TECHNOLOGY Part I
“If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1000 MPG.” – Bill Gates
One of the greatest technological wonders since the automobiles entered our lives computers established their indispensability. The resulting digital approach to everything has allowed us so many diverse possibilities to make our lives more rewarding and manageable. We had similar attitudes towards automobiles as they kept on surprising us with extra freedom and accessibility features. They offered speed and convenient travel choices.
We adopted automobiles as the agents of heightened productivity, and an awe-inspiring element of higher social living through easier travel across the length and breadth of the country.
Computers moved from government to public domain same way the vehicles became a commonplace, basic form of transportation. It drew close to a quarter century to evolve into an acceptable instrument of control for small business. Personal computers remained a novelty for a while. The continued advancements forced them into the grip of our hand via laptops, tablets and the smartphones.
The similarities between the two could spread into a commentary of a thousand sheets. I would rather let the experts do the honor. Both developments contributed to Industrial Revolutions in their very own sense. Much the same way as the steam engine that gave birth to the railways, and electricity that transformed the entire gamut of human life, the preceding two technologies are beyond censure.
As per records available on ‘History’ channel, [the cheapest Model T car (cost $825.00 viz. equal to about $18,000.00 in today’s dollars). It could go as fast as 40 miles per hour and could run on gasoline or hemp-based fuel. (When oil prices dropped in the early 20th century, making gasoline more affordable, Ford phased out the hemp option.) “No car under $2,000 offers more,” ads crowed, “and no car over $2,000 offers more except the trimmings.”]
Alas, it did not survive beyond May 26, 1927, after the last car rolled off the assembly line. It brought about a fierce race for faster, better, more appealing, more convenient vehicles. Hundreds of enterprises emerged around the globe to create fancy styles of mechanized transport full of bells and whistles beyond human vision. The movement extends to this date, only to become quicker as the last word is not anywhere near sight.
An identical revolution took place with the ENIAC computer. We can vouch for its influence around the world. While its volume continues to decrease, the computing power keeps multiplying beyond imagination. There are companies manufacturing automobiles and again those making the smartphone in its various ‘avatars.’ Trillions of dollars worth of ancillary industries came up within less than a decade. These enterprises and small industries together satisfy the ever-growing need for sale/purchase/resale, accessories, parts, service, repairs, and recycling.
Technology has transformed into a fundamental element of our everyday living.
Technology has transformed into a fundamental element of our everyday living. While modern cars offer unimaginable freedom and luxury, the computer-based smartphones have made us addicted to so many wonderful features like the Social Media, e-commerce, millions of apps, and instant message.
Can we predict the death of either of these two inventions within our lifetime? I refuse to believe it! Though the improvements give access to newer functions and abilities with the add-ons the primary functions continue to meet user adaptability. Few of the components and accessories may have become extinct same as the dodo bird but the technology keeps on growing further and more intelligent. The ‘clutch’ and the ‘stick shift’ of standard drive turned into a rarity because of the superior satisfaction of operating an automatic vehicle. Same way, the Floppy Disc, the CD-RoM and the External Hard Disk Drive had to yield to ‘Cloud’ storage.
Even the said ‘Cloud’ shall soon meet its match in ‘FOG’ as ‘Edge computing’ that affords less invasive Cyber Security benefits from its localization. What exists beyond is everybody’s guess.
We have the liberty to choose between the old and traditional OR the latest and the greatest. The abrupt breakdown of such ‘advanced’ machinery causes undue aggravation and hardships. It is a direct consequence of our increasing dependency on the same. Still, it does not imply our unwillingness to conform will restrain them from hammering on our doors in the not too distant a future.
In a subsequent post, I will offer a curtain raiser on ‘Internet of Things’ and its applications before hitting upon several other advances gaining ground at a break-neck speed.
Let us not forget – “To be forewarned is to be forearmed!”
So govern yourself…