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Monday 8 August 2005

The march of technology [Lurks]

Like many of you, I'm a classic early adoptor. I'm guessing I'm not alone to be amazed at how things like the web became mainstream when back in the day, it was an intensely geeky thing that you'd have difficulty just explaining the point of it to someone on the street. There's plenty of developments like this as we get older and technology that was once geeky and cool becomes mainstream.
The one to hit me today is the news that Dixons are to dump 35mm cameras. Bloody hell! I remember when I bought my first digital camera, it was an Olympus 800L and it was hard core high spec in that it took 1024x768 pictures. The only other cameras on the market about that time were the shitty Casio ones really. This camera cost me over £700 (and that was a LOT for me back then), you had to get the pictures off via serial and it would only take about 20 or so shots before draining the batteries - the damn thing heated up like you wouldn't believe.
Now basically everyone has a digital camera and ergo some sort of PC to get the pictures off or some fancy direct-connect photo printer. Hell even if they don't, you can walk into a photo place and slap your memory card in a kiosk and print out directly from there. Amazing stuff really when you consider where it came from.
Are there any other examples of technology that you can remember being once cool and geeky and now mainstream?
And come on, iPods are too easy. :-)


  1. Videogames!
    Jeez, I remember when I was a kid, my peers and I were shunned like the social outcasts we were. Forced to cower in our back bedrooms, discuss our passions in huddles at the end of the playground and buy our fixes from a dilapidated display shelf in the very skankiest corner of the local Boots. I remember seeing an advert for a Sega Mastersystem on ITV and thinking that it was the coolest thing ever, even though it was shit ... and probably on at 3am in a Twilight Zone ad break.
    Now it's different. Videogames are bleeding everywhere! Everyone plays something or other, they're all over the TV or magazines. Everyone has at least a passing idea of what a Playstation is or how one might go about forming a "Tetris". When the hell did that happen eh?

  2. What's amazing about games is how long it took before it was considered as a pasttime that wasn't just for kids. Yet there's been so much time, us old folk grew up with games. I have to try avoid telling kids about what games used to be like, eg. loading them off a tape drive...

  3. It often surprises me how quickly wireless networking has become mainstream. It's really weird going to kids parties and listening to a group of dads talking about setting up their WPA keys and sucking air from tales of unencrypted neighbors.

  4. Another obvious one... mobile phones. How the hell did people manage to organise things ten years ago before we had one each? How did people get to places? How did you find out what was happening? Hell, when I go out on a night, I need two calls and five text messages just to guide me from station to pub!