Posts Tagged technology
Posted by CyberLizard in Uncategorized on June 24, 2008
So I called my city’s Water Department and I was sitting through one of those interminable automated menu systems. You know, Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed. Press 1 for blah, blah, blah. Anyway, while tapping my fingers, waiting to get to the menu selections, I hear If you have a rotary phone… . A rotary phone? Someone still has a rotary phone? Enough someones that the city felt the need to mention it in their recording? Who has a rotary phone still?!? Do they even make them anymore? Talk about backwards compatibility. My 5.5 year-old son doesn’t even have a concept of a phone that you plug into a wall (we’ve cut the landline and gone all-cellular). To him all phones are called ‘cell phones’. I don’t think he even knows the iconic shape of a handset. He probably doesn’t even know that the “ring” of a phone was called that because there were actuall bells that rung when a call came in.
<old-man-voice>Back in my day, we didn’t have buttons, we spun a wheel to dial. You kids with your new-fangled buttons, you’ve got it easy. I’ve still got calluses from those wheels.</old-man-voice>
On a similar note, referencing the 21st century and all, where’s my damn flying car? I was promised a flying car by the year 2000! I remember being in elementary school, calculating how old I would be in the year 2000 (26), and dreaming of never having to go to school again while driving my flying car.
Oh, well. It’s not all bad. I’ve got a minivan.
Posted by CyberLizard in Uncategorized on March 27, 2008
I know I’m a geek. Visions of the future have always intrigued me. I was a sucker for EPCOT and its futuristic vibe. On the flip side, the past has an almost equal fascination for me. Not surprisingly, therefore, I have especially been drawn to the future as envisioned by those from the past. Jules Verne pops to mind (Journey to the Center of the Earth , Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea ), as do H.G. Wells (The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The First Men in the Moon), Mary Shelley (Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus) and others. I loved the section at the end of Popular Science magazine where there used to be a section where they highlighted an old edition looked at the predictions back then. And the short story “The Gernsback Continuum” by William Gibson provided a fascinating look into an alternate future that never happened.
Through my recent dive into steampunk culture, I’ve begun to explore more of this past-sees-future concept and ran across a fantastic site called Paleo-future. Their tag line is “A look into the future that never was”. Grabbed my interest immediately. I could get lost all day there, getting a glimpse of where previous generations thought we’d be today. I highly recommend checking it out. This entry had special resonance for me because I remember reading a book about technology around this time (1978) that featured C-3P0 and R2-D2. I used to fantasize about installing one of those room-sized computers in our families living room!