When I left for work this morning, I took my iPad with me. While I was reading my mails in the train via my 3G connection, I suddenly realised how much advancement we have made, how much easier things are now technology wise speaking:
In 1990 when I was studying Information Science (or started to) :
- email was something used in universities
- bulletin boards via dial-up modem were still the rage
- Punch cards where still a required learning subject, so was assembly code
- I learned C (not C++) via a terminal on a mainframe that emulated C in order to run it, and took up a whole room
- We still had big rule printers in separate rooms which made the most godawful noise printing on paper fed from a box below them
- We had Winchester disks for our mainframe, mounted on wooden blocks. When our class initiated the database queries we learned, they all vibrated like washing machines.
The year after I graduated, they replaced the whole caboodle with 2 Unix machines that fit in 2 shoe boxes – one for the hard drive, one for the cpu.
And now, almost 20 years later, I’m reading my email via a wireless 3G connection on an ultra-slim touch-enabled device that seems to have dropped out of some futuristic movie, and it seems that hardly any time has passed.
But in reality, lots has changed in those years. And when I think back on those years without the internet, I feel so very happy to be able to participate in this, the knowledge available at my fingertips, the social media to find just the right persons to communicate with, the speed with which you can do calculations, the ability to share your work with others, the connectedness of it all.
And I’m just really glad to be here in the now and not 20 years ago 🙂