As I stood in the security line at the airport during my last business trip, I saw something that caught my attention. Considering how often I fly, this is no mean feat. A guy next to me handed the security guard his phone, the guard put the phone into a little device, looked at the ID and waved the guy through. Curious, I asked the security guard what had just happened. He told me you can upload your boarding pass to your phone, thus avoiding finding a printer when you're traveling and having to print out your boarding pass. Unfortunately, not all airports have this technology yet, but to me, this is an even bigger indicator of how far we've come with both mobile technology and the software that powers it.
I know things like this shouldn't surprise me, especially since I am a product of the computer/electronic age but it did get me thinking about what a quickly changing world we live in.
Ten years before I was born, the first working computer was introduced. It was so large it needed its own room. The Army financed the research for it during World War II. Punch cards were an integral part of the operation and I remember booby-trapping my sister's car for her honeymoon with computer punch card “confetti." (This was before the debacle of the ‘hanging chad.') Twenty-four years later, HP introduced a basic, programmable computer that could fit on a desktop and in 1981 the Osborne Corporation and Epson released the first "portable" computers.
In 1981, IBM sold its first PC and this is when my fascination with computers began. After three years as an Accountant, I left that job for one at a computer store and not long after that exposure, I decided to start my own business writing software programs. The rest is history and the changes in our lives that have occurred since the first PC are phenomenal.
Today we have iPhones and smartphones, which offer us the capabilities of a computer, literally in the palms of our hands. In 62 years, we've graduated from a room-size computer to a handheld version. Now, depending on your age, you may think this evolution happened at a snail's pace. Yet for many baby boomers, it has happened within their lifetimes. Think of all the words relating to computers that are now a part of our daily vocabulary - word processing, video conferencing, hyper text, thumb drive, email, net book, web browsing, Google, voicemail, Wi-Fi, bluetooth are only a few. Google was even declared the word of the decade (by the folks who declare these things) and is now part of Merriam-Webster's Dictionary. This simply illustrates that while change happens at it's own pace, we are constantly enjoying the benefits of these technological innovations. And I love it.
Until my next post, take care and prosper.