I wasn't even going to write a post today but after reading the latest tech and science news I felt like I had to jot down some thoughts.
When I started out in Technology in the mid to late 90's (Technically I have been interested in technology since the late 70's with the Atari 2400 PC and the Basic cartridge) I often wondered what life would be like as far as technology and science goes in 20 years.
Well, here we are. almost 20 years later. Then, in 1998, I had to get New Edge Networks to come to Eureka, CA to build DSL Facilities in the Pac Bell Central Office (CO) since Pac Bell did not feel like they had enough interest in DSL at the time. It was 1.5Mbps guaranteed from your house to the CO. Coming from Dial up, or even the hybrid cable service we had at Northcoast Internet, this DSL thing seemed amazing and such a leap forward. Fiber was in it's infancy in the Enterprise and Pac Bell started Project Pronta where they were supposed to lay fiber to your door in California. Now we have 4G mobile internet at speeds much faster than that, upwards of 20Mbps; like my home service from TW Cable at 20Mbps burstable up to 50Mbps.
Then, in the late 90's, I had my very first cell phone. It was a Nokia candybar phone and I even upgraded the antenna with LED's to flash when I got a call and then, even that was pretty kewl!!! There were no smart phones. Now, my Samsung Galaxy S4 (with the Snapdragon 800 Quadcore processor) is faster than my 4 year old HP G70 laptop. It is literally a desktop replacement that fits in my pocket. In the late 90's we only dreamed of such a thing. In fact, my first "Smartish" phone was a Windows Pocket PC 2003 from T-Mobile. Basically it was a PDA running Windows CE that had a software phone built in. Granted the phone sucked and I went through 3 of them before downgrading to the Motorola V330 Flip phone / Video Phone.
Now tablets are prevalent like my Google Nexus 7. I remember, in the early 90's, watching Star Trek: TNG and thinking how kewl those tablets were that they carried around. I use my tablet every day. There are certain games that I only play on the Nexus because of the larger screen. I read and watch movies on the tablet as well as watch TWiT.tv and other video podcasts. I have had it since before the holidays and wonder how I lived without it.
Now I have a Samsung Chromebook. It is about an inch thick and weighs about 2 pounds. Then, my first laptop was a fairly huge brick of a thing. Wireless was not available everywhere and the wireless card was a PCMCIA Card that you had to insert into the card slot, usually removing the NIC (LAN) Card first. I don't even remember what brand or model it was but I remember that it weighed about 8 pounds. This "middle of the road" Chromebook reminds me of the Macbook Air a little bit.
As far as science goes we have multiple rovers on Mars now (I remember being glued to NASA TV for 2 weeks watching the live images from the surface of Mars back in the mid 90's.) We can cure some cancers now. We have sequenced the human genome. There have been huge advances in our understanding of the universe, medicine and robotics as well as many other disciplines.
This really is a great time to be alive as far as tech and science advances. I wonder what the future will hold for the next 20 years?