>Random Thoughts on the New Year

>Are you freaking out over the year? I mean the number, not the fact that it’s just over…again. Then you must be a child of the 70s & 80s. Seriously. How is it this far into the future? While there aren’t flying cars (and let’s face it most people couldn’t handle one), there are some pretty cool pieces of technology we do have…like your smart phone.

That thing you are probably reading this post on is far more advanced than the first computer I saw when I was a kid. You don’t have to type in a command at a C: prompt right? It has more than one color on the screen. It’s faster and holds more data than the old green screen computer I even used in college. That’s right back in the mid-90s colleges still had computer labs with green screens.

If you just asked, “What’s a computer lab?” you are really young or maybe old. Either way, it was this room at a college where students could go to use a computer and surf the Internet. Of course, there were like five websites too look at and most of us just used it for IRC. Internet Relay Chat? It was what we used to talk to random people before Twitter…heck AOL was still new to people back then.

You know what else you don’t use anymore? A map. That’s right, the thing in you hand has like every map ever built into it. We used to have to open these large pieces of paper and try to figure out how to get from A to B.

Do people still use libraries for research? I guess everything isn’t on the Internet yet. But a lot of stuff is…you want to know a random fact about a sport figure? Google it. You know want to know who was the guy that starred in the French Connection and Enemy of the State? Google it. My dad has an iPad, an iPhone and two computers yet he still asks me random trivia questions like the above. Old habits die hard, I guess.

Remember those video phones you would see in movies and old sci fi TV shows? We have that now…it’s Skype or Facetime. Personally, I don’t like it. For those of you who still talk on the phone, watch what you are doing next time. If you are anything like me, you are probably doing something else while chatting. Or I turn into a 3 year old and get distracted by my live image on the screen…so I start watching that and trying to do stupid things like sit up straight, fix my hair, make a funny face.

And how do you watch movies or listen to music? I haven’t bought a physical CD in years. Everything has been downloaded. DVDs? Why even bother. I can go online and download just about anything right now.

I remember when the iPod first came out. I knew then that it would change the entertainment industry. I knew that some day we would no longer have DVDs and CDs. All of our music and movies would be digital. Now that more and more people have high speed Internet at home, it’s become a reality. All we need now are server rooms in our houses to store all of our information. Heck, maybe we don’t even need those anymore. Just buy a few external hard drives and we can store it all on one shelf in a bookcase.

Can you imagine what inventions we will see in the future? I still want a laser gun like Han Solo had…forget light sabers. I want a blaster.

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