Its been 3 months in Silicon Valley and there are 3 words buzzing around my ear – Technology, BMW and Apple. Never spent a day without hearing those (>.<)
Let me admit that I am obsessed with anything that sounds technical, but I made a strong point that this blog will be dedicated purely for my personal stuff, which does not involve anything I do in my profession. I still adhere to it and the content you would read now would sound technical, but Trust Me! Its not.. 🙂
Coming back to Silicon Valley story, I made my time to visit Computer History Museum with the intent of seeing the First Mechanical Computer, The Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine, which for most of us is limited to textbooks. The place turned out to be a wealth of knowledge, and in simple it replaced the content in my brain from mere text from those HUGE text books to real computers visible to my naked eye.
Do you know how the Time Sharing machine looked like? A Processor Chip that took the whole room, The machine’s running at KHz speed but occupied a large room? Its surprise to see The entire Computer Evolution is captured in one single room. I could not even remember what I saw a few min before over there as I moved chronologically to see next revolution of computers. Such was the volume of info over there. But it took me to flashback of the revolutionary products and services that had influence on Me ( and most of you as well ) so far.
Do you remember, We used to hear from our granny saying “In our generation, this thing cost a penny”, “In our time, we had telegrams..”, In our time… and so on…
Well, 25 years on this planet, I have a chance to say “In our time..” 🙂 (That does not mean I am old :), its shows that how technology grew exponentially in small amount of time)
Let me layout the most revolutionary products and its impact on Me in past 25 years.
Telephone – Connecting People
Rotary Dial Phone – 1994-1997
Its started with No Telephone in our home (or very expensive to afford one) and few years later my aunt got this.
As some of you know, I had to stay far from my parents for schooling (and it continued from there on 😦 ) So the only way I could speak to my parents was through this. However, Owning this was not affordable (around 300Rs/) to my parents and they used to have a walk after their dinner to the STD booth to make a call. During that time in 1990-2000s, Calls b/w two districts were considered as an STD call and it was about 3 Rs / minute. Now its 0.2 paisa per minute!!
Trunk Calls – 1996-1998
At last my parents bought a phone, but still could not afford to add STD feature. The alternative was to make a trunk-call.
For those who are wondering what a trunk calls is – it was an alternative way of making an STD call where you dial to a local telephone operator and provide them the receiver’s number and disconnect. The telephone operator would connect to the receiver and gives back a call once the receiver accepts the call. Cost: 5-10 Rs / minute
Pager – 1997 – 1999
Sometime, I wanted my cousin to stop by our home and get some sweets or have chat with us. But, there was no way we could call him while he is out for his work. One fine day, he bought a Motorola Pager – it was for his business purpose though. It also opened the door for something else – Guess what, we could get the live cricket score update. During the cricket match, I used to grab the pager from him for the whole course of the match – The Cable TV was not affordable. This pager was my cricinfo at that time 🙂
How did it function? – Well, again there comes an operator between us. We call the operator and leave the message along with the Pager number which would be sent immediately. It was so fun that we used to bug the operator to an extent where they would warn us for calling frequently.
Mobile Phone – 2000 – present
(Image Courtesy: http://www.tech43.net/2011/09/evolution-of-mobile-phones-first-ever.html )
My cousin, once again, was the first to get a Mobile phone in our family. The fact that it was mobile was the only interesting part. Otherwise it was heavy and It was Rs 4 for outgoing and Rs 8 for incoming call. SMS was buzz word at that time and in the process, it sent the pager to its Graveyard.
Its amazing to see how the technology has leaped in this area – Now I am 14118 Kilometers / 7618 Nautical Miles far from my parents, friends and relatives and not only I can speak to them, but we can do a video conferencing without much expense. ( But nothing replaces being next to the person )
I would see that this would take a U-turn where people communicate in-person, the feeling which cannot be replaced by any technology. But there will be time, we call a person and he/she would be with us the next moment :). ( Laser rockets!! BooooM 😀 )
Next Revolutionary product – Inland Letter -> Email -> SMS,