Picture this: you are Juan, a 15 year old kid in high school. It’s 1920. Your teacher asked you to write an essay about the life and works of Jose Rizal. The nearest library is 2 hour BY HORSE and it’s already 6pm. The book on Rizal weighs about 2 kilos and the teacher wants the essay in by 7 in the morning.
So you “gallop” to the library, lug that heavy book home, read till your eyes are sore, and write (literally write) your essay on a piece of paper, finishing just in time for breakfast.
With very little sleep and no time to spare, you decide to hop on the first kalesa that passed, a rickety old cart pulled by an equally old horse. And though it felt like forever, you arrive in school just in time to hand in your work.
It’s now 5pm. You’re cranky, woozy and tired. You’ve only had a few hours of sleep and the day’s lesson really took a toll on your brain. All you want to do is take a nap.
Guess what, you still have to return that book…
Yeah, yeah! I know it’s a lengthy introduction (not to mention a bit exaggerated). But I think I was able to drive my point: life is just a lot better with technology. Just think of Juan.
Nowadays, if you want information on Rizal, it just takes a few seconds to find on Wikipedia. And if the teacher requires you to read a specific book, there’s no need to travel to National Bookstore. Just go online and buy an ebook.
Heck! Professors even allow homework to be emailed.
Kids these days really have it good.
Here are the pieces of technology that, I thought, changed our lives for the better. This list is based on my experience in the IT industry, as well as my personal love for anything new, shiny, and beeps. If you disagree, please don’t hate me.
Here we go: The Best Tech of the Last Decade (according to ishtangli).
- USB Drives/Memory Cards
- The little device that could. It was probably the first real “social” tool I owned. Sharing just became so much easier after these were invented. No more carrying 3 or 4 diskettes for 1 MP3, now you carry 3 or 4 thousand songs on 1 USB.
- Digital Cameras
- Remember that company, Kodak? No? They used to make “instant” film based cameras. By “instant”, I mean you could buy them at 7/11, ready to shoot.
- Nowadays, instant means you can instantly see what you snapped. No more waiting to empty that film roll before having it developed. Instant satisfaction (or horror).
- Btw, do today's kids still know what developing means?
- Windows XP
- It worked! Plain and simple. Windows XP was the follow-up to the horrendous, Windows ME. It was stable, fast, and secure (at least for its time) and was supported by Microsoft for 11 years. It was so well made, I was using it at the office up until the end of last year.
- Social Media
- You knew it would be here. What can I say? We’re Pinoys and Pinoys are just uber social.
- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Globe Community, Google+… Need I say more?
- Have you ever wanted to do or make something but just didn’t know how? Or maybe you just have an incredible urge to express yourself. For me, YouTube is the answer (to the first question at least).
- I’ve learned to cook the perfect popcorn, make bread, paint my car, hack my phone and so much more because of YouTube. There are even people who’ve gotten famous because of it. It’s the Wikipedia for the ADHD generation!
- For me, Netbooks were the great equalizers. It brought the PC to the mass market, and brought the mass market to the internet. It was marginally inexpensive, nominally powerful, and relatively light. To put it simply, it was the common man’s laptop.
- Smart Phones
- My first GSM phone was a Nokia 2110 which my dad got from Globe. It was the size of a pencil case, had an ugly antenna on top, and would pull your pants down if you put it in your pocket. I still have it today and it still functions.
- My first smart phone was an XDA2 running Windows Mobile 5. In comparison, I could read and write emails with it, edit Office documents, watch videos, and take pictures... though it still pulled my pants down when I placed it in my pocket. It was terribly expensive but it really changed my outlook of what a phone can/should be able to do.
- Smart Phones used to be status symbols but nowadays, they’re everywhere. For some, they've even replaced bigger gadgets like the netbook or PC. They’re so easy to use, my little niece knows how to operate one.
- Of the ones I’ve owned, the Nokia (Microsoft?) N900 was my fav (I had PHP, MySQL, Apache, and Asterisk installed on mine). It was the geek’s pocket knife.
We live at a time where gadgets have made life so convenient (or so complicated), we virtually cannot live without them. Stuff like photocopiers, laptops, the internet. They’ve saved us so many hours in a day, they’ve created a whole new problem: BOREDOM… but that’s a topic for another day. For now, let’s just contemplate on how lucky we are to have technology (or that it isn’t 1920).