstream and became commonplace and accessible then the "Digital Age" pretty much began in the 1990's and the "Age of Flight" began in the 1950's.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:08 PM
 
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I chose '95.... PCs becoming more mainstream. The internet. Cellphones. CDs

No, these aren't the first digital items, but when I think of an "age", I'm thinking of when these things began to be commonplace and began to embed themselves into our society...
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhett_Butler View Post
I chose '95.... PCs becoming more mainstream. The internet. Cellphones. CDs

No, these aren't the first digital items, but when I think of an "age", I'm thinking of when these things began to be commonplace and began to embed themselves into our society...
I agree. 1995 introduction of windows 95 and Pentium processor. Both made it so easy to take advantage to computers and go on-line. My first internet provider back in 1995 was Netcom. There was also AOL and Compuserve.
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